Community Determined to Ensure Voters Vote on Rushed Photo ID Ruling

MILWAUKEE- In response to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the controversial voter photo ID law, The Coalition to Protect Wisconsin Elections and the African American Roundtable responded with concern and determination at a community press conference today at the NAACP’s Milwaukee office.

A major theme was the concern eligible voters would not be able to vote given the last minute ruling and decision.

“In Wisconsin, we take seriously integrity in our elections and the system is trusted.” Said Chris Ahmuty, Executive Director of WI ACLU. “We are concerned this last minute decision hurts the integrity of our WI elections. This makes elections less likely to be free, fair, and accessible.”

The Coalition to Protect Wisconsin Elections estimates the State of Wisconsin, the Government Accountability Board, School Campuses, and the DMV are not ready with staff and resources to properly implement this last minute decision. This is a primary point of worry for the coalition.

One large group of people who will need attention iscollege students, especially from out of state, who only have a student ID as a photo ID. Currently, most student IDs do not comply with this Photo ID ruling.   One student called this last minute law as a challenge that students will not back down from.

“Before I was a student at UW Waukesha, I was a solider in the US Army, where I served my country in Kandahar Province. I did not fight for our democratic values in Afghanistan, to have Gov. Walker threaten our democracy in Wisconsin.”  Saul Newton, Student and Veteran. Newton went on to say, “Governor Walker claims we need Voter ID because of fraud. Let me tell you, the real fraud is politicians who try to manipulate the process for political gain.”

“Who are the victims of last minute voting laws? Seniors, veterans, poor, minorities, students, homeless, people with disabilities and people of color,” said community organizer Anita Johnson who has been speaking at churches since May saying that people would not need a photo ID. Johnson said she would try to go back to as many churches as possible to spread the word. “We all have to work to make sure all eligible citizen in Wisconsin are able to exercise their right to vote and to make sure elections are free, fair and accessible to all eligible citizens.”

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