Maybe next year?
June 7, 2013
With the crucial midterm congressional elections and Governor Walker’s anticipated re-election bid coming up in 2014, it would be nice to believe Wisconsin will finally be enforcing its Voter ID law the next time we trek to the polling place.
Last week the District IV Court of Appeals brought that outcome a bit closer to reality, reversing a Dane County judge who, just in time to prevent the law being applied for last year’s spring elections, ruled it unconstitutional in March 2012.
It took long enough, but the appellate court opinion is notable in that the District IV court is packed to the rafters with Madison Liberals, yet the plaintiff League of Women Voters got no traction.
Not bothering to back its argument with evidence, the League asserted that Voter ID is an unreasonably burdensome requirement. Underlining the childishness of the League’s argument, the court declined to opine “as to whether such an argument might have merit if supported by fact finding.” Inasmuch as “the League does not rely on any fact finding or evidentiary material,” its argument “falls short.”
The case was remanded to the circuit court, so further proceedings may ensue and there are three other challenges pending. Voter ID is far from set in stone.
But the District IV decision lays bare the absurd contention that verifying voter identity interferes with the right to vote. To the contrary, voter ID enhances the right to vote by ensuring that the voters are who they say they are, not someone bused in from a neighboring state.
The League might well learn the lesson that the right to vote includes the right to have some confidence that honest votes won’t be nullified by ineligible or fraudulent ones.