The Corbett administration has responded to a federal review of the new voter ID requirement in a letter suggesting the U.S. Department of Justice has overstepped its authority because of political opposition to the law. The Department of Justice last month notified the state that it is examining whether the voter ID law discriminates against minorities. It requested extensive documentation, including databases of voters and driver licenses, to aid in that inquiry. In a letter Friday to the Justice Department’s top civil rights lawyer, General Counsel James Schultz said the state would be willing to provide the federal agency with the same information it shared with the groups who challenged the law in state court, provided the department signs a confidentiality agreement.
“You can appreciate our desire to ensure the professional handling of this confidential information, particularly here, where unlike the petitioners in the Commonwealth Court litigation, you are without authority to request or compel the production of the requested information,” Mr. Schultz wrote. He wrote that the state provided “tens of thousands of non-privileged documents” to the challengers in that case, including voter identification information, but did not describe which of the requested files would be included.