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One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen

Case Information

Date Filed: May 29, 2015
State: Wisconsin
Issues: Voter ID, Early Voting, Student Voting
Current Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Case 16-3091, 16-3083)


Whether several Wisconsin statutes (Act 23, Act 240, Act 76, Act 177, Act 75, Act 227, Wis. Stat. §§ 6.855-.86, Wis. Stat. § 5.02, Wis. Stat. § 6.34, Wis. Stat. § 6.79, and Wis. Stat. § 6.97) are in violation of: Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the First Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Counts are as follows.

Count I: Violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act

Count II: Undue Burdens on the Right to Vote in Violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Count III: Disparate Treatment of Voters without a Rational Basis in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Count IV: Partisan Fencing in Violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Count V: Abridgment or Denial of the Right to Vote on the Basis of Race in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment

Count VI: Abridgment or Denial of the Right to Vote on the Basis of Age in Violation of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment


Complaint filed on 5/29/15. Amended complaint filed 6/22/16. Answer filed 7/22/15. Motion to Dismiss filed 7/22/15. Opinion and Order on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss filed 12/17/15. Motion for summary judgment filed by defendants 1/11/16. Second amended complaint filed 3/25/16. Trial beginning May 16. District Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law filed 7/29/16. Motion to Stay filed 8/3/16. Notice of Appeal filed 8/3/16. Petition for Initial En Banc Review filed 8/3/16. Motion to Expedite filed 8/3/16. District Court Order denying stay in substantial part filed 8/11/16. Emergency Motion to Stay filed in Seventh Circuit 8/12/16. 7th Circuit Order Denying Initial En Banc Hearing filed 8/26/16. Appellants' Brief and Appendix filed 9/12/16. Status Report on Efforts to Inform Public filed 9/22/16. District Court Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Remedy in Part 10/13/16. Appellees' Brief in Seventh Circuit filed 10/21/16. Final Appendix filed 12/7/16. Oral Argument scheduled for 1/17/17. Oral Argument rescheduled for 2/24/17.


District Court Documents

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals documents


Edward B. Foley

The Electoral Fix We Really Need

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral College winner should be the majority choice in each state that counts towards that Electoral College victory.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Trump Calls for Voter Fraud Probe: A Look at Past Inquiries

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in Voice of America about President Donald Trump’s plans to launch a “major investigation” into voter fraud. Trump claims he lost the popular vote because as many as 5 million non-U.S. citizens may have voted illegally.

“As I understand the latest allegations, somewhere between 3 to 5 million improper ballots were cast this past November nationwide, which Trump claims accounts for why Hillary Clinton won the popular vote,” Foley said. “Even if there were 3 to 5 million invalid votes nationwide, we can’t jump to the conclusion that the election result was tainted, because we don’t know who they voted for.”

The odds of a non-U.S. citizen successfully casting a ballot are “extremely low, extraordinarily low,” according to Foley. Instances in which invalid ballots are cast or when voters’ names appear on multiple state voter rolls also don’t necessarily indicate voter fraud either, he added.

“Just because a ballot was cast that was invalid, which is a problem, doesn’t necessarily mean there was a conspiracy to commit voter fraud,” Foley said. “Fraud is a pejorative term that implies intentional deception and manipulation, as opposed to there being mistakes in voter registration lists.”


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Info & Analysis

U.S. District Judge Rules that Ohio Voter Services Website Violates ADA

A U.S. District Judge issued an opinion finding that the Ohio Secretary of State\'s voter services website violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not accessible to visually impaired Ohio voters. Judge George C. Smith ordered Secretary of State John Husted to make the site more accessible by September 29, 2017. As discussed in the opinion, the information on the voter services site does not meet established standards of accessibility for visually impaired voters who use screen reading software. The case is Hindel v. Husted.

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