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Second Judge Blocks Wisconsin Voter Suppression Law

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A second Wisconsin judge has found that the state's voter ID restriction—built on a template from the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—creates a “substantial impairment of the right to vote” and violates the state’s constitution.  

Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan wrote the law passed last year by the then-Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R):

tells more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters who do not now have an acceptable form of photo identification that they cannot vote unless they first obtain a photo ID card….That is a lot of people, and most of them are already registered voters.

Flanagan noted that since 2004, voter fraud investigations have been undertaken by the Milwaukee Police Department, the mayor of Milwaukee and by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, working with various county prosecutors working through the Attorney General's Election Fraud Task Force.

None of these efforts have produced a prosecution of a voter fraud violation that would have been prevented by the voter ID requirements of Act 23.

Flanagan issued a temporary injunction in March and he is the second state judge to rule against the voter suppression law. Another Dane County judge, Richard Niess, permanently blocked the voter ID law in March in a separate case.

The Center for Media and Democracy’s (CMD's) PR Watch says that Wisconsin's voter ID law:

bears many elements of the ALEC model Voter ID Act, as do the dozens of voter ID bills that have been moving in state legislatures in recent years. Republican Rep. Robin Vos, the ALEC state co-chair in Wisconsin, spearheaded the effort to pass the bill in 2011, which reflects key elements of the ALEC "model" Voter ID Act.

In May, we reported on the “extraordinary influence” ALEC has had in the Wisconsin legislature. Click here for more and here for CMD’s ALEC Exposed.

Learn how to protect your voting rights at our "My Vote, My Right" website here.

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