A Wisconsin judge agreed on Thursday to hear a challenge to the state’s new voter ID law, passed last year by lawmakers concerned about ballot-box fraud but which critics say suppresses voting by the elderly and poor. The decision clears the way for arguments to be heard on March 9 in the suit, which attempts to overturn the law on the grounds it violates the state constitution.
Dane County Judge Richard Neiss said he believed constitutional concerns raised by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, which filed the suit, deserved to be heard. But Neiss also agreed to hear an objection raised by the state Department of Justice, which is defending the law and contends the League lacks standing to bring the action.
The Republican-controlled legislature passed the voter ID law last year, requiring voters to present identification such as a driver’s license, state ID or passport at polling places when they vote.