The rules have changed again in a litigious election year characterized by chaos.

But the mayhem that started with Pennsylvania's redistricting maps being overturned in state court might have ended Tuesday with a Commonwealth Court judge's decision to postpone the implementation of the new voter ID law - unless there's an appeal to the state's Supreme Court.

Judge Robert Simpson ordered the state not to enforce the law requiring photo identification in this year's presidential election. Under his ruling, it would go into effect next year.

Reactions to the ruling varied among York County officials, depending on their political leaning.

More time: State Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York City, said it was "clear from the evidence that there was no way PennDOT could produce enough IDs by Election Day, thus voters were going to be disenfranchised."

Some counties, for example, don't have a PennDOT center where IDs are issued, he said.

Republicans have said the rule would prevent voter fraud, but opponents have often cited a controversial comment made by Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny. He told a group of GOP supporters the law would help the Republican presidential candidate win Pennsylvania.

"The Commonwealth's own court filing showed zero cases of fraud. Zero," DePasquale said. "You can't know what's in someone's heart...I only know what (Turzai) said.


The Majority leader said voter ID would deliver the state for Mitt Romney."

While the rule's implementation has been delayed, the law hasn't been ruled unconstitutional. DePasquale said he suspects the courts will send the law back to the state Legislature and ask for a plan to be developed so all people can get voter ID.

York County Democratic Party chair Bob Kefauver said the judge made "the right decision."

He said the law was not written in such a way as to uniformly affect all voters, and it was "implemented in far too short of a timeframe for it to be successful and fair for this year's election."

Kefauver said he believes the law was passed to suppress Democratic voters because it would have had the biggest effect on people who typically vote Democratic, such as people who are lower on the socioeconomic scale, the disabled, elderly and minority voters.

On the other side of the aisle, York County Republican Party Chairman Bob Wilson declined to comment beyond the content of a written statement.

"I'm disappointed by today's ruling by the court to postpone the full implementation of this common sense reform that helps to protect the electoral process of one person, one vote," the statement read.

"There is no reason for the people of the commonwealth to have to wait for this common sense reform to be enacted. With that, voter ID is still Pennsylvania law. It was found to be constitutional and we will continue to encourage voters to bring their photo identification with them to the polls on election day."

State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, said he was disappointed the law won't be in place for the November election, as he thinks people without identification had enough time to get it.

But he said the 2012 presidential election wasn't the reason the law was passed.

"Had been implemented last year, that would have mitigated a lot of the concerns that drove (criticism). The House passed it in 2011. For me, it had absolutely nothing to do with the 2012 election. It was for every election, to protect the sanctity of that process."

County changes? The ruling allows elections officials to ask for identification, but the voter would still be able to cast a traditional ballot if he or she can't produce one.

It's still unclear whether York County poll workers will ask for identification; the state hasn't issued direction to county elections offices, said Nikki Suchanic, director of the York County Department of Elections and Voter Registration.

A letter from the state's Department of State sent after the ruling said instructions would be sent "as soon as possible," she said.

"We're just waiting for directives about how the opinion will affect elections and the exact instructions," she said. "As director, my job is just to enforce it, whichever the way the law says."

Poll workers were trained on voter identification rules earlier this year, as the law had a soft rollout during the April primary. At that time, people were asked for identification but could still cast a traditional ballot if they didn't have it.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at