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Wisconsin Voter ID Law in Flux: Local Officials Unsure of Procedures for Tuesday Election
Two lawsuits challenging the legality of Wisconsin's Voter ID law were sent directly to the state's Supreme Court by lower Appeals Courts Wednesday.The law was stayed by two different Dane County circuit court judges in early March. The development puts Wisconsin election officials in limbo. If the Supreme Court decides to take up the cases, the law could be reinstated prior to next Tuesday's election.
The Government Accountability Board, which oversees the state's elections, says it has reached out to town clerks to clarify the status of the law.
"What we've been advising clerks is: train your poll wokers on the procedures for checking photo IDs. However, unless you hear otherwise from us, do not actually check photo IDs," said GAB spokesperson Reid Magney in an interview with Green Bay's Fox 11 News.
Clerks across the state have to be ready at a moment's notice to remove and replace signs advising voters to produce a photo ID. Some clerks have even hired additional poll workers for Tuesday in anticipation of widespread confusion.
"I feel like I'm somewhat ready," Neenah City Clerk Patty Sturn said, "but that could all change by the end of the week".
Wisconsin's Republican legislature passed its Voter ID bill last May. It is one of 32 states that have implemented Voter ID laws. Many of these laws are currently subject to pending court cases or review from the Department of Justice.