Friday, September 12, 2014

Wisconsin Voter ID Injunction Lifted By Three Federal Judge Panel In Chicago

Wisconsin voters will now be required to present a valid state photo ID for the upcoming November elections.

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 12, 2014

Chicago, Illinois - On Friday, a panel of three federal judges from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled to lift the Wisconsin Voter ID injunction. Wisconsin can now move forward to require state voters to present a valid state photo ID to vote in the upcoming November elections.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement after the ruling of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in the matters of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Wisconsin, et al. v. David G. Deininger, et al., and Ruthelle Frank, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al.
Van Hollen stated, "Today's decision is a victory for common sense, fair elections, and the right of every eligible voter to cast a vote that will count. This ruling vindicates the law and our efforts to ensure the policy of this state will be in effect for November's election.
"My staff and I will work with the Government Accountability Board to ensure every eligible voter will be able to cast a ballot." 
"Act 23 became law more than three years ago.  The United States Supreme Court held that voter ID laws are constitutional more than six years ago.  It is well past time that Wisconsin's law, overwhelmingly supported by Wisconsin citizens, be in effect so they can have confidence that every vote cast is that of an eligible voter, and that no citizen's vote has been stolen or diluted," Van Hollen also said.
On April 29, 2014, Judge Lynn Adelman entered judgment in Plaintiffs' favor and entered a permanent injunction enjoining enforcement of the voter photo ID requirement in 2011 Wisconsin Act 23.  On May 12, 2014, the State filed appeals in Frank v. Walker and LULAC v. Deininger, according to Van Hollen. 
Governor Scott Walker released the following statement, "This ruling is a win for the electoral process and voters of Wisconsin. Voter ID is a common sense reform that protects the integrity of our voting process. It's important that voters have confidence in the system. Today's ruling makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat."
Also on Friday, State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milw.) from the 8th Assembly District said, "This ruling will disenfranchise Wisconsin voters and lower voter turnout in this fall's election."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett stated, "We think this is a step back in time to the era prior to the Voting Rights Act that established fairness in elections. We continue to advocate with the legislature to encourage voter participation, not discourage it. There is a disparity in the population that will be most affected---people in poverty, students and seniors. While it is just 45 days prior to the Election, with an anticipated voter turnout comparable to a presidential election, the City of Milwaukee will be prepared and do everything to ensure its residents still have a smooth voting experience."
Chris Ahmuty, ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director stated, "We are very disappointed in the irresponsible decision to lift the injunction against Voter ID, which will cause chaos and disruption for voters and elections workers for the November election. The state has not demonstrated it is prepared to make this new ID scheme work. The new procedures were presented at the last second and it is unclear whether or how they will work in time to ensure that eligible voters are actually able to vote. It has not demonstrated how it will train 1,852 municipal clerks and tens of thousands of poll workers, as well as notifying voters of the new rules. We will continue to review and closely monitor this decision." 
James H. Hall Jr., President of the NAACP stated, "NAACP still believes it is a bad law and a discriminatory law and has the potential to disenfranchise many individuals who otherwise would be voters. We will continue to represent disenfranchised persons and advocate for their voting rights. This may include assisting them to get identification, filing administrative appeals where appropriate or possibly pursuing other litigation.
Most importantly, all must register and vote in the November election. Every effort must be made to over-come hurdles to get the required identification in a timely manner in order to vote in the November election."

Friday's Voter ID ruling at following link (PDF):

No comments: