- Views & Opinions
The American Civil Liberties Union on Oct. 8 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay this week’s final ruling from a Seventh Circuit appeals panel that concluded Wisconsin’s voter ID law is constitutional and does not violate the federal Voting Rights Act.
Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said, “Permitting this law to go into effect so close to the election is fueling voter confusion and election chaos in Wisconsin, particularly for the many voters who have already cast their ballots. Voters deserve a fair shake, but this last-minute disruption changes the rules of the game in an election that is already underway, and risks locking out thousands of voters. The stakes are extremely high.”
The motion filed with the high court by the ACLU notes factual inaccuracies in the appeals court ruling, including:
• “The Seventh Circuit also could not fathom that so many registered Wisconsin voters lack a photo ID ‘in a world in which photo ID is essential to board an airplane … pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, open a bank account or cash a check at a currency exchange, buy a gun, or enter a courthouse to serve as a juror or watch the argument of this appeal.’ Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Wisconsin fliers, patients, bank customers, gun owners, and court watchers do not need photo IDs. Only Wisconsin voters.”
• “The panel inexplicably stated that key voter witnesses ‘did not testify that they had tried to get (a copy of their birth certificate), let alone that they had tried but failed.’ But numerous witnesses testified that they tried and failed to get a birth certificate so they could get a voter ID.”
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.
At present, Wisconsin voters are required to present photo IDs in the Nov. 4 election. Wisconsinites who encounter problems obtaining an ID or voting are encouraged to contact the ACLU of Wisconsin.