Articles about voting issues in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin: Government Accountability Board Director Calls Walker’s Comments On Voter ID Law ‘Disingenuous’ | Wisconsin Public Radio

The director of the Government Accountability Board called Gov. Scott Walker’s recent comments about funding a voter ID public education campaign “disingenuous” on Wednesday. In a 4-2 decision, the board voted Tuesday to ask for money from the state Legislature to fund a statewide campaign to educate voters on what forms of ID are acceptable at the polls. Walker addressed the funding request on Tuesday, saying that the high turnout during the April 5 primary demonstrates the funding is unnecessary. Moreover, the governor said the state has already spent too much money defending the law in court. Read More

Wisconsin: Elections board to ask lawmakers for funds to publicize voter ID | Journal Times

The state elections board will ask lawmakers for $250,000 to publicize Wisconsin’s new voter ID requirement in the lead-up to the November election. The co-chairman of the Legislature’s budget panel, Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, said Tuesday that he expects it to “seriously consider” the request. Providing “$250,000, to assure every vote is counted, I don’t think is a problem,” Nygren told the Wisconsin State Journal. The Government Accountability Board approved the request on a 4-2 vote at its regular meeting Tuesday. Judges Harold Froehlich and Timothy Vocke were the dissenting votes. Read More

Wisconsin: Board will seek money for voter ID education | Associated Press

The state elections board voted Tuesday to ask lawmakers for a quarter of a million dollars to revive its efforts to educate people about photo identification requirements at the polls ahead of the fall election season. The Government Accountability Board mothballed its voter ID outreach campaign in 2012 after a court challenge blocked the requirement. A federal appellate court ultimately upheld the law in 2014 and it was in effect for both this past February’s primary and the April 6 general election, which included the presidential primary. Democrats feared the voter ID law would prevent some people from voting, but the turnout was 47 percent in the April election, the highest since 1972. GAB officials have said things went smoothly for the most part, although some voters faced long lines and difficulties trying to obtain valid IDs, particularly college students. Most college IDs aren’t acceptable under the law, so University of Wisconsin schools provided students with free secondary IDs for voting. Read More

Wisconsin: Democrats Call For Statewide Voter ID Education Campaign | Wisconsin Public Radio

Some Wisconsin Democrats are calling for the GOP-controlled state Legislature to fund a statewide campaign to educate voters about Wisconsin’s newly enacted voter ID law.  State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, was joined at a Capitol news conference on Thursday by the Wisconsin League of Women Voters and poll workers from across the state, who shared challenges some voters faced during the presidential primary earlier this month. The primary was the first real test of the law, which went into effect earlier this year after a series of legal challenges. Though Republicans have said high turnout proves the voter ID law is working just fine, opponents to the law point to long lines at polling places and obstacles some voters faced while trying to cast a ballot. Read More


Wisconsin: Court ruling opens way for those without ID to vote | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

A panel of three federal judges opened up the possibility Tuesday that Wisconsin voters who have great difficulty getting photo IDs could cast ballots without them. The unanimous decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel keeps the voter ID law in place, but provides a potential way for those who can’t get IDs to vote. For now, such people can’t vote, and the case now returns to U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee for further proceedings. The opponents of the voter ID law hope to move quickly. Primaries for Congress and the Legislature are Aug. 9 and the fall election is Nov. 8. Tuesday’s ruling is targeted at those who have severe challenges getting photo IDs, such as people whose birth certificates contain errors or are no longer available. “The right to vote is personal and is not defeated by the fact that 99% of other people can secure the necessary credentials easily,” Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote for the panel. Read More

Wisconsin: Court sends part of voter ID case back to judge | Associated Press

A judge must consider whether Wisconsin’s voter photo identification law applies to people who face daunting obstacles in obtaining identification, a three-judge federal appellate panel ruled Tuesday. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 challenging the law. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman struck the law down in April 2014, saying it unfairly burdens poor and minority voters who may lack such identification. But a three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ultimately reversed him and upheld the law that October, ruling Wisconsin’s law is substantially similar to one in Indiana that the U.S. Supreme Court declared constitutional. The law was in effect for last week’s presidential primary. Read More

Wisconsin: Gerrymandering Case Going to Trial | AllGov

A challenge to what 12 Democratic voters claim is “one of the worst partisan gerrymanders in American history” is headed to trial in Wisconsin next month. The voters sued the individual members of Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board in 2015, claiming that Republican lawmakers secretly crafted and hurriedly passed a redistricting plan that would give them overwhelming – and unfair – control of the state legislature. The Government Accountability Board oversees election activity in the state. However, the panel is in the process of being dismantled as the result of reforms signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in December. In June it will be replaced with new elections and ethics commissions. On Dec. 17, 2015, a three-judge district court panel denied defendants’ motion to dismiss the case, concluding the plaintiffs’ allegations were sufficient to state a plausible claim. The defendants then filed a motion for summary judgment, which the three-judge panel denied (pdf) on Thursday. Read More

COLLEGEVOTE: Long lines and delays at the polls Tuesday at Marquette had a single cause: students who waited until the last second to register and get their proper IDs. At other universities that were more proactive voting went much smoother. Looking at best practices for college voting in the new era of tighter voting laws. Herzog.

Wisconsin: Registering to vote holds challenges for college students | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Long lines at polling places on several college campuses during last week’s primary election had at least one thing in common: students who waited until the last minute to register to vote. Due to new voting laws in Wisconsin, college students who are already juggling classes, homework and jobs have their work cut out for them before they can fill in an election ballot. If they don’t figure out what documents they need until election day, they may show up at the polls to register without the proper photo ID or proof of current address. That can create bottlenecks in voting wards with high student turnout. Student leaders on campuses in Wisconsin and elsewhere are figuring out creative ways to build excitement around registering to vote. That could be the key to managing a heavy voter turnout on election day in November, when a new crop of freshmen and out-of-state students will be eligible to cast ballots, along with upperclassmen who tend to move often and will have to fill out change-of-address forms. Read More

Wisconsin: Primary results expose hopes and fears of voter ID law | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Glenn Grothman pretty much said on Tuesday what everyone already knew: The state’s voter ID law, which requires voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, was all about power. It had nothing to do with voter fraud, of which there has been virtually none that a photo ID would stop. It had everything to do with boosting Republican odds at the polls. Asked by Charles Benson of WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) about GOP prospects this fall, the congressman said, “Well, I think Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up, and now we have photo ID and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.” And why is that? It’s because the Republican thinking (and the Democratic fear) was that it might help suppress voting by minorities and students, who often vote for Democrats. That’s certainly what a Republican legislative aide thought after a closed meeting in 2011, where voter ID was being discussed by legislators, including Grothman: “I was in the closed Senate Republican caucus when the final round of multiple voter ID bills were being discussed. A handful of the GOP senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters,” Todd Allbaugh wrote in a Facebook post. He reiterated those charges in a powerful interview with MSNBC Thursday night. Read More


Wisconsin: Statements about voter ID law renew controversy about GOP motivation | Wisconsin State Journal

Two separate comments about the state’s now fully operational voter ID law this week set off a tempest about why Republicans passed the law in the first place. On election night, U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman told a Milwaukee TV reporter that Republican presidential nominee has a chance of winning Wisconsin this year partly because “photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference.” Former GOP Senate aide Todd Allbaugh says he left the Republican Party because of its position on voter ID. Then on Wednesday, Todd Allbaugh, a former aide to Sen. Dale Schultz and U.S. Rep. Scott Klug, wrote on Facebook that the voter ID law was “the last straw” for why he left the Republican Party. Read More