Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the state Supreme Court to reinstate a voter identification law before the Nov. 6 elections. The law would require otherwise-eligible voters to present a government-issued photo ID before being allowed to cast ballots. It was declared unconstitutional March 12 by Circuit Judge Richard G. Niess in Madison. A second judge, David T. Flanagan, ruled the law invalid July 17 after a nonjury trial. The attorney general appealed both rulings on the state’s behalf. “While I respect the judicial process and the right to challenge a law in court, it is time for our Supreme Court to take control of these cases,” the Republican attorney general said in a statement.
Papers seeking a bypass of the state’s intermediate appellate court, consolidation of the cases and a high-court injunction were filed by the state with the Supreme Court in Madison just before noon, said Dana Brueck, a spokeswoman for Van Hollen. Fights over voting access are intensifying in swing states, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns see a possibility of victory. Voter cases are also under way in Alabama, Texas and South Carolina.