UPDATE: ACLU files federal lawsuit over state voter ID law
WAUSAU (WAOW) -- The America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a federal lawsuit in connection with Wisconsin's new voter I. D. law.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of seventeen Wisconsin residents who may not be able to vote under the new law. On that list is Brokaw resident, Ruthelle Frank.
Ruthelle Frank never had a birth certificate.
"What is a birth certificate? As far as I'm concerned I'll never get one," Frank told Newsline 9 in an interview in early December.
Now, she is part of the federal lawsuit, arguing the new voter I. D. law is unconstitutional.
"It is very important to show that it hurts real people and they are facing significant hurdles," ACLU Spokesperson Stacy Harbaugh said.
Ruthelle Frank is one of those people facing major hurdles. She says paying the fee to get a birth certificate is like paying a poll tax. Something she is not willing to do.
"It's like paying 30 dollars to vote and I don't think that's fair," Frank said.
State Senator Jim Holperin agrees. Holperin introduced a bill earlier this month that would waive the fee a person would have to pay in order to get a birth certificate. In a trip to Wausau, Governor Scott Walker said the bill sounded reasonable.
"For the limited amount of cases where someone may have a challenge, particularly because of age, because at some point in the past a documentation like a birth certificate wasn't available. Again, doing something like what Sen. Holperin and others have presented, is to me a viable alternative," Governor Scott Walker said.
Governor Scott Walker is among the defendants named in the lawsuit. Other members of the Government Accountability Board and the Department of Transportation are also involved.
As for the lawsuit, Governor Walker said the bill was put in place to prevent voter I. D fraud.
But for Frank, she told Newsline 9 it is just another roadblock to democracy.
Harbaugh says all seventeen plaintiffs will have a change to share their stories. From there, it is up to a judge to decided if the case will go to trial. ________________________________________________________________________
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit saying that Wisconsin's new voter identification law is unconstitutional.
Gov. Scott Walker signed the law this year requiring voters to show photo ID beginning in February.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday says requiring only certain government-issued IDs imposes a severe burden on voting rights.
The ACLU, the ACLU of Wisconsin and National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty filed the complaint on behalf of residents who may not be able to vote under the law.
Among the defendants named are Walker and Government Accountability Board members.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said photo identification requirements have been passed around the country and upheld by federal courts. GAB director Kevin Kennedy said the board's goal was to implement the law as passed.