On Wisconsin Voter ID, GOP Leader Open To Changing State Constitution

In this June 2, 2012 photo, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, speaks with Wis. Rep. Dave Craig, left, and Rep. Robin Vos at
In this June 2, 2012 photo, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, speaks with Wis. Rep. Dave Craig, left, and Rep. Robin Vos at a rally held by the Racine Tea Party PAC in Gorney Park in Caledonia, near Racine, Wis.There are plenty of reasons for Mitt Romney to pop the question to Paul Ryan: The whip smart congressman is from a swing state, stands as his party’s leading voice on the nation’s budget and is the rare member of the GOP establishment who is also beloved by the tea party. (AP Photo/Mark Hertzberg)

Requiring every Wisconsin voter to show photo ID at the polls is going to be a top priority for the Republican-controlled legislature in the next session, according to incoming Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

"I do think that having photo ID is something that is broadly supported by the public," Vos said in an interview on Sunday with WISN's Mike Gousha. "It's something that I really hope we're going to have in place by the next general election."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed voter ID into law last year. Voters who turned out for the 2012 presidential election, however, did not have to show such identification because courts have blocked the law from taking effect.

In July, Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan found that the GOP-pushed requirement creates a "substantial impairment of the right to vote," a right guaranteed by the state constitution.

Vos said on Sunday he would be open to changing the state constitution in order for the law to pass scrutiny.

"Yes, I would favor that," said Vos, when asked by Gousha if he would back such changes. "It also takes two sessions, so that wouldn't be until 2015, even if we did begin that process. Hopefully we can get a statute passed that would be in effect for the 2014 election or sooner and guarantee that every single vote counts, and people show that photo ID to vote."

Both Vos and Walker also support getting rid of same-day registration in Wisconsin. The law, which has been in place since 1976, is "often credited with helping make Wisconsin's voting rate one of the highest in the country," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Vos said eliminating same-day registration means there would be "less potential for big lines on the election day." Similarly, Walker has said he believes the law places too much of a burden on overworked poll workers -- a claim that poll workers have denied.



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