The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments from the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera on the State Voter ID law Tuesday.
The voter ID law was implemented in 2011 under Act 23, but was struck down by two Dane County court judges March 2012. The Wisconsin Department of Justice appealed both of the injunctions and one of the two rulings was overturned. However, clerks have not been asking for photo identification at the polls because second appeal is still pending.
The voter ID law requires Wisconsin voters to present forms of photo identification at the polls including driver’s licenses, passports, and military IDs.
Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights group, in collaboration with the Milwaukee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed one of two voter ID cases currently facing the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Both organizations are challenging the law on the basis that it is a deplorable encumbrance on the fundamental right to vote.
“We have demonstrated without question that over 300,000 people—including seniors, students and people of color—will be disenfranchised in future elections if photo ID becomes law,” Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, said in a statement.
The other case was filed by The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, which contends the law oversteps voting regulations laid out by the state constitution
“It would be shameful if Wisconsin would implement a provision that would be the strictest voter ID law in the country,” Milwaukee NAACP President James Hall Jr. said in a statement.
State ID cards are also an acceptable form of voter identification, which the state can issue for free. However, to obtain a state ID card citizens must provide proof of their name, date of birth, Wisconsin residency and U.S. citizenship, which opponents of the law argue is debilitating to the elderly, racial minorities and the physically disabled.
Following the oral arguments in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a statement in defense of the law.
“Wisconsin's law protects the integrity of our elections and promotes confidence in electoral outcomes,” he said in a statement. “It is constitutional, and I am hopeful that the law will be in place for the 2014 elections.”
The State Supreme Court is expected to rule on the law by the end of June.