Wisconsin appeals court rules voter ID law is constitutional Julie Deisher at 7:20 AM ET
[JURIST] The Wisconsin Court of Appeals [official website] for the Fourth District ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that Wisconsin Act 23 [text], a law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, is constitutional. The ruling reverses Dane County Circuit [official website] Judge Richard Niess's March 2012 decision, which held [JURIST report] that the law's photo ID requirement would disenfranchise voters who lack the resources to obtain such ID. The law requires [AP report] voters to show either a state-issued ID card, valid driver's license, US passport, a student ID that expires within two years or a military ID.
Voter ID laws [JURIST backgrounder] have become increasingly controversial and commonplace throughout the US. There are now more than 30 US States [NCSL backgrounder] that require voters to present some form of ID at the polls, including multiple states that have passed laws requiring photo ID. In April the Arkansas House of Representatives overrode [JURIST report] Governor Mike Beebe's veto [JURIST report] of a bill requiring voters to provide photo ID in a 52-45 vote, making the bill an official Arkansas law. In March Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law [JURIST report] legislation requiring voters in the state present photo ID prior to voting. Lawyers for Pennsylvania and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania [advocacy website] reached an accord in February extending the temporary injunction [JURIST report] of the Pennsylvania voter ID laws and allowing state residents to vote in the upcoming primary and special elections without submitting ID.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.