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State Witness: Voter ID Law Is ‘Fairly Restrictive’

The State Continued Its Defense Of Election Laws In Court On Wednesday

Michael Rosenstein (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A witness for the state’s defense called Wisconsin’s voter ID law “fairly restrictive” in federal court on Wednesday.

During cross examination, U.S. District Judge James Peterson asked the state’s witness, M.V. Hood, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia, how Wisconsin’s voter ID law compares to others across the country.

Hood said the law is “fairly restrictive,” citing the need for a photo ID to accompany all forms of voting in the state, including absentee ballots sent by mail.

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However, Hood also pointed out the state has taken steps to alleviate some potential challenges for voters.

“I think the state has continued to move to mitigate the effects of the law,” he said, adding that the state has “issued a tremendous number of free IDs” for voting.

According to numbers released by the state Division of Motor Vehicles, about 420,000 free IDs have been issued since the voter ID law was passed in 2011.

The majority of Hood’s testimony took aim at the claims of expert witnesses who took the stand last week for the liberal groups challenging the law. He said those witnesses were not able to make the case that the law is intentional racial discrimination.

The voter ID trial is expected to continue through Thursday.