Monday, August 22, 2011

League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Challenge Voter ID Law as Unconstitutional

Wisconsin's photo ID law for voters to face lawsuit. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 8/22/2011)

Excerpt:     The federal Constitution does not have right-to-vote provisions, but the state constitution does, laying out that "every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident" of Wisconsin may vote in their respective district. The Legislature may restrict that right by passing laws requiring voter registration and proof of residency as well as laws to exclude felons and those judged mentally incompetent, according to the constitution.

The constitution makes no explicit reference to allowing or prohibiting a photo ID requirement.

"If anyone is denied the right to vote, that's a big deal because that's an absolutely fundamental right," Pines said.

Esenberg said he believed that courts would ultimately see the photo ID requirement as an extension of the requirements to prove residency and register to vote that are allowed by the constitution.

"It would allow (officials) to say you are who you say you are," Esenberg said.

Pines countered that the photo ID doesn't have a strong link to proving residency since a driver's license can be used by a registered voter to cast a ballot, even if it has an outdated address that doesn't match a voter's registered address

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