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Wis. high court declines voter ID case

Sept. 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM
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MADISON, Wis., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court Thursday declined to take up two lower court rulings that the state's voter ID laws violate the Constitution.

The high court issued two unsigned orders saying if it were to take up the issue it would only review both lower court cases at the same time, and that it had not received appeal briefs in one of the two case, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

Thursday's court action suggests the law, requiring voters to present photo ID at the polls, will not be in effect for the Nov. 6 presidential election, the newspaper said.

Dane County Judge Richard Niess ruled in March, in a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, parts of the law are "unconstitutional to the extent they serve as a condition for voting at the polls."

The ruling acknowledged voter fraud "corrupts elections and undermines our form of government" and public officials are empowered to address it, but Niess found "voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression. Indeed, they are two heads on the same monster."

Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan ruled in July the requirement that all prospective voters show photo identification at the polls creates a "substantial impairment of the right to vote" guaranteed in the state Constitution.

Flanagan's decision came in the case of a complaint presented by the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP and the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera.

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