Voter ID Opponents Officially Ask Full Appeals Court To Reconsider Reinstatement Of Law

Petition Asks For Rarely Granted 'En Banc' Session

ACLU attorney Dale Ho, right, said the reinstatement of Wisconsin's voter ID law is unprecedented. Photo: Shawn Johnson/WPR News.

Opponents of Wisconsin’s voter ID law have officially filed a petition with a federal appeals court in Chicago asking it to reconsider an order that reinstated the law, arguing that it was issued while Wisconsin’s election was already underway.

A three-judge panel reinstated voter ID late last Friday, just hours after hearing arguments in the case. The American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs now want the full U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case, in what’s known as an en banc session. A majority of the court’s judges would first have to agree to hold such a session.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Dale Ho said that no court has ever let an ID law like Wisconsin’s go into effect this close to an election. On top of that, Ho said that nearly 12,000 absentee ballots were mailed without photo ID instructions and hundreds of absentee votes have already been cast.

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“So those voters right now, their ballots are going to be thrown in the trash unless someone reaches out to them, explains to them what they need to do and they follow up, and we think that’s highly unlikely,” said Ho.

The state Government Accountability Board said this week that implementing voter ID this close to an election would not be easy, but that the board and municipal clerks were up to the challenge.

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