The Eastern District Court of Wisconsin ruled that its photo ID law violates the 14th Amendment and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discriminatory actions pertaining to voting.
This decision disestablishes Wisconsin’s previous state law, known as “Act 23,” that was created in 2011. The law required Wisconsin residents to present a document including photo ID in order to vote.
Judge Lynn Adelman’s decision stems from two plaintiffs claims, which asserted that Act 23 had a discriminate impact on blacks and Latinos, thereby producing a discriminatory result.
The state’s defense of the voter id law contended that such laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud.
Yet, Judge Adelman found that the burden imposed on voters was greater than state interest. Judge Adelman noted in her decision, “it is absolutely clear that Act 23 will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes,” and further wrote that “I find that the plaintiffs have shown that the disproportionate impact of the photo ID requirement results from the interaction of the requirement with the effects of past or present discrimination.”
This decision is another step forward in eliminating barriers to voting for all citizens.
To read the full decision click here.