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As I See It

Improvements needed to Wisconsin’s Voter ID law



By now it seems that Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is here to stay. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. It should be. Because the current law provides unnecessary barriers for young college students, many of them first-time voters. The problem is that in the University of Wisconsin System, not all university-issued student ID’s are acceptable forms of identification for voting purposes. Under current law, college students are singled out, requiring them to produce a campus photo ID that includes his or her name, photo, issuance date, signature and an expiration date not more than two years after it was issued. Students must also show proof of their current enrollment, such as a tuition receipt. Because not every school in the UW System issues the same ID’s, only four of the system’s 13 four-year institutions issue ID’s that comply with the state’s Voter ID law. UW La Crosse, and 8 other UW schools curently don’t issue student ID’s that contain all the information they need to vote. So these student s have to get a separate photo ID just for the purpose of voting. That is unnecessary, and likely turns many students away from voting at all. The group Common Cause has filed a lawsuit over the requirements, but that is not likely to be settled prior to the 2020 election. That’s why the Wisconsin Board of Regents should provide ID’s at all UW campuses that meet the requirements needed to cast a ballot. That would be a simple and inexpensive process, and would ensure we don’t make some potential voters jump through more hoops than others.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Clyde Fromona

    December 17, 2019 at 6:41 am

    I don’t understand how someone with so much responsibility is so uninformed.

    To register for college you have to have proof of identity.

    Which means you have to have an ID.

    If some how a person needs a Wisconsin ID because they have none, it is free of charge at the DMV.

    Oh, my goodness how will they ever get to the DVM? Maybe a free ride if the call 911?

    One question.
    Why would a person want an ID with their home address and another College ID used for voting with their college address?
    Second question.
    Unless maybe they plan on voting twice?

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