Voter Suppression

Federal Lawsuit Over Wisconsin Poll Taxes

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit in Wisconsin today challenging the constitutionality of Wisconsin's new voter ID law overseen by Governor Scott Walker.

Wisconsin’s voter ID law imposes the equivalent of a poll tax on individuals with out-of-state drivers licenses and discriminates against the poor, students and the elderly, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday.

ACLU lawyers argue in a 54-page lawsuit that the law “imposes a severe and undue burden on the fundamental right to vote under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution; violates the Twenty-Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution as an unconstitutional poll tax; and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in arbitrarily refusing to accept certain identification documents.”

The law, which is a poll tax by another name, requires that voters obtain a state-issued voter ID or a state issued drivers license. Drivers licences cost money, and while the state-issued voter IDs are intended to be free, state employees have been instructed to only provide a free ID if the applicant specifically asks for a free ID. Efforts have been made to educate the public that they can request a free ID, but you can't reach everyone.

The requirements for obtaining a voter ID, which among other things, require proof of an active bank account if you do not already have a state issued drivers license, are also strenuous.

Public backlash to Scott Walker's legislative agenda was likely predicted, and the Republican-controlled state legislature has been taking every step it can to suppress voters.

They will tell you the voter ID law was implemented to prevent voter fraud, but it's fairly obvious the biggest fraud in Wisconsin is Scott Walker and his loyal henchmen.

  • Rick Janes

    Why do you have to have an active bank account in order to get an ID to vote? It used to be all you had to do in IL was provide a copy of your birth certificate, have your photo taken, and you would be issued a state ID card, if you didn’t want or need a driver’s license. There was a ‘processing fee’ of $5 dollars. This info is second-hand, but I understand if you were indigent, retired, or unemployed, the state provided the ID for free.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Maybe the bank account is supposed to show that you’re not homeless or something. Don’t want the riffraff to get any ideas that they’re real citizens or something.

  • Corebela

    They have that stupid photo ID requirement here in Canada. I hate it since I have no intention of paying up the ass for a drivers license when I will never own a car most likely. They won’t even accept my photo Health card as ID for some reason. And I do not believe we can get free photo ID of any sort. If we can I have not been informed of it. The stories of it happening down their In America really makes me realize what bull shit that is. GRRR