State Will Appeal the Court's Decision
MacIver News Service | April 30, 2014
[Milwaukee, Wisc...] A federal judge invalidated 2011 Act 23, Wisconsin's Voter ID law, in a court decision published on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman struck down the Voter ID law because he said it would impose undue burden on voters without proper identification, specifically low-income individuals, and the state did not provide proof that the law would curb fraudulent in-person voting.
"I conclude that Act 23 does not further the state's interest in promoting confidence in the electoral process," Adelman wrote in his decision.
In the decision, Adelman highlights the obstacles of a low-income voter that attempts to get an ID, including costs of getting to the DMV, costs of getting the necessary items to obtain an ID, like a birth certificate, and the time lost during the process.
"Given the obstacles identified above, it is likely that a substantial number of the 300,000 plus voters who lack a qualifying ID will be deterred from voting," Adelman wrote. "Although not every voter will face all of these obstacles, many voters will face some of them, particularly those who are low income."
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen disagreed with the decision and said the state will appeal.
"I am disappointed with the order and continue to believe Wisconsin's law is constitutional," Van Hollen said. "We will appeal."
Governor Scott Walker did not issue an official press release but instead suggested on Twitter that he believes the law is constitutional and "will ultimately be upheld."
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) expressed disappointment with the ruling and pledged that "Senate Republicans remain committed to Photo ID in Wisconsin, and will continue to review our options in light of today's ruling and any potential action by the State Supreme Court."
Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) saw the decision differently, declaring "today is a historic day in Wisconsin as one of the most disenfranchising laws that push us back towards the Jim Crow Era has been overturned by another court."
Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) pledged his cooperation to work with Governor Scott Walker and the Senate to move quickly on a new Photo ID law.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is also currently reviewing two cases against the state's Voter ID law and heard oral arguments in February. A decision from the state's highest court is expected early in the summer.