7th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling Now in Effect

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling Now in Effect

Purple graphic with text, "Election Law Changes You Need to Know for the Fall Elections" and a LWVWI logo below.

On July 29, a mandate was issued by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in the “One Wisconsin Institute” case. The court issued its decision on June 29 after the case had been on appeal since 2016. Now, the mandate confirms the Wisconsin Election Law changes will be in effect for the August 11 Primary Election.

Here is what you need to know about changes in election law policies and procedures going into the election.

Early/In-Person Absentee Voting
The court decided that placing limitations on days, hours and locations for early voting is permissible. For the August 11 election, municipalities are able to hold early voting during the two weeks prior to an election - although no early voting is allowed the Monday before an election. For this upcoming election, early voting can occur from July 27 until August 9.

There is not a minimum or maximum number of hours a municipality must hold or stay below when providing early voting opportunities. A municipality is also able to have multiple early voting locations. 

Voter Residency
Voters now must have resided at their current residence for 28 days prior to an election to be able to vote at that address, as determined by the court. Voters who do not meet this requirement are able to vote from their prior address. For this upcoming election, residency must be established by July 14.

Electronic Ballot Delivery

The court also determined that clerks are no longer able to send absentee ballots through email or fax to regular absentee voters. However, clerks are still able to delivery ballots to military and overseas voters by email or fax.

Student ID as Photo IDFlow chart of change in student voter ID requirements

The court ruled on two different challenges to the use of a university, college or technical college ID: an expiration date requirement, and proof of residence. Generally, for a student ID to count as a photo ID, it needs to have an issuance date and an expiration date within two years of the issuance date. The court decided proof of enrollment can supplement, if the ID is expired. This is what you need to know about this election law change:

  • If a student has an ID that is not expired, they do not need to provide proof of enrollment for it to qualify as a photo ID.
  • If a student has an expired ID, they do need to provide proof of enrollment for the student ID to qualify as a photo ID for voting.
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