Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wisconsin's Attorney General To Appeal Temporary Voter ID Injunction

Photo: HNG

The GOP wants to keep more than 220, 000 voting-age minorities and elderly from voting in the April presidential election.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 8, 2012

Madison - On Wednesday, the Republican State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that he will appeal Dane County Judge David Flanagan's decision to grant a temporary injunction to halt the implementation of the Voter ID law for the April 3 presidential election. A hearing to continue the injunction is set for April 16, but Van Hollen is confident he will overturn Judge Flanagan's injunction before the April election.
Judge Flanagan believes that the Voter ID law will keep about 220,000 voting-age minority and elderly citizens from voting due to burdens that the law puts forth. Most of them can't afford to pay between $10 to $40 for a birth certificate and other barriers arise that keeps citizens from getting birth certificates.
The state provided at least $6 million to pay for free state ID's for the purpose of voting, but the Republican control legislature, the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) administration and Governor Scott Walker (R) believe that DMV workers shouldn't voluntarily offer free ID's unless those seeking them ask for them. But, the Milwaukee Chase Ave. DMV Service Center became the first agency to ignore a directive from public officials and the DMV administration not to voluntarily offer ID's several months ago and posted signs in both English and Spanish offering the free state ID's for voting purposes.
Van Hollen's appeal of Judge Flanagan's injunction could very well keep more than 220,000 avid statewide voters from actually voting in future elections, if they can't get the required documents to apply for a state ID to vote.
Van Hollen said, "The vast majority of eligible electors either has a qualifying photo ID or can obtain one without significant burdens. For the rest, the law makes accommodations to reduce any potential burden. These accommodations include a delayed effective date, a legislatively mandated educational campaign, a requirement that the Government Accountability Board provide assistance to electors in obtaining identification, and exemptions for military personnel, and those suffering from certain disabilities."
The Voter ID lawsuit was filed by the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera, a workers and immigrant rights non-profit organization. Both groups celebrated a victory on Tuesday and believe that Judge Flanagan made the right decision to block the Voter ID from implementation. Judge Flanagan says, the groups have enough just cause to prevail.
The Republican controlled legislature and the Wisconsin GOP are claiming that Judge Flanagan should have excused himself from the case because in November he signed his wife's Recall Scott Walker petition. Walker signed the Voter ID bill into law.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) on Wednesday filed a complaint against Dane County Judge Flanagan with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission claiming Flanagan failed to disclose that he signed a recall Walker petition. The RPW requested "a full investigation be conducted into the failure of Dane County Judge David Flanagan to maintain the appearance of impartiality in the Voter ID case before his court. Governor Walker is listed as a defendant in the case, and by signing a petition to recall the Governor, Judge Flanagan made his bias clear." (RPW's Judge Flanagan complaint at link:
The Republicans are accused by Democrats of trying to keep low-income minorities from voting to set the stage for a Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin in an efford to oust President Barack H. Obama (D-IL) from office in 2012.

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