With recall election primaries less than three weeks away, the state Supreme Court refused to take up two lawsuits challenging the state’s voter ID law on Monday.
The justices’ one-page statement announced their decision not to take up the cases but did not comment on the lawsuits filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the League of Women Voters.
The refusal comes after two Wisconsin Courts of Appeals asked the court more than two weeks ago to take up the two separate lawsuits against the voter ID law approved last year for a final ruling on whether the law should be enforced.
The lawsuits will now be sent back to the state appeals court for the cases to be heard.
Government Accountability Board spokesperson Reid Magney said, as of now, the refusal from the justices means the photo ID requirement will remain blocked for recall primary elections May 8 and general elections June 5.
However, Magney said the state is ready to implement the law if the appeals court was to reverse the decision.
“The clerks around the state have trained poll workers to administer the law,” Magney said. “If the court changes the status of things, we’ll have to adjust accordingly.”
Magney was confident in the state’s ability to implement the law, which he said the state did successfully in primaries for the spring elections in February.
Common Cause Executive Director Jay Heck said the appeals court should factor the upcoming recall elections into a decision.
“The court should act deliberately and should not be bound by election schedules,” Heck said. “Those are events that are independent of what the court ought to consider: whether the photo ID law is in place or not.”
Heck added student voters who are confused about what they need to register at the polls only need worry about two things, the first being that the photo ID law is not currently in place. The second, Heck said, is students who are from out-of-state and wish to register at the polls must bring a proof of residency confirming the voter has lived in the state for at least 28 days.
“I don’t think either will be a problem for students, but it’s good to get that information out there in these times,” Heck said.