Moving swiftly, a federal judge on Thursday struck down limits on early voting that Republican lawmakers approved last month in a lame-duck session. In a five-page ruling, U.S. District Judge James Peterson concluded the new limits on early voting are invalid because they so closely mirror ones he struck down as unconstitutional in 2016. His decision also threw out parts of the lame-duck laws affecting IDs and other credentials that can be used for voting. “This is not a close question: the three challenged provisions are clearly inconsistent with the (2016) injunctions that the court has issued in this case,” Peterson wrote.
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke said he had not yet studied the ruling and did not know what steps GOP lawmakers might consider.
Peterson in 2016 invalidated similar restrictions on early voting that Republicans had put in place. That ruling came as part of a sweeping order that struck down other Wisconsin voting laws and forced changes in how the state accommodates people who have difficulty getting IDs for voting.