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Walker: No Special Legislative Session To Change Voter ID Law

Calls Federal Judge's Reasoning "Racially Insensitive"

DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel with Gov. Scott Walker
Maureen McCollum/WPR

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said there will be no special legislative session to craft a new voter ID law. He made the comments Thursday at a stop in La Crosse, days after U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman struck down the law.

Walker’s comments come after Republican legislative leaders suggested there would be no time for a voter ID special session. Walker says Judge Adelman did not leave any clues in his ruling as to how the Legislature could tweak the law in order to uphold it.

Judge Adelman decided to strike down the voter ID law, saying it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it disproportionately affected black and Latino voters.

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Walker called that reasoning racially insensitive.

“I think that’s an insensitive comment, to imply that one group or another is more or less likely to be able to get a driver’s license or photo ID card,” Walker said. “I think it’s pretty clear that people—regardless of race, regardless of income—have perfectly acceptable access to getting identification in the state of Wisconsin.”

Also in his ruling, Judge Adelman found that there was virtually no voter fraud in Wisconsin and it was unlikely to become a problem in the future.

Walker said that whether it’s one or 100,000 fraudulent votes, it’s a problem.

“The question I have for him or anyone else is, ‘Ok, tell me, identify which person it’s alright to have their vote canceled on?’ Because if there’s one vote cast by someone who’s not legal to vote in this state, that means at least one legitimate citizen of this state has had their vote canceled out by someone who voted illegally,” Walker said.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he will appeal the judge’s decision, because he believes the voter ID law is constitutional.