With a mere month left before Election Day, the decision by a Commonwealth Court to block Pennsylvania's controversial voter-identification law from going into effect was a welcome ruling.
Despite Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr.'s decision, however, confusion and misinformation still abound. Voting experts are still wisely recommending that voters obtain the photo IDs that the controversial law calls for. The judge did, after all, uphold the law for the future so it's likely such documentation would be necessary down the line, even if it is not required for this year's Nov. 6 elections.
Meanwhile, the deadline for registration for anyone new to the state or not previously registered is Oct. 9.
Comprehensive information on how to register to vote and on the requirements of the new Voter ID law can be found at www.seventy.org , the website of the Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan political watchdog group. The organization had taken the lead in educating voters about the requirements of the new law through its Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, bringing together a wide range of civic and religious institutions. Among the Jewish organizations in the coalition are the Jewish Federation of Great er Philadelphia, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Social Policy Action Network.
Despite recent polls and analyses suggesting that President Barak Obama is ahead by a comfortable margin over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, no one should take Pennsylvania and its voters for granted. In addition, there are numerous state and local races that will determine policies for years to come.
This year, as always, no citizen, 18 or older, should assume complacency come Nov. 6. We must do all we can to help get voters registered and, most critically, to encourage everyone to come out and vote next month.
It's our civic duty and privilege as citizens of a free democracy.