UPDATE: Republicans defend voter ID proposal

UPDATED Thursday, November 14, 2013 --- 3:05 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans in the state Assembly say passing another requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls will increase chances the law will be in place for the 2014 elections.

A photo ID requirement passed in 2011 has been blocked in the courts.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that passing a new version that addresses some of the constitutional concerns of the original makes it more likely the requirement will be in effect next year.

Democrats oppose the requirement, saying the intent is to dampen turnout among groups more likely to vote Democratic. Republicans say the goal is to prevent voter fraud, even though there have only been a handful of such cases brought forward in Wisconsin.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, November 14, 2013 --- 6:09 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans who control the Wisconsin state Assembly plan to use their last day in session this year to vote on measures making it more difficult to recall public officials from office and requiring photo identification at the polls.

Democrats are opposed to the measures but don't have the votes to stop them.

Instead, Democrats argue that Republicans should be focusing their energy on holding public hearings on ways to make the process of redrawing political boundaries more fair.

The new photo ID proposal comes as the current law is on hold in the courts. Senate Republicans say they won't take up the measure until that case is decided.

Proposed changes to the recall law would disallow recalls unless the officeholder has been charged with a felony or an ethics violation.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, November 6, 2013 --- 11:36 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democrats and other opponents of the latest proposal to require voters to show photo identification at the polls are raising questions about the Republican-sponsored measure.

An Assembly committee held a hearing on the bill Wednesday.

Rep. Michael Schraa, of Oshkosh, says passing his bill he's sponsoring would strengthen and expedite the current court cases and bring the photo ID requirement to elections faster. He says that while there have only been a handful of voter fraud cases identified in Wisconsin, one is too many.

But Democrats and other opponents say the requirement is designed to prevent people from voting.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said it doesn't make sense to move forward with the Assembly bill while a federal trial over the current law is ongoing.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, November 6, 2013 --- 5:49 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The latest proposal to require Wisconsin voters to show photo identification at the polls is moving forward in the state Assembly.

The Committee on Campaigns and Elections scheduled a Wednesday hearing on the measure, even though its future in the Senate appears grim. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he thinks the Legislature should not take action on it while the current photo ID law is being challenged in court.

The Republican Legislature passed a photo ID requirement in 2011, but courts blocked it soon after, and it is not in effect.

The new proposal would allow people who don't have the required identification to vote and have their ballot counted. However, their ballot could be challenged if there is a recount.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, October 31, 2013 --- 3:24 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The latest proposal to require Wisconsin voters to show photo identification at the polls appears to be dead on arrival.

A pair of Republican state Assembly members circulated the bill Thursday, with the hopes of holding a hearing next week and taking a vote later in November.

But Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he does not plan to take the bill up in the Senate. Fitzgerald says it makes more sense to see what happens with lawsuits currently pending in both state appeals and federal court.

He says the current photo ID law may withstand the court challenges, and if it doesn't the Legislature could then make changes to address any ruling.

Fitzgerald says passing a new law now will just result in more lawsuits.

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Posted Thursday, October 31, 2013 --- 11:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bill to require the showing of photo identification at the polls in Wisconsin is set to move quickly through the Republican-controlled Assembly.

Sponsors of the new bill circulated it Thursday. A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the measure will be up for a public hearing next week, with a vote by the full Assembly the second week in November.

Wisconsin has a photo ID requirement law in place, but it's been blocked in court. A federal trial over the current law is scheduled to begin Monday in Milwaukee.

Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer says Republicans are anxious to have a law in place before next year's election. Republican Gov. Scott Walker is up for re-election, along with everyone in the Assembly and a host of other races.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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