The decision came at the end of a Commonwealth Court trial, in which opponents argued that the law marginalizes voters.
The measure, which was supported by Republicans and criticized by Democrats as a method of suppressing the Democratic vote, was adopted last year. But a judge halted its implementation before last November’s election.
The law requires voters to provide valid, government-issued identification before they vote.
On Aug. 1, the state attorney general’s office agreed to support a temporary injunction that would not mandate that voters provide photo identification in the Nov. 5 election. However, poll workers would still ask voters for proof of identification, an issue that Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley will rule on by Aug. 19, along with whether the injunction will apply solely to the upcoming election or be worded more indefinitely.
Plaintiffs bringing the suit — the NAACP, the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters and the Homeless Advocacy Project — argued during the 12-day trial that the law unduly impact minorities, low-income and elderly citizens, who are less likely than other groups to possess photo ID. Opponents have also argued that the law could prevent transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals whose physical presentation does not match their current photo ID cards from voting.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson blocked the law in 2012; however, a decision was left open-ended on whether the law would be used this year.
It is unclear whether McGinley will rule on the overall constitutionality of the law.
NAACP Philadelphia president J. Whyatt Mondesire said in a release last week that the delay of the law’s implementation is a positive development.
“This was a good decision on behalf of the state lawyers,” he said. “If this is truly about the integrity of the vote, then the state should not rush to implement a law that could hamper free and unfettered participation in our democracy.”