Wisconsin’s Strict Voting Law Requiring Photo ID Upheld

AP/Jeffrey Phelps


On Monday, a federal appeals court upheld Wisconsin’s harsh voter ID law, which requires voters to provide specific types of government-issued photo identification at the polls.

A district court judge had struck down the law in April, deeming that it unconstitutionally violated the rights of minorities and low-income voters. The appeals court panel disagreed, ruling that the law, one of the strictest in the country, did not amount to racial discrimination.

The AP has more:

State elections officials are preparing for the photo ID law to be in effect for the Nov. 4 election, even as opponents continue their legal fight. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project asked the U.S. Supreme Court last week to take emergency action and block the law.

Opponents argue that requiring voters to show photo ID, a requirement that had, until recently, been on hold since a low-turnout February 2012 primary, will create chaos and confusion at the polls. But supporters say most people already have a valid ID and, if they don’t, there is time to get one before the election.

The ruling gives Republican incumbent Scott Walker a major lift in his fight against Democratic challenger Mary Burke. As The New Republic explains, Republican voters are much more likely to have the required identification.