Gov. Scott Walker would call voter ID special session
MADISON (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker says he would call lawmakers into special session to modify Wisconsin’s voter photo identification requirements to conform to court rulings.
Walker told reporters during a Wisconsin Bankers Association gathering at a Madison convention center Tuesday that he sees voter ID as the most pressing election-related issue Wisconsin faces. He says he wants voter ID in place before the November elections.
Republicans who control the Legislature passed the voter ID requirements in 2011 but a pair of Dane County judges struck the mandate down in separate lawsuits. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is currently considering both challenges but it’s unclear when the justices might rule. A federal judge in Milwaukee is also weighing the mandate in two more lawsuits.
The regular legislative session ends April 1.
Gov. Walker also says he is open to a bill that would limit in-person absentee voting in the two weeks leading up to an election.
Walker said Tuesday that while the proposal hasn’t been on his radar, it is something he will look at once it passes the Legislature. The state Senate was scheduled to vote on the measure Tuesday afternoon or evening.
The bill is opposed by a variety of groups who view it as an attack on access to the polls, especially for minorities. Both Milwaukee and Madison held extended voting hours in the 2012 election.
The bill would only allow in-person absentee voting to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays in the two weeks before an election. No weekend hours would be allowed.