Wisconsin voters need ID to cast ballots in November
When Wisconsin voters head to the polls in November, new rules about casting a ballot will be in effect. Voters will need to show photo identification whether seeking an absentee ballot or casting their vote at their local polling place. The iden...
When Wisconsin voters head to the polls in November, new rules about casting a ballot will be in effect.
Voters will need to show photo identification whether seeking an absentee ballot or casting their vote at their local polling place.
The identification will also be required when voting early in a municipal clerk’s office, said Superior City Clerk Terri Kalan. She said several different types of identification are acceptable.
Voters must provide a Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin-issued identification, U.S. passport or a military identification - expired no earlier than Nov. 6, 2012.
“It can’t be an out-of-state driver’s license or ID,” Kalan said.
Other acceptable forms of identification include:
* A certificate of naturalization issued within the last two years
* An unexpired receipt for a Wisconsin driver’s license or state identification
* A tribal ID card for a federally recognized Wisconsin tribe that hasn’t expired
* A college ID and proof of enrollment
Kalan said permanent voters who receive a ballot in the mail every election are not required to show voter ID.
“The only ones that are required are the ones that are on a temporary list that requested a ballot just for this election,” Kalan said.
With ballots sent out before the change in Wisconsin’s voting law went into effect, she said that left the city seeking identification from 28 voters. Letters were sent to those voters advising them it would be necessary to provide identification.
If people received a ballot, but no letter from the city, they are not required to provide the ID, she said.
For people seeking documents needed to get a state ID for voting, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles and Department of Health Services Vital Records Office have put together a new process that lets citizens get a state identification card for voting without paying government fees.
The agencies are initiating the process to assist people who don’t have required birth certificates or other underlying documents that are required for a state ID card.
Typically, they would have to pay a fee to obtain the documentation.
The agencies will work together to provide a free verification process. The DMV already has a process in place to waive the standard ID card fee if requested for voting.
“Each DMV service center has steps in place to support the customer with the process and to make it as quick and easy as possible to obtain a state ID,” said DMV administrator Patrick Fernan.
The new verification process will be available to those customers who have never obtained a Wisconsin driver’s license or ID card and whose documentation is unavailable to prove U.S. citizenship, names or dates of birth. Individuals must be at least 18 years old on the date of the next election to be eligible to vote in Wisconsin.
“We are working to ensure that individuals seeking a Wisconsin ID are able to satisfactorily prove their identity through a seamless process. This is a great opportunity for state agencies to work together to assist our customers in obtaining an ID card,” said Oskar Anderson, DHS state registrar.
The partnership with Vital Records enables DMV to be confident that the customer is entitled to a Wisconsin ID. The process continues to protect the integrity of the Wisconsin ID card and to protect citizens from identity theft, officials said.
“From the time the Wisconsin Supreme Court first verbalized concerns about the cost of birth certificates while obtaining photo IDs, I worked with Vital Records at Wisconsin Department of Health Services and with the Department of Transportation about a cost-effective way to provide proof of birth certificate,” Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, said in a prepared statement. “Our collaboration provides opportunity for the courts to lift the current injunction and voter ID to be in place for the November 2014 elections.”
Kalan urged voters who need an ID to resolve the issue early because it could take a week or more to process.
For information on obtaining a Wisconsin ID card, go to wisconsindmv.gov.