For Wisconsin Primary, No Voter ID Needed

Voters in Wisconsin's primaries today don't need to show a photo ID, despite new state requirements.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a bill into law last year that requires voters to show photo ID, calling it a "common sense reform."

But the requirement was ruled unconstitutional by a state judge in March. Siding with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, one of several groups to file suit against the law, Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess wrote that the law violated the state constitution by narrowing voter eligibility.

Reid Magney, a spokesperson for Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, told the Wisconsin Radio Network that poll workers had been trained about the law but told not to enforce it. "It may be advisable if you have an ID to bring it with you, however, you are not required to show it in order to get a ballot or to vote,” Magney said.

Voter ID bills have garnered increasing interest, and controversy, nationwide. The number of states with strict photo ID laws more than tripled in 2011 in advance of the 2012 presidential election.

Many of the laws similar to Wisconsin's have also faced legal challenges. Photo ID requirements in Texas and South Carolina have been blocked by the Justice Department, which said they could disproportionately affect minority voters. Virginia's attorney general gave the state's new voter ID law, passed last month, "a 50-50 shot" of surviving review.