April 29, 2014

After a trial on the Wisconsin Voter ID law, Federal Distict Judge Lynn Adelson finds a violation of Equal protection and the Voting Rights Act.

The Nation reports:
Judge Adelman found that 300,000 registered voters in Wisconsin, roughly 9 percent of registered voters, lacked the government-issued ID required by the state to cast a ballot...

“The evidence adduced at trial demonstrates that this unique burden disproportionately impacts Black and Latino voters,” Adelman wrote. Data from the 2012 election “showed that African American voters in Wisconsin were 1.7 times as likely as white voters to lack a matching driver’s license or state ID and that Latino voters in Wisconsin were 2.6 times as likely as white voters to lack these forms of identification.”...

Judge Adelman argued that the state of Wisconsin presented no evidence of voter fraud to justify the burdens of the ID law. “The evidence at trial established that virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin"...

The problem in Wisconsin wasn’t only the large number of voters who lacked ID, but the Kafkaesque hurdles voters had to jump through to obtain the correct ID....
Obviously, there will be appeals, but this factfinding is significant and sets this case apart from the U.S. Supreme Court's Crawford case upholding the Indiana voter ID law in 2008. In that case, the district judge had granted summary judgment against the challengers of the law because they had "not introduced evidence of a single, individual Indiana resident who will be unable to vote as a result of SEA 483 or who will have his or her right to vote unduly burdened by its requirements."

67 comments:

Richard Dolan said...

Just from the squib in your post, the decision may suffer from being over-written as it moves up the appellate chain.

First, the "burden" of obtaining an ID is not especially heavy. The stats about who might need to get one (because they don't already have one for the usual, non-voting reasons) are the best fact for the opponents of the ID law, but still pretty weak beer without any finding of an intention to discriminate. Second, the procedures for getting one are not remotely "Kafkaesque." (It's hard to tell whether that was the judge's choice of words, or The Nation's editorial addition.) Nor is there any requirement for the Legislature to prove "cases of impersonation" before adopting an ID requirement.

If the appellate court believes that the district judge had a thumb on the scale when making these findings, I can easily see that impacting the decision even though there would be no mention of that factor in an appellate decision. As with the Michigan affirmative action referendum, an appellate court could prefer to hold that this, too, is an area of sharp divisions in the body politic which should be resolved by regular democratic means.

SteveR said...

I need help. Where did she "find" this?

madAsHell said...

Judicial activism?

who-knew said...

I say BS on the so-called findings of fact. Just 2 years ago my son got a Wisconsin picture ID (not a driver license, that came later). There were no Kafakaesque hurdles that we had to jump through. And since the existing system makes proving voter impersonation nearly impossible, the evidence at trial could not have established that "virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin". That's just unknowable under the current rules.

Adelman is letting his partisan Democratic roots drive this decision. Too bad for the rule of law and too bad for Wisconsin.

AJ Lynch said...

The way this should be argued is to state that one out of every fourteen people in the country is not a citizen.

That statistic alone should be a sufficient reason for a Voter ID law.

cubanbob said...

Anything from The Nation is automatically suspect. It would be interesting indeed to do a cross check of those alleged 300,000 potential voters to see how many of them have sufficent ID to open a bank account or cash a check or be able to apply for any kind of benefits.

Christy said...

Just curious. What ID is required to register to vote?

who-knew said...

I say BS on the so-called findings of fact. Just 2 years ago my son got a Wisconsin picture ID (not a driver license, that came later). There were no Kafakaesque hurdles that we had to jump through. And since the existing system makes proving voter impersonation nearly impossible, the evidence at trial could not have established that "virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin". That's just unknowable under the current rules.

Adelman is letting his partisan Democratic roots drive this decision. Too bad for the rule of law and too bad for Wisconsin.

n.n said...

Yet they do not apply the same standard of positive evidence to justify other oppressive policies and laws. Instead, they operate with a preconceived assumption to uphold their favored position. Sometimes introducing anecdotal evidence or inconclusive statistics to bolster their arguments.

ICacimbo Cacimbo said...

The fact that illegal immigrants have no id is being used to justify throwing out a law designed to keep illegal immigrants from voting.

AJ Lynch said...

The Brennan Center, a lib think think tank, at NYU {?} is the source of most of the erroneous BS about voter ID's being so difficult to get ID's. I bet they have never considered that a bunch of the 300,000 could be ineligible voters?

The bottomline is the li attorneys are outgunning the states and outspending the states to beat back Voter ID laws.

RecChief said...

oh it must be true if that paragon of neutral reporting The Nation. You know, the one that self-proclaims as the "Flagship of the Left". We've already seen at the Supreme Court's Leftist judges can "find" all sorts of rationale that advance leftist agendas, that no one else in the world can see. what is the political background on this judge?

