Part of voter ID could take effect this summerRepublicans on the legislature's budget committee have voted to speed up implementation of a voter ID plan so that part of it would take effect before recall elections this summer.
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Republicans on the legislature's budget committee have voted to speed up implementation of a voter ID plan so that part of it would take effect before recall elections this summer.
While it would still be next year before a state-issued driver’s license or other photo ID is required to vote, this plan could force voters in nine senate recall elections -- six of them for Republican senators -- to live in their districts for 28 days before they can cast ballots. Right now only 10 days is required.
La Crosse Assembly Democrat Jennifer Shilling said she'd been wondering why Republicans were rushing this bill.
“Now we know why,” she said. “It is about pending elections. Immediate elections."
Shilling called the entire bill cumbersome, confusing and expensive and said it could drive down turnout in student-heavy districts.
“You feel the rules need to be changed in the middle of the game," she chided Republican lawmakers.
Shilling is challenging Republican Senator Dan Kapanke in one of the recall elections.
Senate Republican sponsor Joe Leibham said the requirement would make Wisconsin like other states. He says the 28 day requirement is to bring Wisconsin in line with what most other states in the nation require in regard to residency.
But Leibham did not say why the provision needed to take effect now when the rest of the plan would take effect later.
Another change approved Monday would allow the use of student IDs to vote even if they don't include an address, but the IDs could be no more than two years old. The plan is up for a vote before the full state Assembly tomorrow.