Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Voter ID

19 Voters Without ID Turned Away

It’s working.

MADISON – At least 19 Wisconsin ballots cast in last week’s elections have been rejected due to voters lacking valid photo IDs, state records reviewed by USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin show.

While a tiny fraction of the more than 2.9 million ballots tallied by state election officials, the number of rejected ballots provide an early look at how Wisconsin’s voter ID law played out in its biggest test to date.

The number of rejected ballots may also continue to rise as election officials sift through hundreds of provisional ballots cast by voters who lacked a valid photo ID on Nov. 8 and had until Friday to produce one. Of the 590 provisional ballots cast because voters lacked a valid ID, 89 have been counted so far, 19 have been rejected and the rest remain under review.

Eight of the rejected ballots were submitted in Madison, five were submitted in Milwaukee and the rest came from across the state. It is unknown which candidates the 19 rejected ballots would’ve helped but the number it too small to make a difference in the outcome of any major contest.

And hopefully it served to deter malcontents who might have wanted to cast a fraudulent vote.

Appeals Court Stays Adelman’s Ridiculous Ruling

Good.

A federal appeals court has stayed a judge’s order allowing people who said they could not obtain photo IDs to sign an affidavit and vote anyway — meaning that option may not be available to Wisconsinites seeking to vote in November.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued Wednesday morning was the latest in the ongoing legal battle over Wisconsin’s voter ID requirement.

The ruling blocked an order U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued last month that allowed anyone without a valid photo ID to sign an affidavit at their polling place in order to vote.

Democrats Push for Voter ID Training

Hmmm

Some Wisconsin Democrats are calling for the GOP-controlled state Legislature to fund a statewide campaign to educate voters about Wisconsin’s newly enacted voter ID law.

State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, was joined at a Capitol news conference on Thursday by the Wisconsin League of Women Voters and poll workers from across the state, who shared challenges some voters faced during the presidential primary earlier this month.

Generally speaking, I don’t have a problem with some education on Voter ID. It was a new requirement and the state should let people know. But we already had a successful election with high turnout with very few problems. And the state, clerks, political parties, and other interest groups already provided a ton of education. There will always be a few people who either don’t get it or aren’t paying attention.

As usual, I suggest that you follow the money.

Taylor called on the state’s Joint Committee on Finance to use uncommitted state funds to pay for the education campaign. She pointed to a memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which identified $267,200 in unclaimed general revenue funds that could be allocated to the cause.

There is “unused” money that Taylor wants to spend. Where would the money go? Who would provide the education? Would it be the League of Women Voters who testified? Other liberal interest groups? And if there is a huge problem with people not knowing about Voter ID, how far does $267,200 go in fixing that problem?

Call me cynical, but this just looks like an attempt to get the state to spend some “unclaimed” taxpayer cash on some favored recipients.

Appeals Court Could Approve Narrow Exceptions from Voter ID

These are very narrow exceptions. It’s reasonable as long as the burden of proof that an exempted condition exists falls on the voter and not the state.

But the groups pressed the suit, saying that some people face special obstacles to obtain the ID they need to vote under the law.  The appeals panel on Tuesday told U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman to consider those arguments and to address ways for voting among certain groups:

  • Voters unable to obtain acceptable photo identification because of errors on birth certificates or other documentation.
  • Voters who need a credential from a government agency that won’t issue one until the state Department of Motor Vehicles first issues photo identification, which the DMV won’t do until the first credential has been obtained.
  • Voters who need a document that no longer exists, such as a birth certificate issued by an agency whose records have been lost in a fire.

The appeals panel also noted that in another state with voter ID, Indiana, voters “unable to obtain a com­plying photo ID for financial or religious reasons may file an affidavit to that effect” and have their vote counted on a provisional basis.

Johnny Koremonos, a spokesman for the state Department of Justice, said the ruling affirms the constitutionality of the voter ID law and affects only a “narrow” group of people: those who cannot obtain a free ID through the state Department of Transportation after “reasonable efforts.”

Voter ID Success in Wisconsin

It must be noted that in the first major election since Voter ID was implemented, Wisconsin had record turnout at the polls. There were very few issues with Voter ID despite well over a million people squeezing into the voting booths. Huzzah for Voter ID and for all of Wisconsin’s election officials’ smooth implementation of it.

Veteran ID Now Voter ID

And liberals still upset.