Mattman26 said...

No voter impersonation, ha! I was a poll observer in Racine for the Walker recall election; same-day registration with no need for photo ID. As who-knew notes, it's all but impossible to prove instances of it, but the way people were getting shuffled in and out of the polling place (I believe the unions were bringing the voters in), and the scant documentation needed (you could literally walk in with someone's electric bill and say that's you), it really strains credulity to think falsification wasn't widespread.

Also, I follow the Seventh Circuit pretty closely, and I would bet large bucks this gets reversed.

Real American said...

if the state wasn't previously checking IDs it stands to reason evidence of impersonation would be pretty light.

EDH said...

The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law in 2008, but since then legal and public skepticism of voter ID laws and related restrictions has increased considerably.

Yea, I suppose that tectonic shift in opinion is why the ID laws are passed by legislation and have to be struck-down by judges.

Michael P said...

Statistical claims like those quoted also suffer from the Indiana problem of not identifying any particular person who would be prevented from voting by the law! Would it be unconstitutional to require people to register to vote before the election, merely because there is racial disparity in current voter registrations?

rhhardin said...

Judges are crooks.

Oso Negro said...

Remember, citizens! Every SINGLE TIME you are requested to produce a photo I.D. and comply, you are SUPPORTING RACISM!!!!!!!!!!!!! RACISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RACISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

damikesc said...

Yes, having unmatched names and ID's sure isn't evidence of a problem.

Michael P said...

This kind of statistical argument suffers from the same problem as the Indiana lawsuit: it does not identify any particular person who would be stopped from registering to vote, or would be unduly burdened. If there is racial disparity in voter registration rates, does that means the constitution requires same-day voter registration lest the unregistered (but otherwise eligible) voters be disenfranchised?

Unknown said...

Love it. "1.7 times as likely" is disproportionate. LOL

hombre said...

It is just so much more difficult to get a voter ID than to get an ID to collect welfare benefits, isn't it?

gspencer said...

Aww, com'n, are blacks and Latinos really that incapable of getting their act together?

Seeing Red said...

So it's Kafka-esque to get a drivers license? I thought Insty recently had an article about getting a gov ID to get bennies?

Or is standing in line at the DL facility white privilege?

Skipper said...

How would one know if there is fraud, without a method (like ID) to catch it?

Skipper said...

How would one detect fraud without a method like ID to catch it?

Zeb Quinn said...

The problem really is that it's just too dang hard for illegals to get an ID saying they're a citizen and entitled to vote. So, do away with the requirement to have ID altogether. A doop doop doop.

Next maybe we can require banks to do away with vaults and locked doors when the banks are closed. Because, hey, there's no evidence that banks without locks or vaults are at a higher risk of losing their money.

gregq said...

"The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law in 2008, but since then legal and public skepticism of voter ID laws and related restrictions has increased considerably."

A statement that proves you can't trust the person making the statement. Since last I checked the public still supports voter ID laws by ~70%.

It's just dishonest left-wing "judges", who are grasping how much the Democrats will be hurt if they lose their ability to commit vote fraud, who are moving against the laws.

Gahrie said...

God Damn it...lets just start dipping people's fingers in ink...that would be a better way of bragging about voting than those stupid stickers anyway.

While I am at it...can we please go back to scan tron ballots? We all grew up using scan trons.

Michael K said...

Do they need ID to collect welfare ?

mccullough said...

Indiana is the best state government in the country. Looks like Wisconsin needs to make it easier to get a photo ID. Red tape is the hallmark of over-regulation.

Kansas City said...

The judge apparently tried to put together fact findings to support his ruling and distinguish the case from the Indiana case. In theory, that should be influential in the court of appeals. The truth is that appellate justices often pay little attention to the facts, especially in a politicized/ poliicy case like this. I had a case in the Supreme Court (involving statutory not constitutional issues) and the justices for the most part could not have cared less about the fact record.

The Crack Emcee said...

If there's no voter fraud, then why the need for a law?

Questions Nobody's Asking,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael K said...
Do they need ID to collect welfare ?

How do you say "RACIST"?

That's how,...

Kirk Parker said...

"Unique burden"? Unique??? OMFG, the judge here doesn't even pretend to be impartial?

Audacity17 said...

"The fact that illegal immigrants have no id is being used to justify throwing out a law designed to keep illegal immigrants from voting."

QFT
Quoted For Truth

Saint Croix said...

