Wisconsin election officials were scrambling Monday to deal with a federal appeals court’s ruling reinstating the requirement that voters show photo identification when casting ballots. The law had been on hold, after being in effect only for the low-turnout February 2012 primary, following a series of court orders blocking it. But a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, just hours after hearing oral arguments, said late Friday that the state could proceed with implementing the law while it weighs the merits of the case. The decision came after a federal judge’ ruling in April struck down the law as an unconstitutional burden on poor and minority voters who may lack the required identification. The biggest immediate issue is what to do about more than 11,800 absentee ballots that have already been requested, and perhaps returned, without the voter showing the required identification, Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney said Monday.
The law requires people to submit photocopies of their IDs when requesting absentee ballots by mail, something that those who made their requests before Friday’s ruling didn’t have to do.
In Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, about 8,000 absentee ballots were requested but have not yet been mailed to voters, said Neil Albrecht, who’s in charge of elections there. Under the law, they have to be sent by Thursday, he said. “We’re all in a holding pattern right now waiting for clarification,” Albrecht said.
Full Article: News from The Associated Press.