One of the true ironies of last month’s liberal huffing and puffing over a letter the liberal justice wrote to Gov. Scott Walker about including veterans ID cards in the state’s Voter ID law was that a change was already in the works. SB 295, a package of election reforms that includes online voter registration, speeds up the reporting of election night returns, and enrolls Wisconsin in the national Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) database, includes the changes to allow veterans ID cards.

Walker signed SB 295 into law on Wednesday morning, one day after it cleared it final legislative hurdles.

You might think this would be a win-win for liberal groups who have long opposed the Voter ID law, or criticized its perceived limitations.

You would be wrong. The Wisconsin League of Women’s Voters openly urged Walker to veto the changes within minutes of passage over the elimination of “Special Registration Deputies,” which have long been used by liberal activists to pollute the state’s voter rolls with often fraudulent, incomplete, and inaccurate voter registrations.

Court Justice’s Uncle Not Allowed to Vote

Good grief

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!

Wisconsin Voter ID Law Stands

As expected.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a challenge to Wisconsin’s voter identification law, after having blocked the state from requiring photo IDs in November’s general election.

The justices’ action means the state is free to impose the voter ID requirement in future elections, and is further evidence that the court put the law on hold last year only because the election was close at hand and absentee ballots already had been mailed with no notification of the need to present photo IDs.

Election Officials Adjust for Voter ID

Ummmmnnnn

Wisconsin election officials were scrambling Monday to deal with a federal appeals court’s ruling reinstating the requirement that voters show photo identification when casting ballots.

The law had been on hold, after being in effect only for the low-turnout February 2012 primary, following a series of court orders blocking it. But a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, just hours after hearing oral arguments, said late Friday that the state could proceed with implementing the law while it weighs the merits of the case.

[…]

“We’re all in a holding pattern right now waiting for clarification,” Albrecht said.

Perhaps it is just the reporter’s choice of the word “scrambling,” but why is there scrambling? And why are clerks in a “holding pattern?” This law has been on the books for three years. It has been held up in court for a while, but there was always a very good chance that it would pass constitutional muster. Even if it fell short, there was a very good chance that the Republican-led legislature would tweak it to make sure it was okay with the courts. After all, over 30 states already have some form of Voter ID. In other words, there was every reason to believe that this law would come into force in Wisconsin one way or another. Furthermore, the law was already active for one election – even if it was a primary election – before it was held up in court.

So why is there any “scrambling?” Wouldn’t a competent Government Accountability Board already have gone through the effort to prepare all relevant instructions and policies in preparation for the law’s implementation? If the GAB had done their job correctly, all that should have been necessary was to dust off the procedures from when they implemented the law the first time and move forward. I hope the reporter’s characterization of “scrambling” is overblown.
On another note from the same story, this is just funny:

“Scott Walker knows that we can win, and he believes that efforts to keep voters from getting to the polls is a win for Republicans,” Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said in a fundraising email late Friday.

The law was passed in 2011 – three years ago and at least two years before Mary Burke even entered the scene. Walker hasn’t had anything to do with it since signing it. It has been in the hands of the courts. For Zepecki to suggest that Walker somehow got the 7th Circuit Court to lift the stay on the law because he “knows that [Burke] can win” is beyond ridiculous.

Wisconsin’s Voter ID Upheld By 7th Circuit

Outstanding!

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal appeals court in Chicago reinstated Wisconsin’s voter photo identification law on Friday, just hours after three Republican-appointed judges heard arguments on reactivating the hotly debated law in time for the November election.

In a brief order, the three-judge panel in Chicago said, “The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections. The appeals remain under advisement, and an opinion on the merits will issue in due course.”

Walker Announced New ID Process to Facilitate Voter ID

Good.

Madison – Today, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Health Services announced a new process regarding photo identification cards.  Since 2011 Act 23, the DMV has been issuing free photo identification cards to those who need one to vote.  Now, DMV is additionally offering to verify underlying documents, free of charge, to make sure everyone who wants an ID for the purpose of voting, is able to get one.

“While most voters have identification, or the ability to get an ID, this verification system provides an option for the very small number of people who do not, without any cost to them,” Governor Walker said.  “It’s imperative that we ensure access, and protect the integrity of the voting process, so all voters can be confident in the system.”

The no-charge verification process will be fully operational on Monday, September 15.  Applicants can obtain more information about the process online at wisconsindmv.gov or by calling 608-266-1069.

Senator Mary Lazich, Representative Mark Born, and Representative Michael Schraa have been instrumental with their efforts to safeguard the vote of Wisconsin citizens.

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