Wis. Supreme Court takes pass for now on voter ID - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

WI Supreme Court takes pass for now on voter ID

MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin voters will likely not have to show a photo ID in November's election.

That's after the state Supreme Court on Thursday, said it won't hear challenges to the state's voter ID law until a court of appeals hears the cases. The court turned down a request to have the cases bypass the appeals court.

This is a setback for Republicans who wanted voters to have to show photo ID to vote in November's election, because it's highly unlikely that the photo ID requirement will be reinstated in time for the election.

Republicans passed a bill last year that requires voters to show photo ID. But two Dane County judges said it impairs the right to vote. One of those lawsuits was filed by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. "We're ecstatic that no voters will be disenfranchised this November in Wisconsin because of an unconstitutional voter ID requirement," Executive Director Andrea Kaminski said.

Voter ID has become a hot issue around the country. Republicans say the measures would prevent voter fraud, while Democrats call them a political ploy to suppress voters. Kaminski said her non-partisan organization believes it's unconstitutional. She said, "This law created a third class of otherwise qualified citizens who couldn't vote and have it counted."

For one Republican lawmaker, one of the main reasons to pass the Voter ID law was for the presidential election. "If you're not going to decide before the November election, what was the sense of passing the law," state Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) told 27 News.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a statement Thursday afternoon in response to the orders from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
 
"The Voter ID law protects the integrity of our elections," Van Hollen said. "Injunctions entered by circuit court judges, acting alone, have already kept this law from being applied in several important elections over the past year. I am very disappointed that the Supreme Court has failed to act by denying the motions to consolidate these actions, bypass the Court of Appeals, and stay the injunctions against the Voter ID law. The result is that the injunctions against the Voter ID law remain in effect and will, in all likelihood, be in effect for the upcoming November elections. Despite this setback, I continue to believe that the Voter ID law is constitutional and I will continue the battle to have the law upheld."  

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate also released a statement: "Wisconsin's long tradition of expanding access to the vote caught a break today. While we oppose further efforts to erode the rights of Wisconsinites, it's good news for our small "d" democratic values here in Wisconsin that the Court opted to remove any confusion as voting begins."
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