MADISON (WKOW) -- The Voter ID bill debated into the early hours of Wednesday morning ended the night without a final vote.
Senate Democrats objected to the bill's third and final reading, after almost 30 amendments to the bill were presented, debated, and voted down.
At 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night, a person in the gallery caused a small disturbance, shouting down at the chamber floor. This caused Senate officials to ask the person to leave. No other disturbances were noticed after that.
At 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, all amendments to the bill had been presented, debated, and voted down, and shortly after, the Senate went into recess, returning around 1:00 a.m. However, just before recess, consent to read the bill for the third and final time on the floor was objected to by a Democratic senator, meaning it could not be voted on.
By Senate rules, the issue cannot come back up before the thirteenth order of business in the next session, which will begin Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m.
The State Senate adjourned for the night a little after 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.
In a statement e-mailed out during the recess, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said, "Clean, fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and anyone who votes legally deserves to know that their vote matters. Right now in Wisconsin, the law is so loose that the only voter ID you need is someone else's say-so.
"Despite the rhetoric and scare tactics to the contrary, Photo ID is a reasonable, commonsense requirement. Frankly, the vast majority of Wisconsin is probably wondering what all the fuss is about.
"Anyone who casts a vote deserves to have the full faith that their vote isn't getting canceled out by someone else's fraud."
And shortly after the session adjourned, State Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) sent out a release stating, "Early this morning, Senate Democrats again used stall tactics to delay a vote on needed legislation. The Democrats used a procedural maneuver to stand in the way of approval of long-overdue voter ID legislation.
"The vast majority of Wisconsinites support requiring photo identification to vote. By preventing a vote on Assembly Bill 7 tonight, the Senate Democrats again demonstrate they are out of touch with the average Wisconsin voter that wants to know their vote counts."
As of 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, no Senate Democrats offered comment on the events in the chamber.
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