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State Supreme Court asked to combine Voter ID cases


MADISON (WSAU)  Wisconsin’s attorney general has again asked the State Supreme Court to take over a pair of cases which challenge the state’s photo I-D law for voting – and to consider them as one. Republican J-B Van Hollen was hoping the court would restore the I-D mandate for this week’s elections. But two appellate courts have spent months reviewing lawsuits from two Dane County judges who struck down the photo I-D requirement – and neither court has made a decision yet.

In September, the Supreme Court said it could not make a joint decision on both cases because the state had not filed initial appellate briefs in one of them. Van Hollen said those briefs were filed this week – and that should allow the justices to act.

It’s the third time the state has tried to speed up a review of two lawsuits, which were filed by the League of Women Voters and a coalition of black and Hispanic groups in Milwaukee. In both cases, Madison judges ruled that the photo I-D requirement illegally discourages the poor, elderly, minorities, and college students from voting. But Van Hollen said all those people can get free I-D’s under the law – and he believes it’s a constitutional way to fight voter fraud.

Majority Republicans in the Legislature passed the photo I-D mandate last year, but it’s only been used once – and that was during the local primaries in February.