I have read the opinion (.pdf), and, shockingly, it is nonsense. In a nutshell, the judge finds that 1) there ain’t no such thing as voter fraud, and 2) obtaining a photo ID is second in difficulty only to scaling Mount Everest.
You will be shocked to learn that the judge was appointed by Bill Clinton and was a Democrat in Wisconsin’s State Senate from 1977 to 1997.
I’m not going to spend hours of my life deconstructing the judge’s partisan claptrap, but let me note one teensy tiny little hole in the judge’s argument. After he gets done asserting that there ain’t no such thing as fraud by voter impersonation, he addresses a topic that I have railed about here in the past. Namely: the overwhelming likelihood that illegal immigrants, who habitually present fraudulent documentation in every other walk of life, and habitually and illegally claim rights of citizenship that they have not earned, just might possibly decide to vote as if they were a citizen. Especially if nobody is checking IDs. As I said in 2010:
Estimates say that there are anywhere from 10 million to 18 million illegal immigrants in the country. This means millions are of voting age. What’s more, many of them are experts at obtaining false documents, allowing them to work, drive, and participate in all other aspects of civic life. Do we really think that none of them vote? None? Let’s go with a conservative estimate of 10,000,000 illegal immigrants. If only one percent of them vote — just one percent! — that’s 100,000 illegal votes. That is voter fraud on a massive scale — certainly enough to tip a close election. This sort of thing dilutes your vote.
It has happened in New Mexico and I bet you it has happened in Wisconsin.
Here’s what the good Democrat judge says about that:
The defendants contend that the photo ID requirement will help detect and deter forms of voter fraud other than voter impersonation. However, the defendants do not adequately explain how that could be so. The first type of unlawful voting the defendants cite is “voting under invalid voter registrations.” Defs.’ Post-Trial Br. at 12–13. The examples the defendants give of this kind of voter fraud are voting by a registered voter who has been convicted of a felony and voting by a non-citizen who has managed to register to vote.
However, the defendants do not explain how the requirement to present an ID at the polls will prevent these types of unlawful voting, and I cannot think of any way that it could. If a person is registered and has a valid ID, that person will be allowed to vote. No evidence in the record indicates that persons convicted of a felony or non-citizens will be unable to present qualifying forms of ID.
That’s pages 20-21 of the opinion. Remember that, folks: there is NO EVIDENCE in the record indicating that non-citizens will be unable to present voter IDs.
NO EVIDENCE, I TELL YOU!!!
Serious You Guys, I am over here racking my brain trying to think of a way that an ID requirement could prevent non-citizens from voting, and I am just coming up empty!
If you’re already rubbing your eyes in amazement, just wait until you hit the part of the opinion where the good Democrat judge talks about how very very hard it is to get these IDs.
For almost all low-income voters who lack an ID, the easiest ID to obtain will be the free state ID card, which is issued by the DMV. To obtain a state ID card, a person generally must present documents that satisfy four requirements: (1) proof of name and date of birth, (2) proof of United States citizenship or legal presence in the United States, (3) proof of identity, and (4) proof of Wisconsin residency. See Wis. Admin. Code § Trans 102.15.
That’s at page 26.
!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you see it? I bolded it for you so you would! Did you?
Now, the highlighted portion does allow non-citizens who are legally present in the United States to obtain a state ID card, so requiring a state ID card would not neatly exclude every non-citizen from voting. But it would exclude non-citizens who are not legally present in the country — absent the presentation of fraudulent documents to obtain a state ID card.
So, gee, Mr. Judge, doesn’t it seem like maybe the ID requirement might kinda help after all?
By the way, those requirements are what is necessary to obtain a state ID card, which (according to the judge) is the easiest kind of ID to get. The main other acceptable forms of ID include a Wisconsin driver’s license, an “ID card issued by a United States uniformed service,” or a U.S. passport. These also seem difficult to come by, if you’re an illegal immigrant, except by fraud.
In short, the judge is either exceedingly dense, or he is a liar. Perhaps both, but certainly not neither.
I hope the state of Wisconsin appeals this, and stuffs a resounding reversal opinion right down this judge’s partisan Democrat throat.