Oct 6, 2015

Wisconsin Voter ID Challenge Is Back on Track

Veterans will cheat on Election Day, implies
Scott Walker
Update: Oral arguments were heard April 7, 2016 at the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for Frank v. Walker, (15-3582 Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker), arguing a narrower set of issues. One Wisconsin Institute v. Nichol (U.S. District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin (Case 15-cv-324)) is expected to got to trial in May or June 2016.

Update: Opinion and Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Permanent Injunction and Class Certification, and Dismissing Remaining Claims (PDF) (filed 10/19/15)

Hope is back Wisconsin voters can defeat Republican-backed photo voter ID obstruction.

Updated - Voting rights plaintiffs argued in a hearing October 5, 2015 a legal motion, moving for a permanent injunction, class certification, and judgment on remaining claims against the Republican-enacted Voter ID statute in the case, Ruthelle Frank, et al., v. Scott Walker et al (No. 14A352).

Though the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Frank (14-803) case in March, 2015 (MoritzLaw), yesterday's hearing in U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman's court breathes new life into the case. Adelman is a judge in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

While Gov. Scott Walker tweeted yesterday, "Our photo ID law makes it easy to vote but hard to cheat," voting rights advocates argued the opposite on behalf of veterans, low-income, elderly, minority, college and vocational students.

Wisconsin's photo voter ID law was crafted by Republicans to allow only a narrow range of IDs as a condition to vote, even disallowing the use of U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Veterans Health Identification Cards (VIC) (Mal Contends Sept. 2011; Mal Contends Nov. 2103; Mal Contends July 2012).

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 49,933 veterans are homeless on any given night (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans). Many homeless veterans have VICs as their only means of identification.

The AP reported today, "Attorney Sean Young, of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, asked for the judge to make changes in time for the February [2016] primary. He said the law as written violates the Constitution's equal protection clause." (Moore, ABC News)

Since March 2015, voting rights plaintiffs have made a series of motions in Frank revealing a strategy to ensure citizens can vote, as Scott Walker and Republicans work diligently to stop voters.

"Photo IDs issued by the Department of Veteran Affairs ... are not acceptable photo ID for voting purposes," is language no longer on the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Voter Photo ID Law-Frequently Asked Questions informational site, though this language was displayed in September 2011 (Mal Contends).

Another case against Wisconsin voter obstruction laws, One Wisconsin Institute v. Nichol, continues in the Western District of Wisconsin. The complaint was filed in May 2015.

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