Since the 2008 U.S. presidential election, a dozen or so primarily Republican states have passed tough new voter ID laws.  With the 2012 election now a little more than a month away, lots of concern is being expressed that the laws, which seem designed to address a problem that doesn’t exist (ie. voter fraud on any measurable scale), will instead simply discourage, and even prevent, people from marginalized communities from trekking to the polls to cast their ballots.

Critics argue, in fact, that that’s the precise intent of these laws. And since voters from marginalized communities are more likely to support the Democrats than the Republicans the laws are a blatant effort by the latter to tilt the electoral landscape in their favour. Yesterday in Harrisburg, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson blocked the Pennsylvania law from being enforced in the Nov. 6 election, stating that he was ” still not convinced  … that there would be no voter disenfranchisement.”

Here’s a link to the CBC report. And here’s a video comedian Sarah Silverman has released condeming the voter ID laws (a version of which the Sask. Party government passed before the last provincial election, btw) and explaining, in fairly colourful language, their potential to disenfranchise millions of American voters.