Corbett wants judge to reconsider voter ID ruling

Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett makes a point about inheriting a large budget deficit and the challenges that came with it to the audience gathered for the Chamber of Commerce's "Coveration with the Governor" on Thursday January 23, 2014. It's Chamber of Commerce's annual 'Conversation with the Governor' with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Channel 6's Matt O'Donnell at the Natural History Museum. 01/23/2014( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )
Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett makes a point about inheriting a large budget deficit and the challenges that came with it to the audience gathered for the Chamber of Commerce's "Coveration with the Governor" on Thursday January 23, 2014. It's Chamber of Commerce's annual 'Conversation with the Governor' with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Channel 6's Matt O'Donnell at the Natural History Museum. 01/23/2014( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )
Posted: January 29, 2014

Lawyers for Gov. Corbett on Monday asked the Commonwealth Court judge who struck down the state's voter ID law this month to reconsider his ruling.

The 39-page filing allows the Corbett administration to keep alive its appeal hopes, but Joshua Maus, a spokesman for the Governor's Office of General Counsel, said, "It would be premature to say whether we would move forward with an appeal."

The posttrial motion argues that Judge Bernard L. McGinley made numerous errors in reaching his decision that the law, one of the strictest in the nation, was unconstitutional.

McGinley wrote: "Voting laws are designed to assure free and fair election; the voter ID law does not further that goal."

In one argument, Corbett's lawyers say McGinley, who found the state's implementation of the law faulty, should have provided instruction on how to correctly administer the law instead of declaring it unconstitutional.

Opponents of the law, which required a person to show photo identification when voting, say it was designed to suppress the vote, particularly among minorities and the poor. The legislation passed the General Assembly without one supporter among Democrats.

James D. Schultz, general counsel to Corbett, who signed the law in 2012, said in a statement on the reconsideration request: "The governor has always been a proponent of encouraging eligible citizens to register and to exercise their constitutional right to vote. 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."

If the state is successful with its request, Schultz said, "we will be asking the court to refrain from requiring an ID for purposes of the forthcoming 2014 general and primary elections so as to avoid even the chance of confusion for voters."


bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983

@RobertMoran215

Staff writer Amy Worden contributed to this article.

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