One Wisconsin Institute
Press Release

Amid Media Reports of Legal Voters Being Denied Voter ID, State Legislative Committee Considers Voter ID Rules

Instead of Debating Rules They Can’t Be Trusted to Follow, Legislature Ought to Suspend Voter ID Law

By - Oct 4th, 2016 12:58 pm

MADISON, Wis. — Amid media reports of numerous instances of Department of Motor Vehicle employees providing false and misleading information to individuals seeking a voter ID, the legislature’s Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules today met to act on emergency rules guiding state employees in issuing a voter ID.

One Wisconsin Institute and their co-plaintiffs filed a federal voting rights lawsuit, One Wisconsin Institute Inc., et al v. Mark Thomsen, et al., arguing that a series of election law changes made by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led state legislature were meant to and have the effect of making it more difficult to vote in Wisconsin, especially for minorities, young people, and voters who tend to support Democratic candidates.

In his 119-page decision, Federal Judge James Peterson wrote, “The evidence in this case casts doubt on the notion that voter ID laws foster integrity and confidence. The Wisconsin experience demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities. To put it bluntly, Wisconsin’s strict version of voter ID law is a cure worse than the disease.”

The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Institute Research Director and attorney Jenni Dye:

“Gov. Walker, his administration and the Republican-controlled legislature have shown they simply cannot be trusted to fairly and constitutionally administer the voter ID law. Recent media reports reveal that they are not following the rules that they wrote themselves and have run afoul of a federal court order.

“At trial we proved the real fraud in Wisconsin elections is partisan politicians like Scott Walker and the Republicans in charge of the legislature trying to manipulate the rules on voting to give themselves an unfair advantage.

“What has been reported by the media about what is happening to voters at the DMV is more than just bureaucratic malfeasance. It’s sadly inevitable that the same gang that was “giddy” over the chance to pass a law they believed would help them win elections by preventing legal voters from voting would fail to do what it takes to ensure legal voters with difficult circumstances get an ID.

“The state is in violation of a federal court order and instead of of spending time considering administrative rules that aren’t being followed anyway, the legislature ought to return and immediately suspend the voter ID law.”

One Wisconsin Institute is a non-partisan, progressive research and education organization dedicated to a Wisconsin with equal economic opportunity for all.

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