Federal Court on Its Own Motion in WI Voter ID Case Orders WI to Say How It is Helping Voters Get IDs

Following a report by Ari Berman in the Nation and then Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the federal district court judge ordered by the 7th Circuit to make sure that Wisconsin is making it easy for voters who start the voter id process at the state’s DMV to get IDs has issued a sua sponte order (an order on its own motion, without a request from one of the sides) for the state to explain what’s going on.

From the order:

These reports, if true, demonstrate that the state is not in compliance with this court’s injunction order, which requires the state to “[p]romptly issue a credential valid as a voting ID to any person who enters the IDPP or who has a petition pending.” Dkt. 234, at 118-19.

Defendants must investigate these allegations and provide a report to the court by October 7, 2016. The report should explain the scope of the investigation, its results, and any corrective action to be taken. Additional reports may be ordered as needed.

Patrick Marley:

The Nation first reported on the recording, which was made by Molly McGrath, the national campaign coordinator with VoteRiders, a group opposed to voter ID laws that also helps people get IDs.

McGrath, who also provided a copy of the recording to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said her group visited 10 DMV stations around Wisconsin. DMV employees gave the visitors answers “all over the board” regarding how long it would take to get an ID, she said…

Kristina Boardman, the head of the DMV, issued a written statement that did not address what specifically occurred, but said such a practice would violate DMV protocols.

“DMV remains committed to working with all eligible voters to ensure they receive free identification, as required for voting,” her statement said.

Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Schimel’s court filing was accurate. He did not explain why DMV employees gave incorrect information to Moore if they had been trained on the voter ID law.

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