Suit Challenges Wisconsin's Voter ID Law

Oct 21, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has challenged a law requiring voters to show a photo ID, such as a passport or driver's license.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against the state's governor and members of the state's accountability board on October 20, alleging that a recently passed election law is unconstitutional.

The law in question, Act 23, was signed by Governor Scott Walker in May. It stipulates that beginning with the 2012 spring primary elections, Wisconsin voters must present a valid photo ID at their polling place in order to cast a ballot. A Wisconsin driver's license, a military ID, a U.S. passport and a Wisconsin university ID with a printed expiration date are among the forms of identification deemed acceptable by the law.

According to the suit, the requirement places an unreasonable and unconstitutional imposition on voters.

Those who cannot obtain one of the other acceptable forms of identification could secure a free state ID from a department of motor vehicles office. However, the suit states that some counties do not have DMV offices, while in other locations the offices are only open a few hours per month. The suit also contends that state policy has prevented the DMV from publicizing that state IDs are free, and DMV offices are charging patrons $28 for the IDs unless applicants specifically state they need the ID to vote.

Election law reform is also causing controversy on the opposite side of Lake Michigan. Secretary of State Ruth Gordon of Michigan recently introduced controversial legislation that includes a photo ID requirement, among other provisions.