The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday it will not rehear its decision allowing Wisconsin’s voter identification law to be implemented for the Nov. 4 election. The court said in a seven-sentence order that it was equally divided on whether to take up a request to reconsider a Sept. 12 decision allowing for the law to go forward while it considers the merits of the case. That means the 10-judge panel was one vote short of reconsidering the earlier decision, as requested by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project. The groups argued that implementing voter ID so close to the election will create chaos at the polls, undermining election integrity and public confidence.
Opponents are evaluating whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Jeremy Rosen, an attorney with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. That group joined the ACLU and the Advancement Project in challenging the law.
Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez, director of voter protection with the Advancement Project, said the decision wasn’t unexpected — the court rarely grants such requests — but was still disappointing. “We think of this as a very mistaken decision,” she said. “There’s going to be disenfranchisement in November. (Republicans) are manipulating the system for their own political gain.”