Wisconsin voters can find out if they are registered to vote and where their polling place is for the upcoming February 21 spring primary as well as other elections that will occur in 2012, including the recall elections and the national election day on November 6, 2012. The Government Accountability Board has launched a new web site that has recent information about the new Voter ID legislation, where the voter must now show a photo ID such as a driver license or state-issued ID in order to receive a ballot and vote.
A recent Brennan Center for Justice report estimated that voter ID laws rammed through in GOP-controlled legislatures could affect 5 million Americans in 2012, mostly Democratic-leaning constituencies such as students, minorities, the elderly and the poor. Rural voters will also be affected. While there are legal challenges nationally to perhaps overturn some of the laws, which clearly use the myth of voter fraud to project vote suppression for political gains. The American Civil Liberties Union , the ACLU of Wisconsin and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty have filed a federal lawsuit charging that Wisconsin’s voter ID law is unconstitutional.
Recent information about the new voter ID law shows acceptable forms of identification in order to vote in Wisconsin:
These are acceptable for voting purposes, and can be unexpired or expired after the date of the most recent general election (currently, the November 2, 2010 election):
- A Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended
- A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card
- Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service
- A U.S. passport
These photo IDs are also acceptable for voting purposes, but must be unexpired:
- A certificate of naturalization that was issued not earlier than two years before the date of an election at which it is presented
- A driving receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
- An identification card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
- An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin
- A photo identification card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college that contains date of issuance, signature of student, and an expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance. Also, the university or college ID must be accompanied by a separate document that proves enrollment.
Wisconsin voters can look at a two-year investigation of alleged voter impropriety by Walker ally Attorney General JB Van Hollen that resulted in charges brought against 11 potentially improper votes in November 2008 out of 2.96 million cast. That’s 0.0003% of voters who committed voter fraud. This is the only actual proof that the Republicans could show proudly of any investigated evidence of voter fraud.
However, until the voter ID laws are sensibly overturned, Wisconsin voters must prepare for using photo IDs in order to do the basic American right of voting. The University of Wisconsin System campuses in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Eau Claire, La Crosse and Whitewater are issuing ID cards that comply with the new voter ID laws. Technical college ID has been approved by the Government Accountability Board.