Legal challenges to Wisconsin’s voter photo identification law have been underway for four years. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court might decide whether to rule on the law’s constitutionality. Justices blocked the photo ID law last fall – just weeks before the November election. Now, some organizers wonder if the justices could do an about-face, with only weeks left before next month’s election. “As has often occurred in the past, we find ourselves sort of in this moment of uncertainty – both voters and election administrators,” says Neil Albrecht, the City of Milwaukee’s election commissioner. Like others, he has prepared materials to inform people about the law. Then he put them away, pulled them out, and last fall put them back in storage, as courts changed the status of Wisconsin’s law.
A city warehouse holds piles of signs for polling places, describing acceptable forms of photo identification. The state’s voting information website contains a pop-up message, informing viewers that photo ID is not in effect at this time.
Things could change, depending on what the Supreme Court does. Oshkosh Republican state Rep. Michael Schraa is confident the justices would uphold Wisconsin’s law. He says the state based its law on Indiana’s. “Indiana has had their voter ID law in place since 2008. Their law was found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Schraa says.