July 29, 2019

Three Year Anniversary of Victory for Voter Rights in Wisconsin

2016 Federal Court Decision in One Wisconsin Institute, et. al. v. Thomsen, et. al Paved way for Expanded Early Voting

vote voting day

MADISON, Wis. — On July 29, 2016 a decision from federal Judge James Peterson delivered a big win for Wisconsin voters, undoing a series of Republican-adopted laws making casting a ballot more complicated and less convenient. Testimony in the case revealed Republican lawmakers’ intent in passing restrictions on voting was to advantage themselves in elections and target voters on the basis of race.

Among the provisions struck down in the ruling were limits on times and dates of early voting, a 28-day residency requirement and restrictions on the use of student IDs for voting. Judge Peterson also found the Republicans were unconstitutionally administering the state voter ID requirement.

Subsequent efforts by Republicans to reimpose limits on early voting after they lost every statewide office in the ballot in November 2018 were unsuccessful.

The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Analiese Eicher on the anniversary of the ruling:

“In the three years since Judge Peterson’s ruling, Wisconsin voters have shown that they will vote when given the opportunity to vote.

“Wisconsin Republicans have shown they will continue to try to rig the rules on voting to give themselves an unfair advantage every chance they get.

“In 2016 the federal court found Scott Walker, Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald and their fellow Republicans passed laws intentionally discriminating against voters on the basis of race. Now, with Donald Trump as head of their party, there’s no sign they’re going to stop that kind of despicable behavior.

“We’re as proud of this victory for voters today as we were three years ago and just as committed to making sure every legal voter in Wisconsin has the opportunity to vote.”

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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.

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