Group Asks Court to Deny Motion to Stay in Suit Against Student Voter ID Requirements

This article was originally published in WisPolitics News on January 2nd 2020. 

A group that sued to overturn Wisconsin’s restrictions on what student identification cards meet the standards of the voter ID law is urging a federal court to deny a state motion to stay the case.

Photo by Saiyna Bashir, The Capital Times

The state Department of Justice in early December urged a federal court to stay the suit filed by the Andrew Goodman Foundation until the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules in a separate suit dealing with Wisconsin’s voter ID law. That case, which was argued on Feb. 24, 2017, includes issues such as: allegations the voter photo ID law intentionally discriminates on the basis of age; the validity of the requirement that college IDs be unexpired; and whether the entire law should be overturned.

But in a Christmas Eve filing, the foundation argued the issues in the new suit are “far narrower” and are based on separate and distinct legal principles.

The suit from the foundation, which advocates for young voters, seeks to overturn requirements college-issued IDs include: an issuance date; an expiration date no more than two years after it was issued; and the holder’s signature. The suit also seeks to overturn the requirement students have to prove through other documents they’re currently enrolled in school.

Along with arguing the new suit is unique, the foundation urged the court to reject the stay because it would be a burden on students. That includes the effort student organizers would have to expend ahead of the 2020 election to educate young voters about the requirements of the law rather than putting those resources into registering students and turning them out.

“Thus, many of the students that Plaintiff serves will be prevented from voting in the elections that occur, likely including the upcoming 2020 presidential election, during the duration of the stay,” the brief argues. “This burden on young voters’ right to vote constitutes a ‘grievous and irreparable wrong’ and counsels against granting a stay.”