The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Wisconsin’s new voter ID laws are constitutional, meaning that those heading to the polls in November will need to show ID before casting a vote.

Via ABC News:

State elections officials are preparing for the photo ID law to be in effect for the Nov. 4 election, even as opponents continue their legal fight. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project asked the U.S. Supreme Court last week to take emergency action and block the law.

A lower court judge, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, struck the law down as unconstitutional in April, saying it unfairly burdens poor and minority voters who may lack such identification. Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the 7th Circuit to overturn that ruling.

The three-judge panel agreed with Van Hollen. The judges said Wisconsin’s law is substantially similar to one in Indiana that the U.S Supreme Court declared was constitutional.

Last month, the same panel of the 7th Circuit issued a short Order vacating the district court injunction staying enforcement of the law, and instead held that the voter ID laws would indeed be in effect for this November’s election. The court indicated that a full decision on the merits would be forthcoming.

Progressive activists in Wisconsin and across the country had a meltdown following the ruling:

“You’re gonna have confusion. You’re gonna have to chaos — and the best thing to do is for the Supreme Court to step in and say ‘let’s take a deep breath here,’” ACLU of Wisconsin Director, Chris Ahmuty said.

The ACLU argues one month isn’t enough time for some voters without photo IDs to get one. Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), who supports the law, says she’s open to extending hours at DMV locations.

“Let’s see how it goes in the next couple of weeks in terms of the demand, and see what we need to do. I think that could be an option if there’s a rush on the DMVs,” Senator Darling said.

“Let’s see how this goes for a couple of weeks?! That’s really incredible. The election will practically be here,” Ahmuty said.

This would still be a persuasive argument if Wisconsin officials hadn’t been preparing for this exact moment since they found out that the Court would most likely hold in favor of the new voter ID laws, but that’s not stopping some from doing everything they can to try to convince Wisconsin voters that they’re being victimized:

Walker’s supporters are more likely than Burke’s to show up at the polls in the first place. According to Marquette University’s latest polls, Walker leads by a five-point margin among those who say they are certain to vote. But, among those who aren’t as certain they’ll make it to the polls, Burke leads by an eleven-point margin. This gap is common in midterm elections, since Republican voters—usually white, wealthy, and older—have more time and resources to make it to polling stations for the elections that get less hype. The voter ID law might deepen this disparity, since it creates one more barrier to vote for those already on the fence.

There it is: Scott Walker might win because of this law, ergo, DOOM.

The legal challenges will continue after November, but at least for now, Wisconsin’s laws are backed by the Courts.

You can read the opinion here.

Wisconsin Voter ID Merits Opinion – 7th Circuit


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