A series of changes to Wisconsin election laws including a voter ID requirement hasn’t negatively affected voting in suburban communities near Milwaukee, city and county clerks testified in federal court Tuesday. “From the start, we have had virtually no problems at all,” said Waukesha County clerk Kathleen Novack. Their testimony came as the state began its defense in a trial challenging voting policies signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker between 2011 and 2015 including restrictions on early voting hours and locations, the elimination of straight-ticket voting and the photo identification requirement. The lawsuit contends those changes place a disproportionate burden on non-white voters. Tuesday marked the seventh day of the trial, which is expected to last almost two weeks.
Attorneys for the state argue the plaintiffs are using anecdotal, “one-in-a-million” cases as an argument to strike down the laws. They have noted the state’s increased turnout in elections that have occurred since the voter ID law was passed in 2011 and emphasized that the state Department of Motor Vehicles provides free IDs to those who need them.
Cedarburg city clerk Constance McHugh testified that a policy limiting in-person absentee voting to one location allows her to have more control over the process, and said she believes more than one location would be confusing for Cedarburg voters.
McHugh said she hasn’t seen long lines or other complications as a result of the photo ID requirement, and said voters in her community have been pleased to have it in place.