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Friday, August 26, 2016

 4:48 PM 

Appeals court rejects full court review in two election law cases

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected requests by the ACLU and One Wisconsin Institute for full court review in two voting law cases.

The state Department of Justice today hailed the ruling rejecting the en banc, or full court, reviews.

“The Seventh Circuit’s order denying the plaintiffs’ en banc petitions is a significant victory for the people of Wisconsin and ensures that Voter ID will be in place for the upcoming election in November,” DOJ spokeswoman Rebecca Ballweg said in an email.

In the ACLU case, a three-judge 7th Circuit panel had granted the state’s request to stay federal Judge Lynn Adelman’s order creating a process that would let voters who lack an ID fill out an affidavit attesting to their identity in order to cast ballots this fall. The ACLU then sought full court review.

The court had previously noted current rules let those who apply for a free ID through the state receive a temporary receipt so they can vote while their application is pending. The court today rejected the en banc request.

Sean Young, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, said the group is still considering its options, but he slammed how the state has handled issuing IDs in the past.

“Two trial courts have found that the DMV has failed over the last five years to issue IDs to vulnerable voters,” he said, “and there is no reason to think that they will be able to do so now.”

In the One Wisconsin Institute case, federal Judge James Peterson overturned several GOP-backed election laws. A panel of three GOP-appointed judges from the 7th Circuit then rejected the state’s request for an emergency stay.

The laws Peterson struck down include restrictions on early voting, an extension of residency requirements to 28 days and the prevention of municipal clerks from sending absentee ballots by fax or email. But Peterson also put on hold until after the elections a ruling that the state overhaul its petition process for those who don't have a valid ID.

But One Wisconsin appealed Peterson’s ruling. And the group sought en banc for that appeal, which the court today denied.

One Wisconsin Now spokesman Mike Browne said the group is “pleased the victories we won” in federal court striking down several election laws will stand for the November elections.

See the decision

-- By Chris Thompson


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