Coming after months of debate involving an injunction and the state Supreme Court declining to take on lawsuits until after the election, the Legislature will again have to address Wisconsin’s contentious voter ID law in its next session.
The voter ID law, in whatever form it will take, would require Wisconsin residents to validate that they are residents of Wisconsin by showing their government-issued photo IDs to vote if the law ultimately stands.
One version of the voter ID law is currently being looked over by the courts, and another is expected to be presented to the Legislature in its next session, according to Rep. Mark Honadel, R-South Milwaukee.
Honadel said he believes if the court does finally make a decision on the current voter ID law that is being reviewed, it will stand.
As for the other possible proposition, he said he is not sure what it might encompass.
“As of now, nothing has been crafted yet,” Honadel said. “Once we have something crafted, then we can start seeing how much support it has.”
Honadel pointed out that if it is similar to the law being reviewed by the courts, it may see the same opposition among Democrats that the previous one did.
However, he said he is hopeful it will receive bipartisan support, as he feels that it has the support of the people.
Erik Kirkstein, political director for United Wisconsin, said he is not thrilled with the voter ID law in a United Wisconsin statement.
“Trotting out their canard about rampant voter fraud in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin GOP has been relentless in pursuing their dream of attacking voter rights in Wisconsin by implementing a photo ID law,” the statement said. “[It is] a law that will only serve to suppress the vote of the state’s young, student, elderly and low-income voters.”
United Wisconsin pointed out that, along with the targeting of specific demographics, the initial attempt to bring about a voter ID bill has been declared by two judges to be unconstitutional. They believe it is not the people’s desire but Gov. Scott Walker’s “ideological war” on the residents of Wisconsin, the statement said.
Graeme Zielinski, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said he has similar sentiments about the bill.
He said it will affect, both negatively and demonstrably, certain demographics that have been seen to vote more liberally.
Zielinski noted that up until recently, there have not been such attempts like these to constrain the vote.
“Making it easier for eligible voters to exercise the franchise is something that has never been a Republican or a Democratic issue,” Zielinski said. “Sadly, it looks like the current crop of Republicans is intent on putting roadblocks in the way.”
Zielinski said he thinks Wisconsin residents realize this is not a bill worthy of democracy, and it will not gain the support of the people.
If the law were to pass, Zielinski said he feels for certain that playing around with the right of who can vote and who cannot vote will only last so long. Eventually, such measures as this will not sit well with the people.
“You can waylay democracy for a little bit – but only for so long,” Zielinski said.