Wisconsin Voter ID Law on Hold for April Election

March 23, 2015 2:14 pm

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March 23, 2015

CONTACT: Inga Sarda-Sorensen, 212-284-7347, isarda-sorensen@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – On the heels of the American Civil Liberties Union’s emergency motion today to keep Wisconsin’s voter ID law from immediately taking effect, state officials announced they would delay the law’s implementation.

The ACLU filed its motion with a federal appeals court earlier today after the U.S. Supreme Court declined a request to review a lower court ruling that upheld the law.

The law was struck down by a federal trial court in April 2014, but that decision was overturned by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The law had been placed on hold by the Supreme Court while it considered whether to hear the case. Given today’s Supreme Court action, the ACLU asked the appeals court to extend the stay in order to prevent a sudden change in requirements while voting is underway in the April 7 general election. Absentee ballots have already been sent to voters, and early in-person voting began this morning. Within hours of the ACLU’s filing today, state officials said the law would not be implemented for the April 7 election.

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said:

“We’re pleased the state has agreed with the ACLU’s position that imposing a new restriction on voters in the midst of an election is a recipe for disaster. For now, the voters of Wisconsin will be able to cast their ballots free from the burdens placed on them by this law. But this should be the case for voters permanently, not just for one election. We are evaluating our next steps in the fight for the right of all Americans to vote free from unnecessary barriers.”

The ACLU is challenging the law on behalf of numerous Wisconsin voters, charging the measure violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The ACLU, the ACLU of Wisconsin, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, and Dechert LLP are co-counsel in this case, Frank v. Walker.

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/frank-v-walker-fighting-voter-suppression-wisconsin

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