MADISON (WKOW) -- If Wisconsin's Voter ID law is struck down in full or in part by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (SCOWIS) or a federal court, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) wants to call a special legislative session to modify the law so it can be in place for the fall election.
Its a clear sign Gov. Walker isn't expecting favorable rulings from the state's high court or the U.S. District Court of Eastern Wisconsin, which are both reviewing challenges to the law.
One of the most conservative SCOWIS justices expressed a number of concerns with the law during oral arguments last month.
"Justice Roggensack spoke a lot about birth certificates, you know, so I've talked to a couple of senators about that and the costs associated with getting a copy of that," said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), who agrees with Gov. Walker on calling a special session if needed.
Justice Pat Roggensack questioned whether requiring people to pay the costs for obtaining a birth certificate - just to get an ID to vote - amounts to a poll tax. That concern has the Governor planning for the worst.
"If the courts, regardless of which court it would be, say 'we think you can have it if not for this provision or that provision,' we want to modify that so that a law like that is in effect before the next election," said Gov. Walker.
The Governor says he would call a special legislative session to make that happen, an idea Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) ripped on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon.
"If the Governor's intending on calling us back in to a special session on Voter ID to deal with more unconstitutional issues, you're damn right we're going to fight you every step of the way," Sen. Erpenbach told his Republican colleagues.
"Odds are if we're in special session on Voter ID it's going to end up in court again, so you're wasting taxpayer's money, you're wasting taxpayer's time when we should be talking about the economy," Sen. Erpenbach told 27 News in a separate interview.
But the Governor says Voter ID is still one of his top priorities and he wants it implemented.
"Because I think, in the end, people overwhelmingly have told us in the state they want to have Voter ID," said Gov. Walker.
Nobody knows exactly when the state and federal courts will issue their rulings. Depending on the timing, it could put that special session off until this summer.
The fall 2014 primary elections are set for August 12.
MADISON (WKOW) -- If Wisconsin's Voter ID law is struck down in full or in part by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (SCOWIS) or a federal court, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) wants to call a special legislative session to modify the law so it can move forward.
SCOWIS justices heard oral arguments on the law in February, which centered on whether lawmakers went too far in regulating the terms of voting and whether voter ID impairs the ability of people to vote.
All sides agree that more than 300,000 people in Wisconsin lack the ID necessary to cast a ballot under the law, which is currently on hold due to court injunctions.
Republicans aren't sure what to expect from the state's high court, after Justice Pat Roggensack expressed concerns the bill requires people to pay for documents in order to obtain an ID. She said paying the state to vote feels like a poll tax.
Republicans also expect a separate, federal court case in Milwaukee to result in an unfavorable ruling for them.
"If the courts, regardless of which court it would be, say, we think you can have it if not for this provision or that provision, we want to modify that so that a law like that is in effect before the next election," said Gov. Walker.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) shares the Governor's concerns and says that he would work with Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) to schedule an extraordinary session if Gov. Walker failed to call a special session.
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