Supreme Court Validates Voter ID By Not Hearing The Case
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (03/23/2015) – The United States Supreme Court failed to take up the challenge to the State’s Voter ID law. That effectively validates the law, putting it into effect. However, it will not go into effect until after the current April 7th election process, which is already in progress.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says “this decision is final”, but because the court’s announcement is so close to the current election, it doesn’t go into effect immediately.
“Absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters, therefore, the law cannot be implemented for the April 7 election”, Attorney General Schimel says.
“The Voter ID law will be in place for future elections,” Schimel adds.
Governor Scott Walker released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject a challenge to the Voter ID law:
“This is great news for Wisconsin voters. As we’ve said, this is a common sense reform that protects the integrity of our voting process, making it easy to vote and hard to cheat”, Governor Walker stated.
Wisconsin Senator Mark Miller says he is “disappointed by the failure of the United States Supreme Court to take up the challenge to Wisconsin’s Voter ID law”.
“The Court’s inaction allows Wisconsin to institute a voter restrictive policy in the near future”, Senator Miller said.
“I am pleased to see that Attorney General Brad Schimel recognized the chaos that would ensue from implementing this policy during our current election and has put on hold the implementation until after April 7th”, Senator Miller continued.
“I am appalled by the importance placed on restricting the constitutional right to vote. Making it harder for seniors, students, minorities, rural residents and persons with disabilities to vote does not enhance the integrity of our elections. Voter ID is nothing more than a solution in search of a problem while disenfranchising voters,” said Senator Miller.
“I am again disheartened to see how little respect Wisconsin Republicans have for freedom and democracy”, Miller added.
On the other hand, Wisconsin State Senate President Mary Lazich (R- New Berlin) says “this long awaited ruling is a win for Wisconsin voters”.
“The U.S Supreme Court’s refusal to review the federal appeals court ruling proves Wisconsin’s voter ID law is constitutional,” Senator Lazich said.
“The ruling ensures the voting process is honest and conveys one-person-one-vote. Lack of photo ID was a real problem, a problem voters wanted solved”, Lazich continued.
“Requiring voters to present identification is a common sense practice that protects the integrity of our electoral process. It is without question worthwhile to be able to ensure that persons voting during elections are legitimate voters”, Senator Lazich added.
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin (LWV) Executive Director Andrea Kaminski says they “are disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the Wisconsin voter ID case, because it is a matter of national importance. She went on to point out the League is “shocked that the Court would announce this so close to a very important election”.
“More and more states are passing strict voter ID laws, and we have all heard the stories of good citizens who have run into problems because they don’t possess an acceptable, government issued ID”, said Kaminski.
“The problem with our elections is that not enough people vote in them. “The last thing we need is laws that erect barriers for people who have been good voters for decades,” LWV Executive Director Kaminski said.
Wisconsin Assembley Representative Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) has a different opinion:
“After almost three years of lawsuits, today the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to attempts to delay Wisconsin’s voter ID law and confirmed what we already know: that voter ID is constitutional”, Assembly Representative Knudson said.
“Ensuring the integrity of our elections is important to Wisconsin voters and plays a vital role in strengthening our democracy”, said Knudson.
“I am proud to have voted for legislation that protects elections through the common sense step of asking voters to show identification”, Knudson added.
12th District Assembly Representative Frederick Kessler disagrees:
“It is with great disappointment that I learned this morning of the United States Supreme Court’s decision to allow Wisconsin’s voter identification law to become effective,” Kessler said.
“As was discussed during the debate on this legislation, the main purpose behind the law is to suppress the voting rights of senior citizens, persons of color, and college students,” Assembly Representative Kessler said.
“Requiring those who wish to vote but who may not have a valid driver’s license, estimated by some to be nearly one quarter of the Wisconsin population aged 65 or older, over half of African American and Hispanic adults in Milwaukee County, and thousands of college students living in dorms across the state, is simply and shamefully, a political ploy to suppress their voting rights,” Kessler explained.
“While the bill allows for these persons to obtain a state photo identification card in lieu of a driver’s license, this is a hurdle that many will not be able to over come and a significant obstacle even for those with the means of getting to a location to obtain one,” Kessler continued.
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