wisconsin capitol
Press Release
November 18, 2012

One Wisconsin Institute Files Amicus Brief in Voter ID Case Citing Lack of Voter Fraud, Access to DMVs

Pro-Voter ID Contention on Ease of Getting ID 'Patronizingly Dismissive, Arising From Privilege'

MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Institute is today filing an amicus brief in support of the NAACP-Voces de la Frontera lawsuit against the state’s voter identification law, citing the lack of provable voter impropriety and limited access to Department of Motor Vehicles offices. One Wisconsin Institute is the education and research arm of statewide progressive advocacy group One Wisconsin Now.

“There is absolutely no evidence anywhere in the state of Wisconsin of massive in-person voter impropriety to warrant the punitive and suppression voter identification law signed by Gov. Scott Walker,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director. “Nor is Wisconsin prepared to administer a voter identification law without costing perhaps hundreds of thousands of legal voters their sacred, constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.”

The Institute’s brief was filed by Attorney Rebecca Mason of Rebecca Mason Law LLC of Racine, who specializes in political law and issues of voter access.

The brief notes that Wisconsin’s DMVs have a patchwork of limited open hours and just one with weekend hours. The state of Indiana, where voter identification was upheld, had two hundred percent more hours, substantially more physical offices, almost all of its offices had weekend hours of operation while Wisconsin has just one and that Indiana has geographically 50 percent smaller square mileage, making Wisconsin’s lack of offices and access an unconstitutional burden to administration of the voter identification law. Nearly all of Indiana’s 140 BMVs are open five days a week, Wisconsin has only 33 full-time sites; Indiana has 124 that are open on the weekends, Wisconsin has one.

“Gov. Walker and his allies passed voter identification with no consideration of the consequence of denying legal voters access to the franchise,” said Ross. “Given they can also produce not one instance of in-person voter impersonation prosecuted in the state of Wisconsin, it is clear that their intention is to suppress the vote, rather than promote the vote.”

Just a week ago, Republican Sen. Alberta Darling, a chief proponent of the voter identification law and the Senate leader of the state’s powerful budget-writing committee claimed in a television interview that lack of enforcement of the state’s voter identification law, as it has been declared unconstitutional in by two judges, allowed over 200,000 people to commit in-person voter fraud, leading to President Barack Obama winning Wisconsin’s electoral college votes.

One Wisconsin Now has demanded Darling provide an account of the evidence backing this incendiary claim. So far, neither Darling, nor any of those who voted in the legislature to pass the voter identification law, have provided a shred of evidence to back up claims of massive voter impersonation targeted by voter identification legislation.

“All evidence shows the only fraud in Wisconsin is by partisans manipulating the laws to deny legal voters their right to cast a ballot,” said Ross.

The Institute’s brief was filed in the State of Wisconsin Circuit Court of Appeals for District II.

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One Wisconsin Institute is a non-partisan, progressive research and education organization dedicated to a Wisconsin with equal economic opportunity for all.