Appeals court finds voter ID law constitutional

The 4th District Court of Appeals this morning ruled the state's 2011 voter ID law constitutional, overturning a decision from a Dane County judge that struck down the requirement.

From today's opinion

We are not persuaded that the photo identification requirement here is, on its face, more like a categorical bar to certain classes of potential voters, held to be a “qualification” under Knowlton, than it is like a number of voting procedures, including registration requirements, which indisputably would pass muster under Knowlton or any other authority the League cites.

The League argues that Knowlton stands for a test “that looks to the law’s effect of disqualifying a qualified elector.” However, under the League’s proposed test, at least as stated, virtually any requirement placed on voters would be an unconstitutional and impermissible additional “qualification,” again contrary to the League’s concessions stated elsewhere in its briefing. For example, under the League’s proposed test the requirement that voters must be in line at the polling place by 8:00 p.m. on election day would be unconstitutional because it has the effect of “disqualifying,” in the League’s terms, any person, no matter how qualified and registered to vote, who arrives at 8:01 p.m. See Wis. Stat. § 6.78 (regulating poll hours). As the state officials argue, any such argument was foreclosed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court long ago under the authority cited above. For these same reasons, we disagree that the circuit court in this case correctly articulated any constitutional rule that supports its conclusion, on this record, that the photo identification requirement is a “qualification” that “masquerade[s]” as “an election regulation requirement.”


Get ready for the DUmp to explode about disenfranchised voters.