This differs from a formal appeal. In the legal sense an appeal is asking for a higher court to review a lower court’s decision. What was filed on Monday by the state was asking for the trial court to re-examine its opinion.
“The administration has gone to great lengths to ensure that citizens are afforded the opportunity to get an ID in the unlikely event they do not have one,” Corbett’s general counsel James Schultz said in a statement. “We disagree with the court’s decision that a statute requiring someone present a photo identification in order to cast a vote is unconstitutional.”
In the ruling earlier this month, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the law was unconstitutional.
“[The Voter ID Law is] invalid and unconstitutional on its face as the provision and issuance of compliant identification does not comport with liberal access and unreasonably burdens the right to vote,” he wrote.
“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal.”
McGinley said the state’s efforts to make it easier for voters to obtain ID – or to mitigate any problems by using provisional ballots – are insufficient.
Although the Attorney General’s office co-represented the state in the case, Kathleen Kane deferred all judgment on the appeal to the Governor’s office.
The state legislature passed the Voter ID law in spring 2012. It required that all voters furnish photo identification at the polls, including but not limited to a drivers licenses, passport, military ID, certain students ID and certain nursing home IDs.
Supporters of the law said it was necessary to prevent voter fraud. Opponents said it was a partisan effort to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly and students who disproportionately lack ID and are more likely to support Democrats.
The voter ID requirement was never in effect during an election due to ongoing injunctions from the courts.