Wisconsin’s attorney general asked a federal appeals court to revive the state’s suspended voter identification law in time for the November elections. The law, which requires would-be voters to present a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot, was blocked in an April ruling by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee. He concluded after a trial that the measure illegally makes it more difficult for minority voters to cast ballots. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, in his request filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, cited two rulings handed down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week, upholding the measure enacted by Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2011.
Lawsuits over voting rights have intensified in the run-up to this year’s Nov. 4 election with fights over proof of identity, proof of citizenship, balloting hours and composition of electoral districts. Opponents of identification requirements argue the laws suppress turnout by minority voters who are likely to vote for Democrats.
Van Hollen, a Republican, contends Adelman erred in his constitutional analysis and that the state’s Supreme Court had created an exception for those who need identification and can’t get it without paying a government agency for a birth certificate or other documentation. That provision reduces the burden on voters, Van Hollen said.