-By Marc levy (AP)
October 2, 2012- A judge is postponing Pennsylvania's tough new voter identification requirement, ordering that it not be enforced in the presidential election.
Tuesday's ruling comes just five weeks before the election. An appeal is possible. The 6-month-old law requires each voter to show a valid photo ID.
Democrats and groups including the AARP and NAACP mounted a furious opposition to a law Republicans say is necessary to prevent election fraud. Critics have accused Republicans of using old-fashioned Jim Crow tactics to steal the White House and have highlighted stories of registered voters struggling to get a state photo ID.
The law was already a partisan lightning rod when a top Republican lawmaker boasted that it'd allow GOP nominee Mitt Romney to beat Democratic President Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Some political momentum could be on the line when a judge rules on whether to keep intact Pennsylvania's tough new law requiring voters to show photo identification in next month's presidential election.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson is under a state Supreme Court order to rule no later than Tuesday, just five weeks before voters decide whether to re-elect President Barack Obama, a Democrat, or replace him with Mitt Romney, a Republican.
Simpson heard two days of testimony last week and said he was considering invalidating a narrow portion of the law for the Nov. 6 election. An appeal to the state Supreme Court is possible.
Up for grabs are Pennsylvania's valuable 20 electoral votes, the sixth most. For now, Republican candidates are trailing in polls on the state's top-of-the-ticket races.