• WisPolitics


Monday, August 1, 2016

 5:33 PM 

DOJ files emergency motion seeking stay or order to create affidavit process for those who lack voter ID

The state DOJ today filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court seeking to halt a judge’s ruling requiring Wisconsin to allow those without a government-issued photo ID to vote by filling out an affidavit attesting to their identity.

Judge Lynn Adelman, who handed down the original ruling, on Friday denied the state’s request to stay his decision.

The agency then went to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking the emergency stay.

Adelman’s ruling is one of two striking down parts of Wisconsin’s voter ID law. The DOJ request for the emergency stay cites the ruling by Judge James Peterson, which was handed down Friday. In it, Peterson also took issue with the process Wisconsin created to allow those without an ID to obtain a temporary receipt that allows them to vote while they apply for the card.

Under the state process, those applying receive a receipt that can be renewed. Peterson, though, ordered the state to give those applicants a permanent ID they can only lose if the state determines they are ineligible to vote. 

DOJ argued Peterson’s ruling “inadvertently” confirmed the state has addressed issues with the appeals process for those who lack an ID. The only difference between the two, the agency argued, is current law permits the Department of Motor Vehicles to decline to renew a photo ID if the applicant has committed fraud, has not responded to the agency within 180 days or voluntarily asks to end the application process.

“These are measured, narrow caveats, which balance the voters’ rights with the need to effectively investigate the applicants’ eligibility, free from applicant fraud and total non-cooper,” DOJ argued.

Adelman’s ruling, meanwhile, lays out an affidavit process that includes banning anyone from challenging the sufficiency of the reason given for failing to obtain an ID.

Neither Adelman or Peterson’s rulings will apply to the Aug. 9 primary. Instead, they are to go in effect for the Nov. 8 general election.

-- By JR Ross


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