Milwaukee, WI, United States (4E) – A federal judge on Tuesday issued an injunction barring the enforcement of Wisconsin’s voter ID law for violating the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled that Act 23 will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes. Adelman said voter impersonation, which the law aims to prevent, is nonexistent or virtually nonexistent in the state and the defendants were unable to cite a single instance of such voting fraud.
Under Act 23 passed by the state legislature in November 2011, voters are required to show one of nine types of photo IDs at the polls. Adelman, a former Democratic state senator, said the requirement is an unconstitutional burden and affects Latinos and African-Americans harder than whites because they have to pay the cost and time in obtaining such license to vote.
State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, said he will appeal the ruling before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, one of the many groups that challenged Act 23 in court calling it discriminatory, welcomed the decision.
GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick, said he is reviewing the decision and any potential action.
Act 23 was also struck down by two Dane County judges. An appeals court overruled one of the Dane County decisions, but the other ruling remains in place.