So it's now imperative for the commonwealth, as well as the coalition of organizations helping citizens get IDs, to get the word out. After all, the commonwealth - as well as various opponents of the law, including this newspaper - have mounted major campaigns to tell voters they need ID to vote, information that no longer is correct. At the least, all commonwealth ads touting the ID requirement should be pulled immediately.
Simpson's decision was a correct one, as far as it went. A better and fairer one would have been to block poll workers from demanding any identification at all for this election, especially since there is no evidence that there is a problem with in-person voter fraud. Besides, even though all properly registered voters will be allowed to vote, the time it takes for them to show ID - and for poll workers to check it - could cause significant delays on Election Day.
In comments Tuesday, Gov. Corbett erred when he said that Simpson had upheld the constitutionality of the voter-ID law; that's the job of the state Supreme Court. Simpson simply kept the law from being enforced for now.
Corbett appeared to be leaning against appealing the injunction back to the state Supreme Court, which is wise: The high court had ordered Simpson to block implementation of the law unless he could be sure there would be "no voter disenfranchisement." Despite the commonwealth's lawyers' acrobatic attempts, they couldn't explain away the yawning discrepancy between the only 13,000 alternative IDs for voting that have been issued by the state and the 82,000-plus estimated voters who would need them within the next month.
Simpson set a hearing date for Dec. 13 to begin discussions on a permanent injunction against the law, and it should be obvious that one is necessary. While opponents have conceded that, in theory, it isn't a burden to require identification to vote, the past few months have shown that, in real life, the barriers are real and that they disproportionately affect low-income, elderly and disabled voters. On Tuesday, comments by the law's sponsor, Republican state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Butler County, that our fellow citizens are "the lazy who refuse to exercise the necessary work ethic" is simply beneath contempt.
The past few months also have confirmed suspicions that the voter-ID law was an attempt by Republicans nationwide to make it harder for Democratic voters to cast their ballots. Our law was only one of many, part of a not-so-veiled partisan attempt to influence the election.
But even when the election is over, the fight to protect the right to vote must continue.