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Testimony begins in federal voter ID trial

Voter ID photo
Voter ID photo

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Senior citizens and minorities testified Monday in a federal court trial that seeks to kill Wisconsin's photo ID requirement for voting. 

The plaintiffs are presenting the first witnesses in a trial before Milwaukee federal judge Lynn Adelman that's expected to last two weeks.  

Alice Weddle of Milwaukee testified that she never got a driver's license or other form of ID. A birth certificate is required, but Weddle said she has no such document because she was born at home in Mississippi. 

Eddie Holloway Jr. said he couldn't get an ID when he moved to Wisconsin from Illinois, because the name on his birth certificate did not match the one on his driver's license.

Assistant state attorney general Clayton Kawski said in the state's opening argument that it has helped people in unique circumstances get the ID's they need to exercise their right to vote. He said the law is needed to fight voter fraud, and the state has a "legitimate interest" in ensuring fair elections. 

Plaintiffs said a photo ID requirement would only prevent impersonations by voters -- and they say there's been no evidence of that. 

Wisconsin's voter ID law has only been used once -- in February of 2012 -- before two state judges in Madison threw out the ID requirement in a pair of other lawsuits. 

The state is appealing those, while defending the federal suit from the ACLU and an Hispanic group.

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