From MSNBC:

"In a report released Wednesday, North Carolina’s elections board said it had found 35,570 people who voted in the state in 2012 and whose names and dates of birth match those of voters in other states. The board said it also found 765 North Carolinians who voted in 2012 and whose names, birthdates, and last four digits of their Social Security number match those of people in other states. The board said it’s looking into all these cases to determine whether people voted twice."

Also it's rather shocking how easy it is for fraud to happen. New York City has a Department of Investigations that ran a fraud probe, using undercover agents who attempted to vote illegally. 61 out of 63 fraud attempts were successful.

See also the widespread voter fraud attempts by ACORN. And this is just when they're been caught.

Requiring a photo ID seems a very basic precaution.

SeanJ said...

Some butt hurt conservatives grumbling amongst themselves. What else is new?

Curious George said...

Then aren't Wisconsin's [i]driving[/i] laws unconstitutional?

Nichevo said...

So what you're saying is, conservatives need to devise a massive vote fraud strategy, THEN you'll admit there's a problem. Got it. Kochs, get right on that please?

Nichevo said...

So what you're saying is, conservatives need to devise a massive vote fraud strategy, THEN you'll admit there's a problem. Got it. Kochs, get right on that please?

RecChief said...

"If there's no voter fraud, then why the need for a law?"

Except I provided 6 examples of instances of voter fraud a week of two ago. On this Blog. Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, etc.

Here's a question no one of your viewpoint is asking: If there is no method of detecting voter fraud, will there be documented instances of voter fraud?

I don't understand the resistance to proving you're a citizen to vote. You're using circular reasoning to get to the position that you are asserting.

Gahrie said...

If there's no voter fraud, then why the need for a law?

There is voter fraud. It is quite an open secret. One of the reasons Democrats and Lefties are so strident in their opposition to voter ID is precisely because it will prove how much fraud has been occurring.

lgv said...

"but the Kafkaesque hurdles voters had to jump through to obtain the correct ID"

Could someone define the hurdles for me?

Should Homeland Security drop ID requirements for flying as this is an undue hardship on minorities?

jacksonjay said...


I stand with Saint Mandela on Voter ID!

garage mahal said...

"The defendants could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past."

You mean to tell me Gov Walker and Robin Vos have been lying to us the entire time?

Pettifogger said...

When the lamentations over the onerousness of getting a photo ID reached crescendo level a while back, I wondered what you had to do to apply for food stamps. Google quickly got me the answer. At least in Texas, among the things you should bring when you apply is a photo ID.

It seems to me, therefore, that the category of people we are talking about are those who are simultaneously (A) too poor to drive a car and (B) too rich for food stamps. I question whether there are any people at all in that category. If there are any, their number must be vanishingly small.

Pettifogger said...

"If there's no voter fraud, then why the need for a law?"

A corollary to that proposition would be that, since there's so little misuse of firearms by concealed-carry licensees, there's no need to restrict when and where they can carry.

drozz said...

we've mandated health care. why not mandate people get gov't issued id to be able to vote?

Hagar said...

The dumbest proposal to date has been to put photos on our Social Security cards, and the MSM actually discussing it as if it was for serious.

My card is 60+ years old now, and I do not think I would be recognized today from a picture taken then. Not to mention my children, who got their cards as babies.

Hagar said...

If Romney had said that, the media would have been all over it as evidence of how out of touch he is with "the common man."
Bill Clinton?

eddie willers said...

Racism is the belief that one race is superior to another.

Democrats obviously believe that black people are too lazy or too stupid to get I.D. cards.

jr565 said...

"Data from the 2012 election “showed that African American voters in Wisconsin were 1.7 times as likely as white voters to lack a matching driver’s license or state ID and that Latino voters in Wisconsin were 2.6 times as likely as white voters to lack these forms of identification.”...

Can we test that data? And why is it true? Why are the dems trying to keep the blacks and latinos on the plantation by not making it easier to get drivers licenses?

We hear all these bogus stats being bandied about. Women CEO's are more likely to be fired than male CEO's when it's troubled companies. And this is supossed to reinforce the War on Women mantra.

Well, ok. Now that we now these stats, doens't it speak badly of democrats handling of their constituents basic needs? They don't even have drivers licenses?

Think about Katrina, and the argument was that no one left because they didnt' have cars. And somehow that was Bush's fault. He should have gotten everybody cars or soemthing. Well no wonder they didn't have cars. A lot of them don't have drivers licenses.

How many negative stats that are bandied about as how we are failing the underlclass are tied into certain people not even having the most basic documentation to help them get through the day.

jr565 said...

cubanbob wrote:
Anything from The Nation is automatically suspect. It would be interesting indeed to do a cross check of those alleged 300,000 potential voters to see how many of them have sufficent ID to open a bank account or cash a check or be able to apply for any kind of benefits.


