Wisconsin can Enforce Voter ID Law in November Election “If It Wishes”

MacIver News Service | September 12, 2014

[Chicago, Ill…] The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stayed an injunction against Wisconsin’s voter identification law on Friday afternoon, opening the door for the law to be enforced in November’s election.

While the state Supreme Court upheld the state’s voter ID law, a federal district court found it to be unconstitutional and prohibited the state from enforcing the law. With today’s decision, the state can now enforce the law as it is written.

“Having read the briefs and heard oral argument, this court now stays the injunction issued by the district court,” the court’s order reads. “The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections.”

The decision claims changes that make it easier to obtain a photo ID were critical to staying the injunction.

“After the district court’s decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revised the procedures to make it easier for persons who have difficulty affording any fees to obtain the birth certificates or other documentation needed under the law, or to have the need for documentation waived,” the order continues. “The panel has concluded that the state’s probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court.”

The Seventh Circuit did not overturn the lower court’s decision, but at least temporarily the state can enforce its voter ID law.

Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) indicated the state will implement voter ID in the upcoming election.

“The G.A.B. is taking every step to implement the voter photo ID law for the November Election and will have more details next week,” the GAB said in a tweet.