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Judge to decide if NAACP can intervene in AG's voting lawsuit

A judge in Madison may decide today (Thursday) whether an African-American group can intervene in the state attorney general's voter registration lawsuit.

The Milwaukee branch of the NAACP says black voters would be hurt more than others if the court forces local election clerks to double check certain voter registration forms as far back as January of 2006.

Federal law requires the names and other data on those forms to exactly match the info on their driver's licenses and thousands in Wisconsin don't.

NAACP attorney Richard Saks says more than half of Milwaukee County's African-Americans don't have driver's licenses.

If Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen wins his lawsuit, Saks says blacks would be disenfranchised in November and beyond.

Van Hollen says it's the law to double check voter applications from the mail and third-party groups as far back as 2006.

However, the Government Accountability Board says clerks only have to go back as far as August of this year.

Dane County Circuit Judge Mary Ann Sumi says she'll decide Oct. 23 which side is right.

But with the expected appeals, a final ruling may not come until after the November elections.

The judge has allowed labor unions and both major parties to join the lawsuit. Each has its own agenda.

The State GOP has asked the judge to require photo IDs at the polls.