Lawyers: State giving out voter-ID 'misinformation'

Posted: October 21, 2012

HARRISBURG - The administration of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett should be ordered to stop "misinformation" over whether voters must show photo identification on Election Day and to clearly broadcast the message that a photo ID is not required, civil-rights lawyers told a state court on Friday.

The lawyers' filing came 18 days before the Nov. 6 election and almost three weeks after Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson halted the photo ID requirement over concerns that some people would be unable to get valid photo IDs allowing them to vote and, as a result, would be disenfranchised.

The lawyers who made the filing, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, won the case in front of Simpson.

In their 40-page filing, they said the Corbett administration has continued, even after Simpson's Oct. 2 decision, to give false information through radio and TV ads, posters at driver's license centers and mailings to thousands of seniors enrolled in a state prescription drug program.

"The commonwealth's dissemination of false information about the photo ID requirement in effect on November 6 runs counter to the goals of Pennsylvania's voting laws, which are designed to assure a free and fair election by, among other things, prohibiting dissemination of false or misleading information to the electorate about voting," they said.

The lawyers said the Corbett administration has made virtually no effort to change the widespread perception or its multimillion-dollar ad campaign that existed before Oct. 2 that a photo ID is required on Election Day.

A spokesman for the Corbett administration said the state's lawyers were studying the filing and would respond in court. The ACLU's legal team asked Simpson to order the Corbett administration to respond before noon Monday.

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