February 14, 2016

GAB says Voter ID ruling should wait

State elections officials say they are concerned about the possible impact of a state Supreme Court ruling on the voter ID law before the November elections. If injunctions blocking the enforcement of the law were to be overturned, State Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney says they question if there would be enough time to implement the requirement before people head to the polls.

Dane County judges in two lawsuits have issued injunctions stopping implementation of the law, which requires voters to show a government issued photo ID at the polls. Both lawsuits are currently on appeal and Attorney General JB Van Hollen has asked the Supreme Court to intervene by combining the cases and lifting the injunctions.

AUDIO: Reid Magney, GAB (:17)

While Magney says some initial groundwork was done to train clerks and poll workers on the requirement, it’s not like you can “turn a switch on” and have them ready to go this close to an election. The photo ID requirement was in place for one election earlier this year, but injunctions have prevented its use since then.

Magney says there’s also concern that some people still do not have a valid form of photo ID that they can use to vote. He says a last minute change with less than two months to go before the election could force them to scramble to get one in time.

Mike Kemmeter, WHBY

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