Judge rules voter ID is constitutional - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Judge rules voter ID is constitutional


Eau Claire (WQOW)- We're far from the next election, but a decision Thursday had people across the state talking about voting.  The decision focuses on a controversial voting law. 

A Wisconsin appeals court says the law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls is constitutional.  Republicans passed the voter ID law a couple of years ago, saying it would help fight election fraud.  Ever since, the issue has been tied up in court.

"I think overwhelmingly, voters in this state have said that they want some reasonable form of voter ID and that's what we presented and we just felt it was a matter of time before we had our opportunity to do that," explains Governor Walker.

WQOW wanted to know what people thought of Thursday's court ruling so we took to the streets and asked people if they thought it was right that they would have to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote.

"Yeah because then you have to make sure that you are 18 and that it's you and not somebody else," says Katrina Schmudlach.

"No, it's a constitutional right," notes Max Turner.  "I think you have to be a citizen, but I don't think you need anymore paperwork to vote."

"I do agree with the voter ID.  I've been a poll watcher several times in Wisconsin and I notice the people that register the same day to vote were from Minnesota," remembers Carol Buhlman.  "This happened to be in the Walker recall and I just thought it was a little unusual that they didn't have to show any identification."

"It depends.  If it's for state legislation, you should have to show an ID showing that you are from the state," says Jacob Reinert.  "But for federal, you shouldn't have to I don't think."

Thursday's court decision did not end the debate.

"There were two suits working their way through the state courts.  This is just one of those two so the second one is still waiting for a decision," explains Eau Claire City Clerk Donna Austad.  "And once that is resolved, there are two federal lawsuits."

As for when those other cases could be resolved, there is no timetable right now.  Austad says each one must be resolved before we know the fate of the law.

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