As the Wisconsin Supreme Court began hearing oral argument to the constitutionality of the Voter ID requirement in 2011 Wisconsin Act 23, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, issued the following statement:
“The State Supreme Court protects our constitutional right to vote, which drives our democracy. The arguments and facts presented before the court today by the attorneys of Voces de Frontera and the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP, on the unconstitutional and discriminatory nature of Wisconsin’s Photo ID law, are undeniable.
There is no evidence of any voter fraud that has occurred that would have been prevented with Photo ID. Yet there is clear evidence – not abstract, but clear – in the lives of the many people who have experienced the burden and costs of trying to meet this impossible new standard, which is amongst the strictest in the country. We have demonstrated without question that over 300,000 people – including seniors, students, and people of color – will be disenfranchised in future elections if Photo ID becomes law.
The State Supreme Court must vote for a permanent injunction of Photo ID, and uphold the state’s constitution to protect the right to vote for everyone.”
The Dane County circuit court issued a preliminary injunction on March 6, 2012, declaring that Act 23 likely violates Art. III, Sec. 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution because it constitutes an unreasonable and onerous burden on the right to vote for large numbers of qualified voters lacking the types of photo ID required by the law.
The court made the injunction permanent on June 17, 2012 following five days of trial declaring that the cost and difficulty of obtaining a photo ID is a substantial burden upon a significant number of Wisconsin citizens who are otherwise constitutionally qualified to vote. The injunction has remained in effect while the case has been pending on appeal.