The Trials of Voter ID

This Friday brings an important test for—depending on how you look at it—either Wisconsin’s voter ID law or the Dane County judiciary.

On Friday, Judge David Flanagan will reconsider a motion for a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the law.  Earlier this month Flanagan declined to issue the injunction requested by NAACP attorneys, saying they’d failed to show voter ID would do irreparable harm.  They get Friday’s do-over because they say they have new testimony.

Anyway, a trial on the NAACP’s lawsuit to overturn voter ID is scheduled in April.

It’s one of three lawsuits by groups who deserve public scorn for embracing the fundamentally absurd proposition that a lesser standard of proof of eligibility should be required to decide who runs the government than to rent a movie.

That the prolonged struggle to enact voter ID was worthwhile has been repeatedly demonstrated in recent weeks.

  • Analysis by a private citizens’ group revealed errors in more than one-third of all Milwaukee County Election Day voter registrations for the 2011 spring elections.
  • Local clerks found changes in the Government Accountability Board’s statewide database and faulty census data placed a number of voters in the wrong legislative districts and—somehow—even outside the United States.
  • Last week, the Pew Center on the States said it found that voter lists are a mess nationwide.

One in eight active registrations is invalid or inaccurate. At the same time, one in four people who are eligible to vote — at least 51 million potential voters — are not registered.

The report found that there are about 1.8 million dead people listed as active voters. Some 2.8 million people have active registrations in more than one state. And 12 million registrations have errors serious enough to make it unlikely that mailings based on them will reach voters.

It’s true that voter ID by itself can’t solve all the problems acknowledged by the Pew Center. It’s also true that without voter ID, nothing else that’s done to address those problems will matter.


About Wisconsin Club for Growth
The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation. Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes that effective lobbying is done at all stages of the budget cycle, including when our leaders make public promises and can be encouraged to support policies that spur economic growth. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes we must support pro-growth policies and encourage public officials with backbones to remain truly committed to making our economy and our state stronger. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes our leaders must stand up to the tax and spend mentality in Madison and work tirelessly to cut taxes and unleash the power of the free-market.

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