Monday, July 27, 2015

Ask Corbett administration about a voter ID appeal, and the word is mum

Ask Corbett administration about a voter ID appeal, and the word is mum



Will the Corbett administration appeal the most recent voter ID decision?

We don't know, because they still aren't saying.

It's been a week since Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. ruled that the state's controversial new law requiring voters to show photo ID in order to vote will not apply to next month's election. Even so, the administration has yet to officially, formally and definitively, whether it will appeal Simpson's ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Some administration officials have heavily implied that the state won't be pursuing this legal fight. But ask for a simple yes or no answer, and the response is always the same: No decision yet.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking. The Nov. 6 election is now less than four weeks away. And the Supreme Court's next session is early next week in Pittsburgh.

Guess what's not on the agenda? The voter ID case.

Those familiar with the high court say that even if the state were to file an appeal this week, it would be very unlikely that voter ID would get added to the court's list of cases next week.

ACLU of Pennsylvania legal director Witold "Vic" Walczak told my colleague Amy Worden that by any measure, the clock has expired to file an appeal.

“Functionally it’s really too late,” said Walczak, who represented defendants in the case. “They knew this case was done on an expedited basis, and now it’s a week after the ruling. We would need time to respond.”


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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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