A federal judge has thrown out portions of a challenge to Wisconsin’s voting laws but is allowing a key part of the lawsuit to proceed that could allow more types of identification to be used under the voter ID law. In his ruling last month, U.S. District Judge James Peterson in Madison also found the liberal One Wisconsin Institute could pursue its argument that recent restrictions on early voting violate the U.S. Constitution. The group brought its lawsuit in May, contending the voter ID law, limits on early voting and other policies were designed to make it harder for minorities, the poor and those backing Democrats to vote.
Peterson threw out the overarching challenge to the voter ID law because the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled in 2014 that the law is constitutional. But Peterson concluded the group could continue to press its claim that lawmakers had been too restrictive in deciding what types of IDs can be used for voting.
If the group prevails, a broader set of identification could be used at the polls, such as driver’s licenses from other states.
Allowed for voting under the law are Wisconsin driver’s licenses, state-issued ID cards, military IDs, passports, tribal IDs, naturalization certificates and college IDs. The college IDs must have signatures and expiration dates that show they are good for no more than two years; students must also show poll workers separate documentation that proves they are enrolled in school.