Recent court decisions in Wisconsin and Arkansas may not have direct application to Oklahoma’s voter ID law, but they do give heart to those challenging it, University of Tulsa law professor Jim Thomas said last week. “When I saw the Wisconsin decision, saw it was 91 pages, I was excited,” said Thomas. “It shows the attention the court gave to this case. It increased my confidence that Oklahoma’s law will be struck down.” Thomas represents Tulsan Delilah Christine Gentges in a case now before an Oklahoma County District Court. The lawsuit has followed a winding trail that has taken it from Tulsa County District Court to the Oklahoma Supreme Court and now to Oklahoma County.
To date, the state Supreme Court has ruled only on procedural issues, though one of those — that Gentges had standing to sue the state over its voter ID law — was an important one.
The next step is for the Oklahoma County District Court to decide whether the case will be heard there or in Tulsa County. It is almost certain to eventually wind up with the Supreme Court at least once more.
Gentges’ primary argument is that the voter ID law violates the state Constitution’s requirement that “(a)ll elections shall be free and equal. No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage. …”