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Voter ID case won’t be resolved ahead of recalls (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s voter identification law won’t be resolved before this spring’s recall elections.

Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan set a briefing schedule Thursday that will extend the case at least several weeks beyond the general recall election on June 5, saying the matter is complex and he wants to give attorneys ample time to document their arguments.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and immigrant advocacy group Voces de la Frontera filed a lawsuit in Madison in December alleging the ID requirements create an unreasonable burden on voters. But state attorneys argue that few people lack photo IDs and that concerns about obtaining IDs are overblown.

Flanagan has temporarily blocked the law from taking effect while he considers both sides’ arguments. A four-day bench trial wrapped up Thursday afternoon after Flanagan said he didn’t need to hear oral arguments. He said he wants final positions outlined in briefs. He set a June 18 due date for the last set of filings.

Democrats have forced Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans into recall elections as punishment for passing a law that stripped most public workers of their union rights. Primaries are scheduled for May 8, with the general election to follow on June 5.

Another Dane County judge has issued a permanent injunction against the voter ID in a separate challenge brought by the League of Women Voters. The state has appealed that ruling. It’s unclear when a decision might come.

Two federal lawsuits also challenging the law are pending.

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