Common sense from the Seventh Circuit, and a win for honest elections in Wisconsin:
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay Wednesday of U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman’s order that struck down parts of Wisconsin’s Voter ID law last month, also indicating the lower court decision will likely be overturned…
“We conclude both that the district court’s decision is likely to be reversed on appeal and that disruption of the state’s electoral system in the interim will cause irreparable injury,” reads the judges’ order.
An appeal of a separate ruling is still pending.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asked the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay of a district court injunction “requiring the State to permit a subjective affidavit exception to its photo ID law.” The stay would allow the state to restore it’s full voter ID requirement for the November election.
The Republican attorney general’s action Monday came in the wake of a ruling last month by a federal judge in Milwaukee that pared back the photo ID law by allowing voters without identification to cast ballots by swearing to their identity.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee created a pathway for voters with difficulties getting IDs who have been unable to cast ballots under the state’s 2011 voter ID law.
But as Schimel noted, all the plaintiffs “fall outside the class” of voters who don’t have or can’t with reasonable effort get IDs, “which is fatal to their case.”
Schimel argued that the injunction will cause voter confusion and require “that the State expend substantial resources to implement and publicize a procedure that encourages violations of the law.”
Plaintiffs’ response is due Friday.
“Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is appealing a ruling that changes Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Federal Judge Lynn Adelman ruled last week that voters who don’t have proper ID can cast [regular] ballots after swearing out an affidavit verifying their identity…
“Schimel is asking the judge to stay the ruling. And he’s appealing the case to the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. If the stay is not granted the voting-by-affidavit order would be in effect for the November elections.”
No ID? No problem for Wisconsin voters, says Judge Adelman, who still doesn’t like voter ID and still denies voter-impersonation fraud exists:
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued a preliminary injunction order Tuesday in a case challenging the state’s law requiring voters to have photo identification, granting a request from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU’s request called for an affidavit option for voters who face a “reasonable impediment” to obtain a valid photo ID. Adelman’s order will allow the affidavit option for voters in the general election on Nov. 8.
Adelman’s order calls for affidavit voters to receive regular ballots, rather than provisional ballots that could be verified before being counted.
Yet again, the dire “voter ID will suppress turnout” predictions of the anti-integrity left fail to materialize.
Wisconsin’s turnout rate in Tuesday’s presidential primary exceeded the state’s own bullish forecast, topped any Wisconsin Primary since 1972, and easily bested that of any state that has voted this year except for New Hampshire. Nearly 2.1 million Wisconsinites voted, based on unofficial returns.
Essentially, half the people that could vote did vote: roughly 47% of the state’s voting-age population and an estimated 49% of all eligible voting-age citizens. “That’s unusual,” said turnout expert Michael McDonald, for a contest “this late in the presidential election calendar.”
In the wake of primary participation “7 points higher than what state election officials predicted,” Democrats quickly pivoted to complaining about “long lines” – lines caused primarily by the huge turnout, not voter ID, but also in many instances by same-day registration at the polls, particularly at “sites that had a high student population.”
Voters could have avoided the inconvenience of that extra wait in line on Election Day simply by registering in advance. Wisconsin primary voters also had ten days to vote early before Election Day, and free IDs have been available since 2012 to any voter who doesn’t already have an accepted photo ID. The University of Wisconsin-Madison even opened a second location for students to get free voter IDs printed in “less than two minutes.” Hardly a concerted effort to “suppress” turnout.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker summed it up on Twitter: “Biggest turnout since 1972 Presidential primary shows that photo ID law works. Easy to vote, hard to cheat.”
Aided and abetted by a lax process: “John S. Rohde is charged with two counts of election fraud-voting by disqualified person and two counts of election fraud-providing false information to an election official.”
Wisconsin makes its case for voter ID:
Wisconsin’s voter ID law is an “eminently reasonable” regulation that the U.S. Supreme Court should stop blocking, the state says in its latest legal brief…
“In Wisconsin, as elsewhere, the overwhelming majority of voters already have qualifying ID… Voter ID protects against fraud and bolsters voter confidence in the election process…”
The state also implemented policies to help voters get identifying documents, according to the brief. “These so-called ‘burdens’ drove the district court’s decision, but the facts have changed.”
More than three and a half years after Wisconsin passed its voter ID law, the anti-ID crowd led by the ACLU is still fighting it:
“Opponents of Wisconsin’s requirement that voters show photo ID asked the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday to hear their case and strike down the law. In September, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld the voter ID law. But the measure was put on hold the following month by a divided Supreme Court out of concerns that there was not enough time to implement it before the November elections…
“The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the voter ID law this summer in the two state cases…”
Joining the ACLU in the petition are the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Advancement Project.
“No accountability whatsoever”
An audit of the state Government Accountability Board shows an agency that has failed to follow its own laws and a staff that has failed to follow the directives of the six former judges who preside over the “nonpartisan” board.
Among other failures:
The audit found that, from February 2010 through April 2014, GAB staff did not conduct 16 statutorily required post-election reviews to identify individuals with ongoing felony sentences who may have voted. State law requires the GAB to “notify the relevant district attorney if such individuals are identified.”
Full Legislative Audit Bureau report and Report Highlights.
Another case of “nonexistent” voter fraud:
[Todd M.] Murray was on his way home from his engineering job in Waukesha on Nov. 6, 2012, when he stopped in New Berlin, registered and voted. He then cast another ballot at his regular polling place in West Allis. He was charged in June and pleaded guilty Wednesday.
As a condition of his 18-month probation, Murray was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Circuit Judge Joseph Donald said it didn’t matter that Murray’s extra vote didn’t affect any electoral outcomes. It’s still a serious offense that affects everyone else who counts on the principle of one person, one vote. A sentence without jail time, Donald said, would depreciate the nature of the crime.
Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf added that “a fine alone could be criticized as the price of an extra vote.”