Judge issues permanent injunction against voter ID law

MADISON -- Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge David Flanagan issued a permanent injunction Tuesday afternoon, July 17th, against Wisconsin's Voter ID Law -- stopping the law from taking effect. If upheld, Flanagan's injunction would mean voters won't need photo ID at the polls.

Flanagan says Wisconsin's photo ID law is the strictest in the nation, and determined it is "not sufficiently narrow to avoid needless and significant impairment of the right to vote."

Some celebrated Flanagan's ruling Tuesday while others are expecting an appeal.

Milwaukee's NAACP and Voces de la Frontera held a press conference Tuesday evening. The groups were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit opposing Wisconsin's Voter ID Law.

"The right to vote is paramount.This decision of Judge Flanagan today is very important in guaranteeing that sacred right to vote," Milwaukee NAACP President James Hall said.

Flanagan had issued a temporary injunction against the law back in March, but the new ruling made the injunction permanent.

Republican Rep. Jeff Stone supports the Voter ID Law, saying it cuts down on voter fraud. He believes Flanagan's ruling will ultimately be overturned.

"I'm expecting an appeal of this, and I'm hoping we can get a positive decision from the state Supreme Court," Stone said.

Flanagan is the second Dane County judge to permanently block the Voter ID Law, making it all the more unlikely the law will be in effect for upcoming elections.

"It appears to be very difficult that it's going to be in effect, at least in the Senate primary," Stone said.

Voters take to the polls for the U.S. Senate Republican primary on August 14th.

Voter ID opponents say the ruling protects anyone who finds obtaining a photo ID frustrating and time-consuming.

"To those 300,000 voters to have to spend $20 or $40, or eight or 10 or 12 hours to get a photo ID, that's what the judge found to be an unreasonable voter's burden," Attorney Richard Saks said.

"I think we built a law that will work well for the state of Wisconsin, and one I believe will eventually be found to be constitutional, in Wisconsin and federally," Stone said.

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