One hand clapping: Corbett won’t appeal a flawed voter ID law

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Once again, Gov. Tom Corbett has put fair-minded Pennsylvanians in the position of applauding what he has done while wondering why it took him so long and why he keeps up part of his stubborn resistance. A cynic might suspect that a general election is coming in November.

Earlier this month, Mr. Corbett went against his stated opposition to medical marijuana to support the use of a cannabis derivative for sick children but not for anyone else. Last week, he turned his attention to the voter ID law that Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley had found so flawed as to be unconstitutional.

Again he sent mixed signals. Mr. Corbett announced that he would not appeal. Now he concedes problems with the law — and it’s about time because, as the ruling made clear, the law would have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people, many of them minorities, the poor and the elderly.

Yet he persists in saying that a law is needed and he will work with the Legislature to get it done, although this likely won’t happen before the election. At best Mr. Corbett can expect Pennsylvanians to clap with one hand. But those who were threatened with exclusion at the polls won’t join in, and perhaps not even hard-core conservatives — because a brave face doesn’t make this any less a fiasco.

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