February 14, 2016

Vos vows voter ID will be in place by 2014

As the legal battle continues over Wisconsin’s contentious voter ID requirement, the speaker of the state Assembly is pledging that he will make sure the law is in place before the November 2014 elections.

A state appeals court recently overturned an injunction issued in one lawsuit against the voter ID requirement, while an appeal of a second case and two federal lawsuits are still pending. The Assembly voted this week on an election reform bill that originally contained language to address issues brought up in the court cases, although the provisions were removed before the bill was brought to the floor and approved on Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) says the voter ID changes were dropped because of conflicting legal opinions surrounding the court cases. He says lawmakers remain confident the bill passed by the Legislature will survive the challenges, and he doesn’t “want to fix something that’s not broken.”

Vos is leaving the door open for acting on the changes later, saying they could come up again this fall as a stand-alone bill. Vos on Wednesday pledged “that we are going to make sure that we have whatever is necessary to take place, so that we have the opportunity to have a photo ID requirement in place by the November 2014 elections.”

AUDIO: Speaker Robin Vos (:11)

The law was approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor last session, but was only ever used in one election in early 2012. Injunctions issued in two separate legal challenges have kept the requirement for voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls on hold for over a year.

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