October 24, 2014

Van Hollen wants voter ID law in place by November

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he will fight to remove the final roadblocks keeping Wisconsin’s voter ID requirement from being enforced, with the goal of having it back in place before the general election in November.

While the state Supreme Court says Wisconsin’s requirement that voters show a government-issued photo ID at the polls is constitutional, the law remains on hold because of an ongoing federal challenge. Van Hollen says he will continue pushing for a stay of that decision and “it’s time for the will of the people to be implemented, and to not have to go through another significant election without voter ID in place.”

The Department of Justice has filed an appeal of U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman’s April ruling in federal court that also found the law is unconstitutional, but it has not been taken up yet.

Lawmakers could also come back to the Capitol to vote on changes to the law that address the issues brought up by the federal court. Van Hollen says that’s possible, but his conversations with lawmakers so far have indicated a willingness to wait for the issue to get worked out in the courts. “I think the decision has been made that we want to make sure the legitimacy of our legislative decisions is upheld by the court.”

Wisconsin’s voter ID law was in effect for a single primary election in early 2012, before multiple injunctions were issued blocking its further use.