(USA TODAY) -- A Pennsylvania judge is putting a halt to the state's voter identification law, ordering today that it not be enforced for the presidential election just five weeks away.
The ruling by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson could be appealed to the state's Supreme Court. Simpson's ruling says the law -- requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID -- would be fully implemented next year.
Simpson said during hearings last week that he was considering invalidating a part of the six-month-old law -- considered one of the toughest in the nation -- for the Nov. 6 election.
Pennsylvania, a swing state, has 20 electoral votes up for grabs. President Obama is leading statewide opinion polls by an average of 8 points, according to six recent surveys compiled by RealClearPolitics. Mitt Romney said during a recent campaign stop in Pennsylvania that he believes he can carry the state.
Democrats and their allies, such as the NAACP, have been opposed to the voter ID law, saying it would harm minorities and low-income voters. Republicans have hailed the law as a way to reduce election fraud.
"The evidence made it clear to the judge that this law would indeed disenfranchise voters and that the Commonwealth was not equipped to implement it fairly right now," said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, one of the groups that challenged the law in court.