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Constitutional Law — photo identification

Wisconsin Supreme Court

Civil

Constitutional Law — photo identification

Requiring photo identification to vote does not violate the Wisconsin Constitution.

“We conclude that the legislature did not exceed its authority under Article III of the Wisconsin Constitution when it required electors to present Act 23-acceptable photo identification. Since 1859, we have held that ‘it is clearly within [the legislature’s] province to require any person offering to vote[] to furnish such proof as it deems requisite[] that he is a qualif[i]ed elector.’ Cothren v. Lean, 9 Wis. 254 (*279), 258 (*283-84) (1859). Requiring a potential voter to identify himself or herself as a qualified elector through the use of Act 23-acceptable photo identification does not impose an elector qualification in addition to those set out in Article III, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution.”

“We also conclude that the requirement to present Act 23-acceptable photo identification comes within the legislature’s authority to enact laws providing for the registration of electors under Article III, Section 2 because Act 23-acceptable photo identification is the mode by which election officials verify that a potential voter is the elector listed on the registration list.”

“Finally, we conclude that plaintiff’s facial challenge fails because Act 23’s requirement to present photo identification is a reasonable regulation that could improve and modernize election procedures, safeguard voter confidence in the outcome of elections and deter voter fraud. See Crawford v. Marion Cnty. Election Bd., 553 U.S. 181, 191 (2008). Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the court of appeals.”

Affirmed as modified.

2012AP584 League of Women Voters v. Walker

Roggensack, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Lazar, Maria S., Madison; Kawski, Clayton Patrick, Madison; For Respondent: Pines, Lester A., Madison; Packard, Tamara, Madison; Crawford, Susan M., Madison


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