Wisconsin’s Democratic members of Congress are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to review the state’s voter ID requirements and consider bringing a legal challenge to the law. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Reps Ron Kind, Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday urging her to consider suing over the law or intervening in an existing case. “The barriers these requirements have set up and the harmful impact they have had for many Wisconsin voters demonstrate that now is the time for a full and thorough review of the constitutionality of the voter ID law,” they wrote. The state’s first major test of its voter ID law came last month with the April 5 spring election and presidential primary. The election brought historic turnout as well as some long lines, prompting Republicans to dismiss claims it suppresses the vote and Democrats to argue it played a role in some delays. Lines of an hour or more were reported in a few locations statewide, especially near college campuses such as Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
On election day, U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) also drew headlines for saying that he thought the law would take Republicans a step closer to winning the presidential election in Wisconsin for the first time in 32 years, and a former legislative aide said he had quit the Republican Party over the voter ID law, calling it the “last straw.”
The Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about the lines and GOP comments in their letter to Lynch. “This election day, there were numerous press reports of long lines and significant challenges for many voters, particularly students, to comply with the requirements of the new law,” they wrote.