“The ruling puts municipalities in every corner of Wisconsin closer to equal footing when it comes to early in-person voting,” Fitzgerald said. “I applaud the 7th Circuit on its decision and look forward to moving on with this Fall’s elections.”
Democrats railed against the decision, calling it an “assault on our democracy.”
“As (President Donald) Trump and his team become increasingly nervous for November, a Republican-controlled court just made another egregious assault on voting rights in Wisconsin,” state Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler said. “Trump knows his path to victory involves suppressing the vote as much as possible, and as we saw on April 7 when Republicans forced thousands of people to vote in-person during a pandemic, there is no low they aren’t willing to stoop to to grab power.”
Republicans enacted a host of voting restrictions when they took complete control of Wisconsin state government in 2011. They mandated that voters show photo ID at the polls, shrunk the early voting window from 30 days before an election to 12, eliminated early voting on weekends, limited early voting to one location per municipality, among other changes and stretched the residency requirement for voting from 10 days to 28.
GOP legislators said the changes were designed to create uniform rules statewide and combat voter fraud, although no one has shown any widespread fraud exists in the state.