State Senate Fails to Pass Voter ID Bill

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 24 2011 12:41 PM

State Senate Fails to Pass Voter ID Bill

MADISON, Wisc. -- The gambit failed, for now. The Republican-only state Senate adjourned for the day -- after a 40-minute session -- without passing the voter ID bill.

The reason? Republicans had a problem. The legislation offered reimbursements to pay for IDs for voters who currently lacked them. That was a financial component -- that meant 20 senators needed to be present to pass the bill. There was talk of striking that component from the bill, which would have made it germane to pass by the rump of GOP senators. But failing to include the reimbursement would have inspired instant lawsuits -- likely successful lawsuits -- striking down the law.


"We have to wait for a 20th member to arrive so we have a quorum to take up a bill that has a fiscal note to it," said Sen. Jeff Leibham, who co-wrote an amendment meant to fix the bill. "It's out of respect for the bill and the process we're trying to develop for voting in Wisconsin. We think it's smarter to keep the bill intact."

That tied the Republicans' hands. The brief session was given over to a few speeches stating the important of voter ID, the possible fraud in Wisconsin elections, and, of course, a plea for Democrats to return.

"Why are they denying quorum?" said a plaintive Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the GOP's leader. "This is not something in Robert's Rules."

Earlier, Fitzgerald had learned that his wife Lisa, a school counselor, was among the public employees receiving at-risk notices.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
Sept. 23 2014 1:29 PM President Obama Is Serious About Cracking Down on Tax Inversions
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon Who Wasn’t
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.