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Portions of Wisconsin election laws ruled unconstitutional

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A federal judge ruled Friday that portions of the Wisconsin voting laws are unconstitutional and were written to undermine Democratic voters.

In a 119-page ruling issued on Friday, U.S. District Judge James Peterson said that part of the law was written to suppress the "reliably Democratic vote of Milwaukee's African-Americans."

“Wisconsin has the authority to regulate its elections to preserve their integrity ... and a voter ID requirement can be part of a well-conceived election system," Peterson said in his ruling. "But ... parts of Wisconsin’s election regime fail to comply with the constitutional requirement that its elections remain fair and equally open to all qualified electors.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who signed the bill in 2011, was not pleased with the ruling.

"Disappointed in the decision by an activist federal judge," Walker said in a Facebook post. "Voters support common-sense measures to protect the integrity of our votes. Voting should be easy, but cheating should be hard."

Walker added that there will "likely" be an appeal.

Some of the election laws that were struck down include time limits on absentee voting and the increase of residency requirements from 10 to 28 days.

The voter ID law remains but the prohibition against voters using expired but still qualifying student IDs was also struck down.

The ruling will not have an effect on the primary election in August, but will be in place for the Nov. 8 general election, barring an appeal by Walker or someone hoping to further strike down the voter ID law.

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