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Wisconsin Voter ID Law Struck Down by Court

Common Dreams staff

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a law requiring Wisconsin voters to use a photo ID at the voting booth. A Wisconsin Court struck down the law as unconstitutional today.

A Wisconsin law that requires voters present a photo ID when voting, was struck down by a Wisconsin Court today.  Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess ruled that the law, signed by Walker in May of 2011, violated the Constitution.

"Without question, where it exists, voter fraud corrupts elections and undermines our form of government," wrote Niess in his decision. "The legislature and governor may certainly take aggressive action to prevent its occurrence. But voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression. Indeed, they are two heads on the monster."

Gov. Scott Walker said he would appeal the decision and vowed to continue to fight for a photo ID requirement in the voting booth.

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From the Huffington Post.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the voter ID bill into law in May, calling it a "common sense reform" that would "go a long way to protecting the integrity of elections in Wisconsin."

"It’s a shame activist Dane County judges continue to stand in the way of common sense," said Cullen Werwie, a spokesman for Walker. "We are confident the state will prevail in its plan to implement photo ID."

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) he plans to appeal the decision.

"In its rush to enact a Voter ID law, the Wisconsin Legislature failed to pay attention to the Wisconsin Constitution. Luckily, the League of Women Voters had the courage to stand up and defend the fundamental right of to vote that our constitution guarantees," said Pines. "The proponents of Voter ID assert that it is meant to prevent fraud. We all know the truth: it is designed to suppress voting by poor people and students. Now, in Wisconsin, that will not happen."

This is the second time in two days that such a law was struck down. Yesterday, a similar law in Texas was blocked by the Justice Department. Activists are hailing the curbing of these laws as a victory for minority communities that, many argue, would be disproportionately impacted by this kind of legislation.

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