With only 41 days to go before the election, the Corbett administration is still changing the rules regarding the controversial new voter ID law.
The state announced during a Tuesday hearing before Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson it was again relaxing the requirements for obtaining the photo identification now necessary to cast a ballot.
The hearing was ordered by the state Supreme Court, which directed Simpson to take another look at the case to ensure no voter would be disenfranchised by the law.
Simpson had earlier sided with the state in a case brought by opponents of the law, civil rights groups who say it's a Republican effort to stifle Democratic voters and who want it blocked from going into effect for the Nov. 6 General Election.
Incidentally, just before Commonwealth Court first heard the case over the summer, the state also relaxed the rules -- although the state Supreme Court wasn't convinced the changes guaranteed everyone who wanted to vote would be able to do so.
Hence, this week's Commonwealth Court hearing, where the bar was set much higher for the state.
Keep in mind, this hearing is all about delaying the law -- not striking it down.
And did we mention the election is only 41 days away?
While we disagree, a majority of the Supreme Court has indicated it doesn't have a problem with requiring voters to show a photo identification. The justices are concerned about its hurried, problem-plagued implementation.
If this is not about delivering the upcoming election to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, despite House Majority Leader Mike Turzai's remarks to the contrary, why the mad rush to implement the law just months after it was passed?
The state can't cite a single case of in-person voter fraud, the only kind this law would prevent, so there's no threat -- imminent or otherwise -- to the "integrity" of the election.
Rather than risk disenfranchising even a single voter -- and one estimate puts the figure as high as three quarters of a million Pennsylvania residents possibly at risk -- the state should take its time and roll this law out only after carefully crafting a free and convenient process to comply.
Instead, administration officials are desperately hoping last-minute patches to this flawed will make it just good enough.
Simpson, thankfully, warned during this week's hearing he's considering issuing an injunction. Testimony continues today, and the Supreme Court has asked for a decision by Tuesday.
But even then, the matter can be appealed back to the Supreme Court.
We suspect Simpson will delay the law, and we hope the state accepts his decision. Continuing the court battle will just create more confusion and uncertainty as the election draws ever closer.
Instead, the state should work between now and the next election to ensure no one is denied his or her most basic right in this country because of the law.
If that can't be done -- which might be the conclusion after more sober consideration -- it should be scrapped altogether.