Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Constitutional, Appeals Court Rules

Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Constitutional, Appeals Court Rules

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – A Wisconsin appeals court on Thursday ruled the state’s controversial voter ID law is constitutional, a victory for supporters who say the measure limits fraud at the ballot box.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals overturned a March 2012 decision by Dane County judge Richard Niess, who ruled in favor of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, which claimed that the law is too burdensome, denying potential voters the right to vote.

The organization “makes no effective argument that, on its face, the requirement makes voting so difficult and inconvenient as to amount to a denial of the right to vote,” the appeals court wrote in its decision.

The Wisconsin measure, passed in 2011 by a Republican-controlled legislature, requires voters to present photo identification such as a driver’s license at polling places for federal, state and local elections.

The law, which still faces legal challenges, would put Wisconsin among nearly three dozen U.S. states with voter ID measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A hot-button political issue, Republicans say voter ID laws prevent election fraud while Democrats say they hinder low-income and minority voters.