The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Fund will challenge Wisconsin’s new Voter ID law based on the state constitution. As a nonpartisan organization that encourages participation in government, the league is concerned about voter disenfranchisement and as a result is is working with Attorney Lester Pines of Cullen Weston Pines & Bach to challenge the legislature’s authority to enact the law.
“The League of Women Voters has been fighting for open and fair elections ever since its founding by the suffragists who won the right to vote for women in 1920. Our Wisconsin state constitution specifically protects the right to vote and limits what the legislature can do to exclude eligible citizens,” said Melanie G. Ramey, president of the Wisconsin League of Women Voters.
According to information from the league, his challenge is different from lawsuits brought in other states against voter ID laws because it is based on the Wisconsin state constitution. The suffrage or voting portion of the state constitution defines who may vote (citizens, 18 years of age or older, residents of Wisconsin) and specifies the permitted subjects relating to suffrage on which the legislature may enact laws: defining residency; providing for voter registration; providing for absentee voting; excluding felons and persons adjudicated incompetent from suffrage; and extending the right of suffrage to additional persons.
The state constitution specifically limits the classes of citizens who may be excluded to the two named classes – felons and people ruled incompetent, reads information from the league.
“Some people say that you have to show ID to use the library, cash checks, and so on. That is very different than a right that is guaranteed by the constitution of the state or federal government. Those transactions are generally based on personal business decisions of companies or other entities. They are not rights of citizenship,” Ramey said.
The current lawsuit effort would challenge the Legislature’s authority to enact this law which creates a third class of citizens who may not vote – those who do not have ID.
Full Article: Voter ID Law Faces Legal Challenge | Ashland Current.