Assembly Speaker Robin Vos vowed Wednesday that he will do everything possible to quickly reinstate the requirement that Wisconsin voters present a photo identification in time for the 2014 general election. “It’s my intention to get that bill through the Legislature … and be signed by the governor sometime this fall,” said Vos, R-Rochester. Vos made that promise just before the GOP-led Assembly approved a bipartisan elections-law bill that stripped a provision to resurrect voter ID. After that and other controversial elements were taken out of Assembly Bill 225 in committee Monday, Democrats signed on, and the measure passed the full Assembly on a voice vote Wednesday with a smattering of “no” votes.
The voter ID law Republicans passed in 2011 has been suspended as four legal challenges make their way through the courts. Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, sought to revive it through AB 225. But then Republicans and Democrats agreed to pull that language from the bill in an effort to increase campaign contribution limits and make it easier to register to vote.
Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, praised Republicans for agreeing to compromise by taking out what she called “voter suppression” efforts in the original bill. She called the final product “a mixed bag, at best.”
Speaking before the vote, chief sponsor Stone said the bill was an attempt to “find bipartisan agreement around some elections reforms that we can all support.”
The bill now heads to the Senate. But a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said it’s unclear whether it will get a vote before the Legislature takes its summer break at the end of June.