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Judge Upholds Voter ID Requirements for College Students

By Associated Press | December 9, 2021

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday upheld voter ID requirements for Wisconsin college students, disposing of a lawsuit that has been lingering for more than two years.

Government watchdog group Common Cause in Wisconsin filed the lawsuit in Madison in April 2019 arguing that parts of the state’s voter ID that mandate college identification include certain features to qualify as proof of identity for voting are unconstitutional because they’re irrational and unjustified. The group cited requirements that college IDs include an issuance date, an expiration date not more than two years after the issuance date and a signature.

The lawsuit didn’t seek to overturn the underlying voter ID law or the requirement that college students present a photo ID to vote.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson ruled that the college ID elements in question are commonly found on other types of voter ID in Wisconsin, which undermines any claims that the requirements discriminate against students.

College ID formats vary widely from school to school and requiring common elements on the cards encourages uniformity, the judge added.

Jon Sherman, senior counsel for the Fair Elections Center, which represented Common Cause in Wisconsin in the lawsuit, still called the college ID requirements “absurd.”

“We are still reviewing the opinion but, unlike the forces that continue to relentlessly assault our democracy and the right to vote, we have immense respect for the rule of law, the Court, and its consideration of our claims.”


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