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Under the law — which was passed in 2011 — voters are required to show photo identification to poll workers before voting. Lawsuits were filed in 2011 almost immediately after the law was passed by several groups including the League of Women Voters, Milwaukee NAACP and Voces de la Frontera. However, a federal trial court struck down the law in April 2014, which was then overturned by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement that the law will be in place for future elections, but not the upcoming spring election on April 7.
“Our legal team did an outstanding job defending Wisconsin law, from the trial court to the U.S. Supreme Court. Absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters, therefore, the law cannot be implemented for the April 7 election. The Voter ID law will be in place for future elections – this decision is final.”
Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, issued the following statement:
“Although the Supreme Court has declined to take this case, it previously made clear that states may not impose new requirements for voting in the weeks before Election Day. The situation is even more compelling here because absentee ballots have already been mailed out for the April election, and early in-person voting has begun. Imposing a new restriction in the midst of an election will disenfranchise voters who have already cast their ballots. It is a recipe for disaster.”
Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) issued the following statement:
“After a needless four year delay by opponents, I’m glad the US Supreme Court has finally ruled that Wisconsin’s voter ID law is, and always was, constitutional. This common sense reform helps ensure integrity in our election process and holds true to our principle of one-person, one-vote.”
While Wisconsin Republicans are happy with the court’s decision, Texas has a similar law to Wisconsin that is also pending before a federal appeals court, which could eventually be considered in the U.S. Supreme court.