Judge delays ruling in voter ID lawsuit to next week

MADISON — A second Wisconsin judge will decide next week whether to block the state’s voter identification law.

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess’ announcement at a hearing Friday comes just days after a different judge in a separate case granted a temporary injunction to stop the law.

The League of Women Voters filed its lawsuit last October. On Friday, the League’s attorneys argued the voter ID bill is unconstitutional. “Having to state your name when you go into vote is a very different kind of burden than having to produce an ID and show it,” Andrea Kaminski said.

Attorneys for the Department of Justice did not comment leaving court. But they told Judge Neiss the law does not put an additional burden on voters.

“It simply is a means of verifying that the person who shows up to vote actually is a person whose name is on the poll list,” DOJ attorney Carrie Benedon said.

The voter ID law was in effect for the February primary election despite numerous lawsuits challenging it. The state Department of Justice has said it plans to appeal Tuesday’s ruling in another lawsuit temporarily stopping the law from being in place for the April 3 presidential primary.  That lawsuit was filed by Voces de la Frontera and the NAACP.

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