By Tiffany Crouse
On Monday, March 23 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the challenge to Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law. This gives way for the Voter ID Law to be put into action. By February 2016, all ballots cast in any state-wide Wisconsin election will only be from ID-owning Wisconsinites, according to the Government Accountability Board.
This will not affect the upcoming April 7 election because there are already absentee ballots that have been distributed.
The Supreme Court froze this law back in April because of pending elections and Wisconsinites’ questions of its constitutional legality. One congresswoman still does not agree with the law, and is hoping for a quick change in legislation to stop this law.
“The [Supreme] Court did not weigh in on whether Wisconsin’s law was or was not constitutional. They just declined to hear it,” said Congresswoman Gwen Moore. She hopes that the Supreme Court will look at similar cases that are coming up the court system from Texas and North Carolina.
Moore feels that Republicans first created the law to marginalize minorities who primarily vote for Democrats. She does not think that this will lead to a successful Wisconsin democracy.
Wisconsin is now, however, in the majority of the U.S. states that have this law implemented. There are 30 states that require a valid state ID to vote according to the American Civil Liberty Union.
“Some people are going to be disenfranchised, and not be able to vote. But everyone who can possibly get a voter ID should try to get them” said Chris Ahmaty, executive director of ACLU in Wisconsin.
The ACLU was the first group to challenge the Voter ID Law to go to national trial. Ahmaty said that ACLU is now no longer looking to fight this inevitable law in Wisconsin, but trying to inform people.
“People shouldn’t wait. They should get their Voter IDs now, and to figure out how to do that before it’s too late,” said Ahmaty.
This law was originally implemented back in 2011 by Gov. Scott Walker. It was quickly gridlocked by lawsuits and clams from congresspersons for being unconstitutional in violating the Voting Rights Act.
The Wisconsin DMV has tried to make obtaining state IDs easy and free of charge in order to combat anyone’s inability to get a ID.
To get your free state ID you need to bring in various forms of identification. If fees arise in the process the DMV is allowing a petition process to keep the resident from paying for anything. For more information on how to get your state ID visit: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/idcard.htm
Congresswoman Moore is skeptical about the ‘free’ aspect of this process and worries about what this will do to the voting procedure in Wisconsin.
“It will essentially end same day registration” said Moore. She believes that people will not be able to get all of these materials for free, let alone all on Election Day.
Although Moore opposes this law, she does believe that minorities and other marginalized populations will rise to the occasion to get their Voter IDs. Through the help of non-profit, religious, and political organizations, Moore believes that it will be a group effort to “jump the hurdle” that is the Voter ID Law.