Reporting Cherri Gregg
Filed underGovernment, Heard On, Local, News, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Politics, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Reaction from the ACLU and voter education groups is that the fight over Pennsylvania’s voter ID law (see related story) is not finished.
Attorney Jennifer Clarke of the Public Interest Law Center says the plaintiffs are not discouraged. She says her legal team views the ruling as a challenge that can be overcome.
“It’s a challenge to the lawyers on our team,” Clarke told KYW Newsradio following the ruling. “But it’s also a challenge to all of the people in Pennsylvania to do whatever they can to make sure that this attempt to suppress votes is a failure.”
Clarke says there are weaknesses in the opinion. She says the court acknowledges that there are a large number of people — possibly in the tens of thousands — who do not have ID that is acceptable under the new law.
“We will be appealing this decision,” says Clarke. “Our plan is to do it tomorrow. And we will ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear the case on an expedited basis.” She says the ACLU will also take issue in its appeal with some of the remedies for these voters, such as absentee ballots.
Pennsylvania NAACP president Jerry Mondesire says his group is outraged, given the short timeframe voters have to get an ID.
“This decision by Judge Simpson is dripping in political partisanship,” says Mondesire.
Zack Stalberg of the Committee of Seventy says his group will continue to work with the Voter ID Coalition to educate the potentially hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters who may not have valid ID.
“We’re doing door hangers, we’re canvassing neighborhoods,” he said today. “There are 145 groups in the coalition, and they all have a different way of reaching the at-risk constituency.”
Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth Carol Aichele, who oversees elections statewide, issued a statement saying the state is pleased with ruling and “this law will reinforce the principle of one person, one vote.”
Gov. Tom Corbett issued a statement saying that now that the law has been upheld, the state will continue to focus on ensuring that voters have ID.