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Wisconsin Voter ID Trial Wraps Up With Verdict Expected In July

Arguments In The 9-Day Federal Trial Ended In Madison On Thursday

whiteafrican (CC-BY)

A verdict in a federal trial on Wisconsin’s voter ID law is expected by late July, according to the judge presiding over the case. Arguments in the trial ended Thursday in Madison.

Judge James Peterson said his anticipated late-July decision will come too close to the Aug. 9 partisan primary to affect that election.

“Whatever I find, the decision will have no impact on the August election,” he said. “Realistically, the August election is going to be shortly after this decision comes out.”

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Peterson thanked lawyers on both sides for their arguments in the nine-day trial, and joked his forthcoming decision is likely to make both sides unhappy.

“I’m sure whatever I do will make one side or the other unhappy,” he said. “There’s a good chance both sides will be unhappy, which, I guess, would be justice.”

The trial examined whether Wisconsin’s voter ID law places a disproportionate burden on certain populations, including minorities and young people.

The liberal groups challenging the law say it, and more than a dozen other election-related laws enacted since 2011, target voters who tend to support Democratic candidates. The state’s lawyers said no such targeting exists, and pointed to high turnout in this spring’s presidential primary as proof the law doesn’t create barriers to voting.

Whatever the judge’s decision, it’s likely to be appealed to a higher court.