Patterico's Pontifications

9/17/2014

Yesterday’s News, Tomorrow: 7th Circuit Reinstates Wisconsin Voter ID Law

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am



Yes, I know, that headline makes me sound even more prompt than I am. I’m admittedly days late to the reporting of this news, but there are a few things that happened when I was overwhelmed at work last week that deserve some mention, and this is one of them.

In April, when a Democrat judge invalidated the Wisconsin voter-ID law, I said: “I hope the state of Wisconsin appeals this, and stuffs a resounding reversal opinion right down this judge’s partisan Democrat throat.” Looks like we are well on the way:

In a stunningly fast decision, a federal appeals court in Chicago reinstated Wisconsin’s voter photo identification law on Friday — just hours after three Republican-appointed judges heard arguments on reactivating the hotly debated law in time for the November election.

In a brief order, a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said, “The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes … enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections.”

Wisconsin officials wasted no time in saying they would do just that.

“We are taking every step to fully implement the voter photo ID law for the November general election,” said Kevin Kennedy, the state’s top election official. “We are now focused on communicating with local election officials and voters, and will have more information about the details next week.”

The court has not issued a final ruling; this is just a one-pager lifting the stay. But it’s a strong indication that they are going to reverse.

Election Law Expert Rick Hasen says the appellate court decision is a “big, big mistake,” which is persuasive evidence that it’s a good idea.

The decision in April was a partisan travesty. It’s nice to see it on its way to the trashbin.

23 Responses to “Yesterday’s News, Tomorrow: 7th Circuit Reinstates Wisconsin Voter ID Law”

  1. So odd how election integrity is a partisan issue.

    Dejectedhead (a094a6)

  2. i’m sure that Eric Holder will step in to stop this racist behavior…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  3. If requiring ID to vote is racist, what about requiring ID to get a handgun permit?

    Michael Ejercito (becea5)

  4. That’s unconstitutional, too. You should be able to walk into a hardware store and buy a Thompson machine gun with two 100-round drums just like you could in 1928, no questions asked.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. Ideal for home defense, nk.

    luagha (18cd63)

  6. I agree that if Hasan is against something, that is a good indicator that it is the correct decision of thing to do.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  7. 1.So odd how election integrity is a partisan issue.

    Not when you consider that election fraud is a partisan Democrat issue, Dejectedhead.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  8. Oh, I realize the Democratic shenanigans.

    Dejectedhead (a094a6)

  9. Putting on my election officer hat, here – the timing of this is a disaster.

    One of the provisions of the law is that people applying for absentee ballots have to enclose with their application a photocopy of their state ID. That provision was not enforced prior to the ruling, and so people haven’t been doing it *when applying for absentee ballots for this election*.

    It’s late enough in the election cycle that absentee ballots have been mailed. (This is REQUIRED by federal law, because of the time needed to ensure that soldiers can get ballots and get them returned – the extended timing was a provision of HAVA).

    So ballots have been mailed. The election offices have NO CLUE if the ballots in question were applied for with ID copies or not. So what are election officers to do with those ballots? Count them despite violating the ID law? Refuse to count them despite the fact that the voter complied with the law as it stood when they requested?

    Furthermore, a large number of applications are sitting in offices, with ballots yet to be mailed. A similar problem applies to those. Sure, it’s easier to obtain ID copies before mailing the ballots in this case, but what if the voter is unreachable – because, say, they’re out of the country on business and can’t get the “you need to reapply” message, reapply, receive the ballot, and mail it in before election day (due, perhaps, to the unreliability of some local postal service)?

    Decisions imposing new requirements for the election process need to be made no later than Sept. 1 of an election year – or, even better, Aug. 15. Otherwise you end up with chaos.

    aphrael (001863)

  10. The neat thing about this is WI will continue to be a sink for vast amounts of union dues.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  11. aphrael – The biggest problem I see is the absence of a formal ruling directing officials how to apply the reversal to an election already in process.

    Just guessing, but I would think election officials know when absentee ballots were mailed out so that any already in the hands of voters or in the mail will probably be counted. Any applications for absentee ballots postmarked or received prior to the reversal but unprocessed will probably be processed under the loosest interpretation of the rules.

    That seems the fairest interpretation to me and something I think both parties could get behind rather than requiring redocumentation from people.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  12. A ruling that said “any APPLICATION postmarked before the change in the rules uses the old rule, any postmarked after the change uses the new rule” would be the best thing (although it still creates the problem that people may have filled out under the old rule and not mailed yet, but that’s an edge case) — assuming they know when the application was postmarked/received.

    I’m not 100% sure everyone’s software tracks that.

    aphrael (001863)

  13. ‘software’? We don’t need no stinkin’ software, we’ve got 3×5 filecards.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  14. Election Law Expert Rick Hasen says the appellate court decision is a “big, big mistake,” which is persuasive evidence that it’s a good idea.

    Rick Hasen is a law professor at UC Irvine. It still rankles me that they opened a law school there five years ago, right at the moment when it was obvious that both California and the U.S. had more lawyers than we already needed.

    JVW (638245)

  15. 14-
    The Progressives of CA needed a safe place to park Erwin Chemerinsky once it became apparent that he was never going to get an appointment to the Federal Bench.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  16. Yeah, and I do appreciate that a part of his becoming dean was that he would agree to stop with his hyper-liberal, hyper-partisan op-ed pieces, so I am grateful for that.

    JVW (638245)

  17. He stopped?
    But I don’t read the LAT’s any longer, so to me, he stopped long ago.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  18. akseptic -you’re probably right, but that’s even worse.

    aphrael (001863)

  19. Which, that they found a sinecure for Erwin, or that I stopped reading the Times.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  20. Askeptic – neither! That many of these elections offices are running paper systems rather than computerized ones. That makes the situation even more difficult to resolve.

    aphrael (af3e66)

  21. voter id laws stop a few democrats from voting in the short term :but make democrats vengeful in the long term. ask yourself this question if you are stopped from voting this time won’t you like to vote for someone who seeks vengeance on republicans next time? How would you like them to vote for someone when they get their id who says if you vote for me I will pardon as governor anyone who brings a republican to justice? by the way most minority kids have id as they are always being hassled about it by law enforcement only the really old don’t and they get smaller in number every election.

    mr.gop (db70c2)

  22. aphrael #9 – perhaps the first ruling in April (the genuine disaster if it had been upheld) should have been different, in which case there would be no issue at all now …

    It is good to see rational thinking prevail, is it not ?

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  23. voter id laws stop a few democrats from voting in the short term :but make democrats vengeful in the long term. ask yourself this question if you are stopped from voting this time won’t you like to vote for someone who seeks vengeance on republicans next time? How would you like them to vote for someone when they get their id who says if you vote for me I will pardon as governor anyone who brings a republican to justice? by the way most minority kids have id as they are always being hassled about it by law enforcement only the really old don’t and they get smaller in number every election.

    mr.gop (db70c2) — 9/17/2014 @ 6:09 pm

    You be clown yourself. Voter ID are not designed to stop democrats from voting, they are to ensure the integrity of the vote. Where they have been implemented, they actually increase minority vote. If democrats become “vengeful” because of voter ID laws that increase minority voting, they must be racist.

    Study on North Carolina Voter ID Law Shows Increase in Minority Turnout.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5a155)


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