Governor reviewing voter ID opinion before deciding on appeal

Following Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley’s ruling Friday that Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is unconstitutional, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) declined to say whether he would appeal the decision.

Corbett’s general counsel James Schultz said in a statement, “We continue to evaluate the opinion and will shortly determine whether post-trial motions are appropriate.”

In his opinion, McGinley called the implementation of the voter ID law “convoluted” and “ever-changing.” He says the Department of State doesn’t have the statutory authority to issue photo IDs. He added that the state “wholly failed to show any evidence of in-person voter fraud,” a key reason cited by Republicans in their support of the law.

McGinley also writes, “Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID law does not further this goal.”

You can read the opinion by clicking here.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments about the law in 2012 and sent the case back to Commonwealth Court.

“The court saw that many, many Pennsylvanians would lose the right to vote, and that’s a fundamental right. And so, this law is unconstitutional,” said Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. Hoover says he expects the case to end up back at the Supreme Court.

State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-199th)  said the judge’s decision “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

He went on to say, “The sooner we can have a good, fair voter ID requirement at the polls to make sure that the elections are free and fair and that only registered voters are voting, I think, the sooner the better.”