Voter ID lawsuit tossed out of court

Chris Rizo Oct. 23, 2008, 11:42am

J.B. Van Hollen (R)

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's lawsuit to force officials to cross-check information on voter rolls before the Nov. 4 election was tossed out of court Thursday.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi dismissed the lawsuit, saying Van Hollen lacks the authority to sue the state Government Accountability Board to force it to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, known as HAVA.

Sumi said only the U.S. attorney can sue to enforce the federal voter law.

The Help America Vote Act took effect January 2006. Van Hollen has said if the state was in compliance with HAVA, as of that date Wisconsin would have had to make the cross-checks against other state data bases.

But because the state was not in compliance when HAVA took effect, the attorney general said the state should go back and verify voter registration information of everyone who has registered to vote or changed their name or address since the law went into effect.

"The goal of this requirement is to protect the integrity of elections by ensuring that only those who are qualified and properly registered would be permitted to cast ballots," Van Hollen said, announcing his lawsuit.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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