Why Today Was a Good Day for Barack Obama

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Oct. 2 2012 3:14 PM

A Ray of Hope

Why today was a good day for Barack Obama.

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Every day until the election, Slate will offer up one reason to be optimistic for your candidate.

35 days to go:

Today’s Good News for Obama: A Pennsylvania judge handed Obama a win today when he delayed the enforcement of Pennsylvania’s controversial voter identification law. The law would have required voters to show certain government-issued photo ID before voting. Opponents of the law argue that there are no known cases of in-person voter fraud, and the law unfairly targets the poor, minorities, and youth, groups who are likely to vote for Obama and less likely to carry identification. A study by the Black Youth Project estimated that Pennsylvania’s voter ID law would have disenfranchised 37,000 to 44,000 young people of color.

But today, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ordered the state to postpone the enforcement of the law until next year, bypassing the November election. The defendants could still appeal to the state supreme court, but Simpson will likely have the last word this cycle. If opponents of the law are right, the court decision should boost turnout for Democrats, and Obama’s Pennsylvania lead is likely to remain secure on Election Day.

Kara Brandeisky is a Slate intern and student at Georgetown University