MADISON — A Wisconsin Supreme Court justice says her uncle was unable to vote in last week’s primary election, even though he has a veteran’s ID from his service in World War II.
Justice Ann Walsh Bradley has written a letter to Gov. Scott Walker urging the use of veterans’ ID at the polls, a form of identification not included in the current state voter ID law. Bradley says her uncle, Leo Olson of Reedsburg, doesn’t have a driver’s license.
The Journal Sentinel reports Bradley wrote that her 90-year-old uncle, who fought at Iwo Jima, tried to use his veteran’s photo ID at the polls, but was denied a right to vote in the primary.
The Senate is expected to take up legislation next month that would allow the veterans ID for voting.
First, it looks pretty likely that the state will allow veterans IDs to be used for voting and I don’t think there’s much of a problem with that. As long as the ID is secure and can be used to validate a voter’s identity, it’s fine.
Second, there is something unappealing (get it?) about a Supreme Court justice inserting herself into a political debate about pending legislation. So much for the pretense of an impartial judiciary.
Third, the voter ID requirement has been widely publicized and known for years… certainly in the last few months since the court upheld it as constitutional. And Bradley is certainly in a position to know the current law and has some means. Why didn’t she take 30 minutes out of her life to help her uncle get a valid ID for voting? Or at least make sure he knew he needed one to vote? Where is her respect for her uncle’s vote? Instead, it appears that she intentionally let him fail to vote so that she could use him as a prop in a political stunt. SHAME!
He could have been given a provisional ballot. He would then have until 4pm the Friday after to provide ID at the county clerks office.