Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on Governor Corbett to drop his defense of Voter ID after Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court reaffirmed its early ruling against the law. In a letter to the Governor, Casey urged the state to end its pursuit of Voter ID which could prevent thousands of Pennsylvanians from exercising their right to vote.
“The court has exposed so called Voter ID for what it really is: a scheme that could prevent thousands of Pennsylvanians from exercising their right to vote,” Senator Casey said. “Implementing Voter ID would prevent tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians from exercising their right to vote, including elderly Pennsylvanians who’ve fought in our wars and worked to make our country safe. It’s time for these appeals to end”
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below:
The Honorable Tom Corbett
Governor of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
Dear Governor Corbett:
I write today to urge you to refrain from appealing the recent Commonwealth Court decision reaffirming the unconstitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law.
As you know, on January 17, 2014, Judge McGinley of the Commonwealth Court ruled that Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law “unreasonably burdens the right to vote” guaranteed by the state constitution. On April 29, 2014, Judge McGinley reaffirmed that ruling, rightly acknowledging that the law failed to provide “liberal access” to state-issued identification that would satisfy the law’s requirements. As a result, the law would create a barrier that would prevent tens of thousands of Pennsylvania residents from exercising their right to vote. Furthermore, this burden would fall disproportionately on elderly, poor, and minority communities. I am pleased that the Commonwealth Court has acted to protect these citizens from restricted access to voting. At every turn Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law has been rejected by the courts. Continuing this appeal will only continue to cast a cloud of uncertainty over residents who are rightly concerned that this law will prevent them from exercising their right to vote.
Equal access to the ballot is a bedrock principle of our Nation that must not be violated. Historically, the Commonwealth has always moved to expand and encourage voting by our citizens. This Voter ID law would reverse much of the progress we’ve made over the years. I urge you not to appeal this decision, but to work to ensure that measures designed to protect the electoral process encourage participation and access as a critical part of that protection. Thank you for your time and attention to my concerns.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator