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Politics & Government

Federal Court Ruling Halts Order to Let Affidavit Substitute for Photo ID in Wisconsin

John Moore/Getty Images
An election worker checks a voter's identification against a registration list at a polling center on April 26, 2016 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Last month, federal Judge Lynn Adelman ordered Wisconsin elections officials to create an affidavit that would allow people without government-issued photo identification to vote in the November 8 election.

On the affidavit, they would cite the reason they did not obtain a photo ID and sign their name.

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court stayed or halted Adelman's order, concluding that it would likely be reversed and, in the meantime, would disrupt the state's electoral system.

The three-judge panel criticized Adelman's ruling for failing to identify the kinds of situations and citizens who might be adversely impacted by Wisconsin's photo ID law, but instead allowing anyone who didn't present a picture ID to vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty had sought Adelman's injunction and heralded it as protecting the right of certain citizens to vote.

Regarding Wednesday's appeals court decision, Gov. Walker released a statement reading, in part:

Voter ID is a reasonable measure to protect Wisconsin voters against cheating and make sure every vote counts. Today's decision to halt the injunction issued by Judge Adelman is a step in the right direction. The decision recognized that his previous ruling is likely to be reversed in light of Supreme Court precedent and would create more uncertainty for voters.

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