Opponents of Wisconsin’s Voter ID requirement want the U.S. Supreme Court to put the law back on hold.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a motion asking the nation’s high court to restore an injunction that had been keeping the law from being enforced. A federal judge ruled in April that the state’s voter ID law is unconstitutional, but an appeals court order last month lifted an injunction keeping it from being enforced. The court has not made a final ruling on the actual appeal, but lifting the order cleared the way for the state to begin requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID card.
In a statement, ACLU Voting Rights Project director Dale Ho argued that “thousands of Wisconsin voters stand to be disenfranchised by this law going into effect so close to the election. Hundreds of absentee ballots have already been cast, and the appeals court’s order is fueling voter confusion and election chaos. Eleventh-hour changes in election rules have traditionally been disfavored precisely because the risk of disruption is simply too high.”
The request is the latest effort to reverse the early September decision, which has forced state election officials to make rapid preparations to get local clerks ready to check for identification on Election Day and to inform the public that they will need to present a valid ID at the polls. The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago recently turned down a request to reconsider the decision to lift the injunction.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen responded to the request in a statement, saying “This is surprising and disappointing given the ACLU’s previously stated concern over changing the law so close to an election. Apparently they’ve abandoned that view and are no longer concerned about voter confusion.”