Voter I.D. law ruling draws reaction from all sides
WAUSAU (WAOW) -
The 2011 Voter I.D. law has been controversial from its inception. Supporters say the law helps crack down on election fraud.
"Milwaukee County has prosecuted a number of them and our office has prosecuted a number of them as well," said Wisconsin Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen.
But opponents say the law creates unfair barriers for some voters and violates constitutional rights.
"What we saw in this law is that it places a heavier burden on the elderly, the disabled, poor people, and we felt that was not fair," said Wisconsin's League of Women Voters Executive Director, Andrea Kaminski.
Thursday, supporters got the answer they'd been hoping for. Wisconsin's Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled the law is constitutional.
"We had three judges at the appellate court level agree that this is constitutional and that we won this case and it's very nice that we're progressing in that direction," said Van Hollen.
Wisconsin's League of Women Voters challenged the law in 2011. A Dane County judge found the law unconstitutional.
"We are considering our options in regard to further legal review and we can't make any decisions until after we've studied the ruling in more detail," said Kaminski.
The NAACP is also challenging the law in a separate lawsuit. Two federal cases are pending too.
"We're very excited, this is really a linchpin case, it's a victory for Voter I.D. and the will of the people, as spoken through the legislature and the governor," said Van Hollen.
"We really didn't see that this law was effective and in the meantime it really did place a heavier burden if it were in effect right now, on certain groups of citizens," said Kaminski.
For now, the law is blocked by injunction because of the pending litigation.
There's time for the dispute to weave through the courts. The next statewide election isn't until 2014.