With two special elections looming next month and one to fill a vacancy in the state Senate coming later this year, opponents of Wisconsin’s new voter identification law want a federal court to expand the number of IDs that voters can show at the polls. The legal fight comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court last month rejecting a challenge to the law’s constitutionality. The issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union in the challenge to the law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011, remain unresolved. Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights project, said Monday that it’s unclear when the legal fight will end.
The ACLU wants the state to accept out-of-state driver’s licenses and photo identification cards issued both to veterans and to students at two-year technical colleges. It also wants voters without any of the required IDs to be allowed to sign an affidavit at the polls affirming their identity so they could vote immediately.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice objected in court filings Friday, saying the ACLU is asking the court to rewrite the law. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman is expected to rule sometime after the ACLU’s deadline to respond on May 15.
Under the law, voters must show one of the following in order to vote: a Wisconsin driver’s license or state ID card, a U.S. passport, military ID card, college IDs meeting certain requirements, naturalization certificates or IDs issued by a Wisconsin-based American Indian tribe.