The Wisconsin state Senate’s Republican leadership favors a special session to address voter ID as opposed to taking up legislation passed by the Assembly in November in the remaining weeks of the 2013-14 legislative session. Myranda Tanck, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Senate Republicans would prefer to see how the state Supreme Court rules on the voter ID bill that Gov. Scott Walker signed three years ago. That law has since been struck down by two Dane County Circuit Court judges.
Walker indicated on Friday that the special session may not be necessary if the Senate passes a voter ID bill that passed the Assembly in November. That bill largely replicates the language of the law currently tied up in the courts, except that it exempts those who sign an affidavit pledging that they are indigent from the photo ID requirement. That provision was inserted to address concerns that the ID requirement disproportionately disenfranchised the poor.
If the Supreme Court upholds all or part of the lower court rulings, Fitzgerald supports the governor’s pledge to convene a special session of the legislature to pass new legislation on the matter. Presumably a new bill would be crafted in a manner to address whatever concerns the Supreme Court might identify in the legislation. But Fitzgerald is not interested in taking up the Assembly bill.