Appeals Court Rejects One Challenge To Voter ID Law


A state appeals court has rejected one constitutional challenge to the state’s new voter ID law, while other challenges continue.

Today’s ruling says the League of Women Voters failed to provide sufficient evidence that requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls is “so burdensome that it effectively denies potential voters their right to vote,” which would violate the state’s Constitution.

The League’s attorney, Lester Pines, says the evidence missing from the League’s case exists, and has been submitted in another case challenging the law. That case is currently pending before another state appeals court. He says in that case, brought by the NAACP, Dane County Judge David Flanagan heard hours of testimony on the burden the new law places on voters who don’t have photo identification.

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“Judge Flanagan made substantial findings of fact about the problems with this law. [Today’s] decision was very tightly written so as not to pre-decide the case that’s before [the appeals court in] District II.”

Pines says he hasn’t decided whether to appeal the ruling. He says even if the NAACP challenge is overturned, there are two cases pending in federal court in Milwaukee, where Judge Lynn Adelman has said he won’t rule until the state challenges are finally decided.

“So there’s a federal challenge under the Voting Rights Act that’s just sitting out there. So Voter ID is not going to be the law in Wisconsin: not at any time in the near future. “

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen praised today’s decision as a step towards finally implementing the law but acknowledged the legal battle to uphold it isn’t over.