State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Appeals don't appear imminent in voter ID case

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 2, 2012 3:49 PM

Voter-Registration-Identification-card.jpgBoth sides of the voter ID case are holding their fire as far as an appeal would go in response to Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s ruling to uphold the law but not enforce it during the November election.

In a written statement, Gov. Corbett said he was “pleased with Judge Simpson’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the voter ID law.” Later, at an unrelated event, he framed the ruling as being “consistent” with the state’s suggestion to keep the entirety of the law and simply allow for another soft roll out period through November.

“As it comes to a preliminary injunction, no final decision has been made but you can see where we’re probably leaning,” said Corbett.

Challengers of the law are similarly leaving themselves some wiggle room on the appeal question. Their only caveat is that the commonwealth should promise to pull ads which now say Pennsylvanians need ID to vote on Election Day.

“Otherwise there’s a possibility of confusion by voters and folks without ID may just stay home because they wrongly believe they need ID,” said Vic Walczak, director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “It could promote confusion among poll workers and any time you have confusion on Election Day, it’s not a good thing for democracy.”

Governor Corbett suggested that would not be unreasonable.

“If there’s confusion based upon an ad and this present, this opinion, I will have them look to see if we can eliminate the confusion,” he said.

In a written statement, Commonwealth Secretary Carol Aichele said her department will “let Pennsylvanians know the voter ID law is still on track to be fully implemented for future elections.”

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