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AG Van Hollen again asks Supreme Court to combine voter ID challenges


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s attorney general has again asked the State Supreme Court to take over a pair of cases which challenge the state’s photo ID law for voting – and to consider them as one.

Republican J.B. Van Hollen was hoping the court would restore the ID mandate for this week’s elections. But two appellate courts have spent months reviewing lawsuits from two Dane County judges who struck down the photo ID requirement – and neither court has made a decision yet.

In September, the Supreme Court said it could not make a joint decision on both cases, because the state had not filed initial appellate briefs in one of them. Van Hollen said those briefs were filed this week – and that should allow the justices to act.

It’s the third time the state has tried to speed up a review of two lawsuits, which were filed by the League of Women Voters and a coalition of black and Hispanic groups in Milwaukee.

In both cases, Madison judges ruled that the photo ID requirement illegally discourages the poor, elderly, minorities, and college students from voting. But Van Hollen said all those people can get free ID’s under the law – and he believes it’s a constitutional way to fight voter fraud.

Majority Republicans in the Legislature passed the photo ID mandate last year, but it’s only been used once – and that was during the local primaries in February.