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Judge allows Wisconsin voters to go to the polls without photo ID

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Wisconsin voters who do not have photo identification will be able to vote in November’s presidential election, a judge ruled on Tuesday, the latest development in a long fight over a state law Democrats say is aimed at keeping minorities from the polls.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman temporarily eases the impact of a 2011 Wisconsin law requiring voters to show photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot.

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“Although most voters in Wisconsin either possess qualifying ID or can easily obtain one, a safety net is needed for those voters who cannot obtain qualifying ID with reasonable effort,” Adelman said in his order.

Wisconsin is one of several Republican-led states that have passed such laws in recent years amid fear of fraudulent voting by illegal immigrants and others. The nine states with the strictest laws – insisting on state-issued photo identification for voters – include Texas, Virginia, Indiana and Georgia.

Republicans say voter ID laws are needed to prevent voter fraud. But Democrats say the laws are really intended to make it more difficult for poor African-Americans and Latinos – who skew Democratic in their politics – to vote.

Under Adelman’s temporary injunction, people without ID can vote if they sign an affidavit at the polls declaring that they could not reasonably obtain photo identification and explaining why.

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Allowable reasons include lack of a birth certificate or other documents required to obtain a photo ID, lack of transportation, disability and a tight work schedule.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, who had opposed allowing affidavits, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed against the state in 2011 by the American Civil Liberties Union and others on behalf of voters who said they were disenfranchised.

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An earlier ruling by Adelman on the same lawsuit would have overturned the voter ID law entirely, but that was overruled by a federal appeals court, and last year the U.S. Supreme Court let the appeals ruling stand.

The case is now back with Adelman, who must decide whether to require the state to make the affidavit system permanent.

Richard Hasen, a law and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine, said that if the temporary injunction becomes permanent, it would soften Wisconsin’s law.

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“If it stands, it potentially blows open a big hole in the law,” he said.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."

The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

Watch below:

Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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