Voters React to Reinstatement of Voter ID Law

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Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- Voters in Eau Claire are split after an appeals court reinstated the Voter ID Law.

The law states that every voter, even absentee voters, have to show identification before voting. In April, a federal judge struck down the ruling citing it violated the U.S. Constitution and unfairly targeted poor and minority voters.

Some voters in Eau Claire say voting is a right and shouldn't be changed.

"It seems to me we're fixing something that isn't broke," says Rick Semingson, who is against the Voter ID Law. He said voting should be one of the easiest things possible and should not be restricted. However, not all voters agree.

"I think the vast majority of people have some type of Id, because of drivers licenses, social security cards and medical Id cards, most people have some type of reference somewhere," says Chris Lace, who is for the law.

Lace said one of the key reasons she is for the Voter ID Law is to prevent fraud amongst voters.

Early voting starts next month, and already clerks across the state have sent more than 11,000 absentee ballots. The City of Eau Claire has not sent any absentee ballots out yet, but were planning to later this week.

The Government Accountability Board will hold a press conference Tuesday, September 16th to explain how the state will implement the new law. The Eau Clair City Clerk said she is waiting to hear from the GAB before taking any action.

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Wisconsin election officials are scrambling to deal with the reinstatement of the requirement that voters show photo identification when casting ballots.

The law was reinstated last Friday by a federal appeals court in Chicago, just hours after hearing arguments in the case.

Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney said Monday that the biggest immediate issue is what to do about more than 11,800 absentee ballots that have already been mailed, and perhaps returned, without the voter showing the required identification.

The law requires people to submit photocopies of their IDs when requesting the absentee ballots by mail.

But those instructions weren't sent with the ballots already mailed.

Magney says elections officials are discussing what steps to take on Monday and will release more information soon.



 
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