To get Obamacare, wouildn't some of these same folks need to provide identification to receive the benefit? Is that an undue hardship? How did they mananage to get such ID?

And maybe Obamacare should be overturned on the same grounds.

I'm starting to wonder about the liberal reading of Equal Protection. THis is they umpteenth time a liberal judge came to a wrong conclusion and then based it on a violation of equal protection.

jr565 said...

Garage what ID are people using to get Obamacare? (When they say they are who they say they are). What if they can't get obamacare because they don't have id? Or, is asking for them to provide info racist?

jr565 said...

For Garage (requoting Saint CRoix) From MSNBC:

"In a report released Wednesday, North Carolina’s elections board said it had found 35,570 people who voted in the state in 2012 and whose names and dates of birth match those of voters in other states. The board said it also found 765 North Carolinians who voted in 2012 and whose names, birthdates, and last four digits of their Social Security number match those of people in other states. The board said it’s looking into all these cases to determine whether people voted twice."


ANy comments? And this is from MSNBC. not Fox.

jr565 said...

And how infantilized do the dems have to make blacks and latinos.
Now getting an ID card is too much for them. You'd think that dems wouldn't argue that the lack of ID wasn't a war on minorities and demand that they be given such documentation for free due to the hardship of not having said documentation.
But no, they are going to ride this "having basic documentation is racist" thing into the ground because they know that it will impact their elections if they don't.

Mark said...

jr, there is no evidence that a photo ID would stop these cases, is there? These are not people misrepresenting their identity, they are registering twice. Voter ID would not solve this, would it?

jr565 said...

Mark wrote:
jr, there is no evidence that a photo ID would stop these cases, is there? These are not people misrepresenting their identity, they are registering twice. Voter ID would not solve this, would it?

There is no evidence that getting a ID cards would be a hardship for minorities, and all indictations are that if they don't have something like a driverse license, they are not going to be able to do much in society. And so, rather than fight a bogus war on ID, find ways to get people who can't get ID cards to do so.

jr565 said...

Mark wrote:
jr, there is no evidence that a photo ID would stop these cases, is there? These are not people misrepresenting their identity, they are registering twice. Voter ID would not solve this, would it?

Actually it might. IF the ID says their adress is so and so they can only vote at such and such. and if they are elsewhere then something is wrong. Furhter, if they show the id you could have it registered when that ID was used. So if someone tried to use it again...

garage mahal said...

Voter ID would not solve this, would it?

Nope. Shortening voting hours or eliminating weekend voting solves nothing either. Except limit Democrats from voting. It's all a con. Run by con men.

geokstr said...

To Garage (who else?):

It appears that the Milwaukee Police Department disagrees with you and the leftling judge:

"The police report found that between 4,600 and 5,300 more votes were counted in Milwaukee than the number of voters recorded as having cast ballots. Absentee ballots were cast by people living elsewhere; ineligible felons not only voted but worked at the polls; transient college students cast improper votes; and homeless voters possibly voted more than once."

Imagine that.

Ten Charged with Vote Fraud in Milwaukee

Mark said...

And here comes the Kafkaesque logic. Spelling and grammar too!

garage mahal said...

It appears that the Milwaukee Police Department disagrees with you and the leftling judge:

1. John Fund links to no material. (no surprise with this guy)

2. We have no idea what what happened to these cases.

3. Photo ID would have stopped exactly NONE of these 5 cases.

Do you guys have any idea whatsoever about how elections are run? It doesn't seem like it.

roesch/voltaire said...

This law was an example of a solution looking for a problem where there was none and as a result became an obvious example of voter suppression to help the Republican party-- not that there is anything wrong with that, but just be honest about the intent.

Todd said...

roesch/voltaire said...
This law was an example of a solution looking for a problem where there was none and as a result became an obvious example of voter suppression to help the Republican party-- not that there is anything wrong with that, but just be honest about the intent.

4/30/14, 9:05 PM


So if you run a bank with no accounting system and have no idea how much money is in it and can't tell if your tellers are stealing from you, this proves that there is no stealing going on? Because you can't prove it? Just wow...

We DO know that some areas have counted more votes than registered voters. That tells us that there IS a problem. This helps the integrity of the overall system and may (I think likely but will say may) help reduce fraud. The cost is minimal as an ID is needed for other aspects of society so why resist?

It is perfectly OK for the government to REQUIRE I have health insurance but it is too much of an imposition to require a photo ID to cast a vote? Really?

mikee said...

Simple solution: mandatory ID for all citizens of WI, free to the poor, followed by voter ID.