Senate Republicans gave initial approval early Wednesday to a bill requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls, but Democrats blocked a final vote on the measure until Thursday.
Senators signaled their approval of the bill on a voice vote, with Republicans who control the house voting for it and Democrats opposed. That vote came at 12:30 a.m., after more than 10 hours of debate, but Democrats used Senate rules to prevent the final vote.
Senators will reconvene at 9 a.m. Thursday on the bill.
The law severely restricts absentee voting (see an update on that here), lengthens residency requirements, and requires state-issued photo ID at the polls (update on that provision here). The absentee and residency requirements will go into effect before the recall elections, although the photo ID requirements will go into effect next year.
I'd write that I'm shocked a party facing recall elections is about to pass a law making it more difficult to vote in those recall elections, but sadly it isn't shocking at all. Limiting voting from Democratic-leaning demographic groups—in this case students, the poor, and those without cars—is a long-standing Republican tactic. Combined with Republican attempts to remove all limits on corporate spending in politics, it's part of a strategy to structurally alter the electorate in their favor.
We're going to keep fighting back. Today on Orange to Blue, we've added the final two Democrats, Sandy Pasch and Nancy Nusbaum, who are challenging Republican state Senators in recall elections. So, you can now contribute to all six of the Democratic challengers in one place. Please, chip in $6 to support the effort to take back the Wisconsin state Senate.