The state Government Accountability Board has pulled the plug on a planned public education effort on Wisconsin’s voter photo I.D. law. The GAB action comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked implementation of the law for the November 4th elections.
“We have made a very strong case at all levels of the court system to show that photo I.D. is unnecessary and actually harms people by denying them the right to vote,” said Wisconsin ACLU executive director Chris Ahmuty. The high court’s order is not on the merits of ACLU’s argument, but on the timing of the decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which cleared the way for voter I.D. so close to Election Day.
Now that voters will not need to provide that photo identification, the GAB has posted updated information for elections clerks on its website. “With 25 days remaining before Election Day, we now need to focus on implementing procedures without the photo I.D. requirement, providing updated training to election inspectors, and informing voters about the proper procedures during absentee voting and at polling places.”
In a related developmenet, the judges making up the Seventh Circuit fell one vote short Friday, on a request to reconsider their final endorsement of the voter photo I.D. law. One of ten judges on the court had requested that the entire court reconsider Monday’s ruling by a three-judge panel, which found the law constitutional and within the bounds of the federal Voting Rights Act. The appellate court’s 5-to-5 vote on the request was a vote short of the six votes needed.