Voter ID Federal Lawsuit Scheduled for November

MacIver News Service | August 12, 2013

[Milwaukee, Wisc…] A federal lawsuit against Governor Scott Walker over Voter ID is scheduled to begin on November 4th, according to the ACLU and the United States District Court’s Eastern District of Wisconsin.

“This action seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against Wisconsin state officials’ enforcement of 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 (the “photo ID law”), which requires voters in Wisconsin to present photo identification in order to cast their votes either in person at a polling place or by absentee ballot. This requirement went into effect on February 21, 2012, the date of Wisconsin’s spring primary,” the complaint reads. “This lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment that the photo ID law is unconstitutional as applied to certain classes of eligible Wisconsin voters and to enjoin its enforcement with respect to these classes.”

The lead Plaintiff in the case, Ruthelle Frank, told the MacIver News Service on Monday that she has not yet been notified about the case going to trial.

“How can it be me when I haven’t been notified?” she asked.

Frank said she worked with the ACLU on the case, and recommended MNS contact them. Sarah Karen, ACLU of Wisconsin’s media contact, confirmed the case is going to trial.

“I just found out about it this weekend,” Karen told MNS. She said they were currently contacting the plaintiffs.

A press release from the ACLU in 2011 described the case and its lead plaintiff:

The ACLU and the Law Center filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on behalf of 17 eligible Wisconsin voters who may not be able to vote under the law. They include: Ruthelle Frank, 84, of Brokaw, who does not have a birth certificate. When she was born at home in 1927, her mother recorded her birth in the family Bible. Under Wisconsin’s law, she is unable to obtain an ID needed to vote. She herself is an elected official, having served on her village board since 1996.

“They said they would call to tell me if I could vote without an ID or where I could go to get an ID,” Frank told MNS. “I’ve voted in the last couple of elections without one.”

MNS also left a message for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

(Thumbnail Photo of Ruthelle Frank courtesy of ACLU-Wisconsin)