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In this Aug., 31, 2016, photo, Molly McGrath, who works for VoteRiders to help people get the required photo identification needed to vote, helps Matthew Kurtz fill out a voter registration form in Madison, Wis. McGrath is helping explain Wisconsin's complex and seemingly ever-changing election laws to voters. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

Wisconsin has been messing up administration of its voter ID law, federal judge says


The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles has been giving potential voters incorrect and incomplete information about the state's voter ID law, which could impact some people's ability to vote on Election Day, a federal judge said on Friday.

At a hearing that could decide whether Wisconsin voters are required to bring photo ID to the polls this November, U.S. District Judge James Peterson said Wisconsin has so far shown a "disturbing pattern" of failing to anticipate problems with the rollout of the law, the Wisconsin State Journal reported

I don't know why we're here a month before the election.
Judge James Peterson

Judge disinclined to reverse the law

"I think the training that was provided to the DMV counter service was manifestly inadequate," Judge James Peterson said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

He added the DMV was "not communicating to voters what they need to get an ID."

But Judge Peterson also hinted that he is unlikely to suspend the law before Election Day.

Wisconsin has been messing up administration of its voter ID law, federal judge says

WATCH  | Wisconsin has one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country, and voting rights advocates say "people will be denied the right to vote" on Election Day if it's allowed to remain in place.  

What the lawsuit says

The liberal groups One Wisconsin Institute and Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund have accused Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles employees of giving inaccurate information to people seeking voting credentials, sometimes wrongly turning people away when they should have been able to obtain an ID.

The state has disagreed with those allegations, saying that while there were problems at DMV offices at one point, they have already been fixed.

The state is arguing it's too close to Election Day to suspend the law.

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