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Federal Judge Strikes Down Early Voting Restrictions


MADISON, WI (WSAU) -- Laws passed during the Wisconsin lame duck session in December concerning early voting restrictions have been voided by a federal judge.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, U.S. District Judge James Patterson struck down the set of laws as it violates injunctions issued in a similar 2016 case. Patterson says the lame duck limits are inconsistent with early rulings on injunctions.

In December the GOP-led legislature passed the measures limiting early voting. Then Governor Walker signed the measures into law when they came to his desk before the end of his term.

Citizens Action of Wisconsin and One Wisconsin Institute brought the laws to court for Peterson to rule.

Peterson wrote in his order that the arguments from the state for the laws were not persuasive. Peterson wrote, "If the court accepted defendants' argument, it would mean that a legislative body could evade an injunction simply by reenacting an identical law and giving it a new number."

The restrictions passed by Republicans limit early voting to the two weeks leading up to an election. Republicans argued the time frame should be uniform across the state rather than left up to individual communities.

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