American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin
Press Release

Statement from ACLU of Wisconsin on Voter ID Stay

Today, the 7th Circuit issued a ruling lifting Judge Aldeman's stay and allowing the law to go into effect before the November elections.

By - Sep 12th, 2014 04:49 pm

Statement from Chris Ahmuty, ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director:

“We are very disappointed in the irresponsible decision to lift the injunction against Voter ID, which will cause chaos and disruption for voters and elections workers for the November election.  The state has not demonstrated it is prepared to make this new ID scheme work.  The new procedures were presented at the last second and it is unclear whether or how they will work in time to ensure that eligible voters are actually able to vote. It has not demonstrated how it will train 1,852 municipal clerks and tens of thousands of poll workers, as well as notifying voters of the new rules. We will continue to review and closely monitor this decision.”


Wisconsin passed a voter ID law in 2011. The ACLU challenged the law on behalf of numerous Wisconsin voters, charging the measure violated the U.S. Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bans voting practices that have a disparate negative impact on racial minorities. The lawsuit, Frank v. Walker, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

At trial last November, the ACLU presented evidence showing that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters lacked ID; that African-American and Latino voters, who have been subjected to historical and continuing segregation and discrimination in Wisconsin, were far more likely to lack ID and the documents needed to get ID than whites; that there are significant burdens imposed on voters trying to get ID; and that the government lacks strong enough reason to impose these burdens.

On April 29, 2014, a federal court struck down the law; the state appealed.  Today, the 7th Circuit issued a ruling lifting Judge Aldeman‘s stay and allowing the law to go into effect before the November elections.

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More information about this case can be found at:

The ACLU of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose 7,000 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.

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