Voter ID laws could make a difference in the upcoming presidential electionWisconsin News
-- Over 12-hundred ballots in Indiana and Georgia were thrown out in the last presidential election in 2008, because the voters never produced photo I-D’s.
Over 12-hundred ballots in Indiana and Georgia were thrown out in the last presidential election in 2008, because the voters never produced photo I-D’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 I-D’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 I-D 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 I-D requirement in one of four 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 I-D 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 I-D mandate discourages many elderly, poor, and minority voters from casting ballots. The A-P review dealt with provisional ballots cast by those who didn’t bring I-D’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.
A state senator who wants more limits on wind energy turbines says he’ll give evidence to the Public Service Commission Wednesday on the medical risks of living near those turbines. At a news conference yesterday, De Pere Republican Frank Lasee said he wants the P-S-C to pass strict rules banning high-tech windmills within a mile of people’s homes, and to require the consent of nearby residents before they can be built. Right now, the limit is 12-hundred-50-feet. Sue and Darryl Ashley of rural Glenmore in Brown County told reporters they had to move last summer, to give their 16-year-old daughter relief from headaches and sleep deprivation caused by turbines from the nearby Shirley Wind Project. Alyssa Ashley said her health problems subsided after the family moved – but it left them paying two mortgages. Doctor Herb Coussons said the noise from wind turbines can cause elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and a higher risk of heart disease for those living close by. But in 2010, the P-S-C’s Wind Siting Council said there was not enough evidence of negative health effects to justify stricter limits. Soon after taking office last year, Governor Scott Walker pushed for longer setbacks for new wind farms at the request of the state’s Realtors. And a legislative committee voted to strike down P-S-C rules which sought to encourage new wind farms. But after lawmakers failed to pass subsequent measures, the P-S-C’s rules were put back in place after the legislative session ended in March of this year.