Corbett Tries to Save Voter ID Requirements

Asks court to reconsider its ruling overturning the law.

Gov. Tom Corbett has asked Commonwealth Court to reconsider its ruling that state’s controversial Voter ID law unconstitutionally restricts voting rights. “Gov. Tom Corbett’s general counsel, James Schultz, said in a statement Monday that the administration disagrees with the ruling and that Mr. Corbett has always favored encouraging people to exercise their right to vote,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “‘The requirement of a photo ID in no way infringes upon this right, especially in today’s environment where an ID is essential to do just about anything,’ Mr. Schultz said. ‘The administration has gone to great lengths to ensure that citizens are afforded the opportunity to get an ID in the unlikely event they do not have one.'”

In contrast, the judge in the case found that many Pennsylvanians still lacked photo IDs—and that getting one could be difficult.

In his ruling, McGinley cited “overwhelming evidence” that hundreds of thousands of qualified voters lack IDs that comply with the law and panned the state’s educational and marketing efforts as “largely ineffective and consistently confusing.”

The judge also said distributing the special IDs through the state Department of Transportation’s several dozen licensing centers was an inconvenience for voters.

“In contrast to 9,300 polling places, to obtain an ID for voting purposes, a qualified elector must overcome the barrier of transport and travel to one of PennDOT’s 71 (licensing centers) during limited hours,” he said.

In the filing, Corbett did ask that the law—if restored—not be used in this year’s primary and general elections, so as to prevent confusion among voters.