By Michael Wines, New York Times
MADISON, Wis. — It seemed a clear victory for voting rights advocates in July when a federal court invalidated much of Wisconsin’s restrictive elections law, concluding that it discriminated against minorities by requiring voters to produce photo identification cards that blacks and Latinos too often lack. The remedy was straightforward: Henceforth, the state was to “promptly issue a credential valid as a voting ID to any person” who applied for one.
But this month when Treasure Collins visited one of the Wisconsin motor vehicle offices that issue IDs, she found something entirely different.
“I brought everything my mom told me I would need: my school ID, a copy of my birth certificate, my Social Security number,” said Collins, 18. “But they told me I needed an original copy of my birth certificate. An original copy, all the way from Illinois.”
While Donald Trump repeatedly claims that the election is “rigged” against him, voting rights groups are increasingly battling something more concrete in this year’s ferocious wars over access to the ballot box: Despite a string of court victories against restrictive voting laws passed by Republican legislatures, even when voting rights groups win in court, they are at risk of losing on the ground.
In an election year when turnout could be crucial, a host of factors — foot-dragging by states, confusion among voters, the inability of judges to completely roll back bias — are blunting the effect of court rulings against the laws.
Last month in Texas, a federal court that invalidated that state’s voter ID law in July ordered recalcitrant state officials to change their public education campaign on new ID rules. The reason: Critics complained that …