MADISON, Wis. — A three judge panel on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today heard oral arguments in appeals of the federal voting rights case One Wisconsin Institute, et. al. v. Thomsen, et. al.
A lower court decision in July 2016 struck down numerous anti-voter laws adopted by Gov. Walker and the Republican controlled legislature including restrictions on hours of early voting, finding that one of the limitations was enacted to discriminate against legal voters. In addition, the judge found the state’s administration of its strict voter ID law was unconstitutional.
The state is appealing in an effort to re-impose restrictions on voters that were struck down last year. Meanwhile, One Wisconsin Institute is seeking, based in part on evidence of otherwise legal voters being denied the franchise, to have voter ID and other restrictions invalidated by the court.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross:
“Republicans in Wisconsin have spent years rigging the rules on voting to give themselves an unfair advantage. Legal voters have paid the price, having to deal with laws that made it more complicated and less convenient, and in some cases, impossible for them to have their voices heard on election day.
“So far, our lawsuit has rolled back restrictions like those on early voting, resulting in record numbers of early votes cast in successive elections. We have presented evidence of how the state has failed to constitutionally administer their strict voter ID law, leaving legal voters unable to vote just as the authors of the measure intended, based on their own statements.
“The real fraud in Wisconsin elections has been exposed and our hope is that the court will find that the GOP efforts to manipulate the rules for their partisan advantage are inconsistent with a well functioning democracy and are impermissible under the Constitution.”