The voter identification bill that was signed into law in Wisconsin is one of the strictest and most difficult to comply with bill of all the voter ID bills in the United States. The ID has to have a picture of the voter, their address, the day of issue, the day of expiration, and their signature. With this law in place, voter registrars throughout the state, the election commissions, and many others are racing full time against the clock to get as many people properly registered and properly identified.
Why is this issue so crucial? Beyond the elections of 2012 for president, in Wisconsin the Governor is up for Recall. That’s right, we are starting the recall process in November. It is apparent that the Governor sees it as in his best interest to have every ID checked for legitimacy. Slowing the process and not accepting ballots is not democratic, but it does keep people from making a change. The most recent example of his attitude toward voters and ID’s is in the September memo sent around by the Department of Transportation.
The Capital Times obtained the internal memocirculated on July 1 by Krieser, in which he instructs them not to tell residents about the free IDs: “While you should certainly help customers who come in asking for a free ID to check the appropriate box,you should refrain from offering the free version to customers who do not ask for it,” the memo says.
A repeat of that memo had been sent around as well. In the same vein, the difficulty of getting to the DOT to get this “free” ID hasn’t been alleviated either. The same folks who may need to get the free ID have very limited access to the DOT.
Twenty-six percent of the 91 Wisconsin DMV stations are open one day a month or less, according to One Wisconsin Now. Therefore, argued Ross, making people pay $28 on top of the cost of actually getting to a DMV could be burdensome for many Wisconsin residents. He likened it to a “poll tax” of the sort that were in place in the South during the Jim Crow era to prevent minorities from voting
It is essential for every one of us to not only retain our right to vote, but to aid and assist others. While this voter ID bill puts us on par with great democracies like India, Pakistan, or others, we need to work within the restrictions and let the governor and legislature know one thing:
We Will Be Voting!