Glorious late-in-the-day news, on the very day that the Democrats take the reins in the Wisconsin State Senate!
Yet another judge has issued a permanent injunction against the Walker/ALEC Voter ID law. It is now extremely unlikely that Voter ID will be in force for the November elections.
This is now the second Dane County judge to declare the Voter ID law to be contrary to the Wisconsin Constitution, wherein Article 3, sections 1 & 2 define an unusually robust (among the states) right to vote.
More beyond the fleur de Kos!
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Second judge rejects state voter ID law; Requirement will not be in place for fall elections
A second judge has declared Wisconsin's voter ID law unconstitutional, further guaranteeing that the ID requirement will not be in place for elections this fall.The first judge to issue a permanent injunction was Dane County judge Richard Niess in March, responding to a case against the law brought by the League of Women Voters. Niess' ruling ensured that the ID requirement was not in place during the recall elections, though other changes (length of residency, signing a poll book) were allowed to go forward. This new decision applies to a different suit against the same law, brought by the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera.
Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan wrote Tuesday that the state's requirement that all voters show photo ID at the polls creates a "substantial impairment of the right to vote" guaranteed by the state constitution.
Again from the Journal Sentinel:
Having a second ruling against the law makes it all the more difficult for voter ID proponents to get the law reinstated because they would need to get both orders lifted.Expert testimony estimated that over 300,000 eligible voters in Wisconsin have neither a driver's license nor a state ID. State IDs themselves, when acquired for the purpose of voting, are now free in Wisconsin. However, one needs a birth certificate to get the ID, a document which is NOT free (if indeed, for some people, it even exists). This was the key point in the decision:
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the state Supreme Court to take up both cases earlier this year to get a quick resolution to them, but the court declined. The state's high court is expected to eventually take the cases. Meanwhile, two other challenges to the law have been filed in federal court.
Van Hollen has appealed the ruling in the League of Women Voters case to an appeals court in Madison. That court is not expected to rule until after November, meaning photo IDs will not be required at the polls in the Aug. 14 primary and Nov. 6 election.
The cost and the difficulty of obtaining documents necessary to apply for a (Division of Motor Vehicles) photo ID is a substantial burden which falls most heavily upon low-income individuals.The ALEC thumb on the scale of democracy that is Voter ID will NOT be weighing down the Wisconsin elections this fall. Hurrah!