Following a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to block its implementation, voters are not required to show a photo ID to cast a ballot in Wisconsin, but that could change after November. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) criticizes the GOP for trying to make it harder for people to vote. “The Republicans, the last two sessions, have passed restriction after restriction and impediment after impediment to make it harder for people to vote.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that executing Wisconsin’s voter ID law would cause too much confusion this close to Election Day. The high court did not rule on the merits of the law, however. That means photo ID could be implemented after the fall elections. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) is confident it will. He calls this move a “temporary delay.”
Articles about voting issues in Wisconsin.
Just 14 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin’s voter ID law for the Nov. 4 election, five appeals court judges Friday issued a blistering opinion calling allegations of voter impersonation fraud “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government. Some of the ‘evidence’ of voter-impersonation fraud is downright goofy, if not paranoid, such as the nonexistent buses that according to the ‘True the Vote’ movement transport foreigners and reservation Indians to polling places,” wrote Judge Richard A. Posner of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Posner, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was joined by four others in his dissenting opinion. The five other judges on the court did not spell out their views on the ID requirement. The latest ruling had no immediate practical effect, and the voter ID law remains blocked for the election.
A divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin’s voter ID law late Thursday, issuing a terse yet dramatic one-page ruling less than four weeks before the Nov. 4 election. The 6-3 vote means in all likelihood the requirement to show ID at the polls will not be in effect for the election. But Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he would seek ways to reinstate the law within the month. Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans approved the law in 2011, but it was quickly blocked by a series of court decisions in four lawsuits. It was reinstated by a federal appeals court in recent weeks, but Thursday’s ruling again put the law on hold. ”That is great news, wonderful news,” Milwaukee NAACP chapter President James Hall said. “I think it’s gratifying that the court has seen fit to block the implementation of this law that would most certainly create chaos and confusion in this election.”
The fate of Wisconsin’s voter ID law, set to take effect in one month, is pending before two federal courts, both of which have been asked to issue an emergency order halting implementation of the law. Meanwhile, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to leave the law in place for the Nov. 4 election , when voters will select Wisconsin’s next governor. On Tuesday, one day after a three-judge appeals court panel affirmed that Wisconsin’s voter ID law is constitutional, opponents including the League of United Latin American Citizens and the American Civil Liberties Union asked the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stop implementation of the requirement that residents show a state-issued identification or other photo ID before voting.
Whether to allow Wisconsin’s strict voter ID law for this fall’s election is up to the Supreme Court – a decision that could come any day. But on Monday, an appeals court gave the law’s backers a big lift. A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit issued a ruling upholding the law. It was the same panel of all-Republican appointees that last month removed a district court judge’s injunction on the law, leading voting rights groups to ask the Supreme Court to intervene. The 23-page ruling, written by Judge Frank Easterbrook, finds that the law is constitutional and does not violate the Voting Rights Act’s (VRA) ban on racial discrimination. The opinion is striking for its blithe tone in upholding a law that could disenfranchise many thousands. One prominent election law scholar called it “horrendous.” Still, the ruling could give the Supreme Court an additional reason to keep the ID measure in place. Courts tend to be less willing to overturn a full ruling on the merits than a more quickly issued order, which is all that the appeals panel had previously offered. And since Wisconsin has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to make its case to the Supreme Court, the ruling could also give state lawyers some helpful tips for making its case.
A panel of three federal judges upheld Wisconsin’s voter ID law Monday, finding it is in keeping with the U.S. Constitution and federal Voting Rights Act. The panel of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals last month ruled the voter ID law could be put in place for the Nov. 4 election between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke. Monday’s ruling is the panel’s final decision on the issue and puts the voter ID law in place for other future elections. Attention now turns to what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan or the full Supreme Court might do. Even before Monday’s ruling, the groups that challenged the voter ID law had asked Kagan to block the voter ID law for the Nov. 4 election. Kagan is the justice responsible for handling emergency petitions in cases before the 7th Circuit, which covers Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. Writing for the unanimous appeals panel, Judge Frank Easterbrook determined Wisconsin’s law was essentially identical to an Indiana voter ID law that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2008.
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Wisconsin’s requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls is constitutional, a decision that is not surprising after the court last month allowed for the law to be implemented while it considered the case. State elections officials are preparing for the photo ID law to be in effect for the Nov. 4 election, even as opponents continue their legal fight. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project asked the U.S. Supreme Court last week to take emergency action and block the law. Opponents argue that requiring voters to show photo ID, a requirement that had, until recently, been on hold since a low-turnout February 2012 primary, will create chaos and confusion at the polls. But supporters say most people already have a valid ID and, if they don’t, there is time to get one before the election.
Wisconsin: Government Accountability Board calm in middle of political storm | Wisconsin State Journal
“Umpires have the toughest jobs in baseball. Ever since the birth of boos, they have suffered more abuse than bathroom walls.”
— Ernie Harwell, Hall of Fame announcer
The same is true in politics, especially with a big election looming. Witness all the griping lately over the state Government Accountability Board, which is responsible for overseeing campaigns and voting. We’re in about the sixth or seventh inning of the race for Wisconsin governor, and control of the Legislature is on the line. Unlike baseball umpires, however, the public servants at the GAB have to deal with lawsuits and changing rules while the game is still being played.
Opponents of a strict new voter identification law set to go into effect for the first time in this year’s elections are asking the Supreme Court to block the law, arguing there isn’t enough time to properly implement the law before Election Day. Two voting rights groups, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project, which represents a number of other Democratic-leaning groups, filed a petition with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan seeking an emergency stay halting the new law’s implementation. The petition comes after an en banc panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Friday split evenly on whether to hear a challenge to the law. The 5-5 decision leaves an earlier three-judge panel’s ruling in favor of the law intact, reversing an order from a federal judge in Wisconsin this spring to strike it down as unconstitutional.
Wisconsin: U.S. Supreme Court is asked to block Wisconsin’s voter ID law | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Opponents of Wisconsin’s photo ID requirement for voters took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, seeking an emergency halt to the state’s implementation of the law ahead of the fast approaching Nov. 4 election. … In their petition, voter ID opponents told the Supreme Court that there’s not enough time to properly implement the law ahead of the tight election between GOP Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke, which is five weeks away. On Sept. 12, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the law could be put in place for the election while a lawsuit over the requirement grinds on, leaving state officials and local election clerks sprinting to put the law in place. ”Thousands of Wisconsin voters stand to be disenfranchised by this law going into effect so close to the election. Hundreds of absentee ballots have already been cast, and the appeals court’s order is fueling voter confusion and election chaos. Eleventh-hour changes in election rules have traditionally been disfavored precisely because the risk of disruption is simply too high,” said Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the voters suing the state.