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Wisconsin AG Van Hollen not confident voter ID law will be in place by November


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Over 1,200 ballots in Indiana and Georgia were thrown out in the last presidential election in 2008, because the voters never produced photo ID’s.

And the Associated Press said hundreds more were blocked this spring in sparsely-attended primaries in Indiana, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Over two dozen states now have laws requiring voters to show ID’s at the polls – and they could make a difference in this fall’s race for the White House, considering that George W. Bush was elected in 2000 by only a 537 vote margin in Florida.

Wisconsin was among 11 states passing voter ID laws in the last two years, at the urging of Republicans who said the laws were needed to fight voter fraud. But earlier this year, a circuit judge struck down the ID requirement in 1 of 4 lawsuits that challenged the mandate. And another judge delayed a ruling in another case.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen pushed to have appellate courts rule on both cases in an attempt to put the photo ID law back in place. But he recently said those courts have shown no sense of urgency on the matter – and he’s not optimistic that a ruling will be made before this November’s presidential contest.

The circuit judges agreed with advocacy groups who said the voter ID mandate discourages many elderly, poor, and minority voters from casting ballots.

The AP review dealt with provisional ballots cast by those who didn’t bring ID’s to the polls. Many didn’t count, after those voters failed to prove their identification to local government clerks in the days after the elections.