Voter ID Update

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reinstated Wisconsin’s voter ID law (2011 Wisconsin Act 23), which had been on hold since first signed into law in 2011. The three member judicial panel found that recent changes made by the state to ease the process to obtain a free photo ID made the law acceptable.

The ruling means that all voters must show a valid form of photo identification in order to cast a ballot:

  • Wisconsin driver’s license
  • Wisconsin photo identification
  • University of Wisconsin voter identification
  • United States passport
  • United States military identification
  • Federally-recognized tribal identification

UW-Madison will begin issuing voter identification cards at the Wiscard office in Union South next week. The new ID is for voting purposes only and does not replace the Wiscard. More information is here. UW System’s student voting guide is here.

Voters may obtain a Wisconsin photo identification card at their local Department of Motor Vehicles office, and may apply to receive an approved identification card even if they lack the appropriate documents. DMV has said they will to process requests for identification without documentation in about 7 business days. More information is here.

Voters who vote absentee must show photo identification if voting in person or separately mail a photocopy of photo identification.

Opponents of the law have asked the full ten-member appeals court to reverse the law and suspend voter ID until a decision is rendered. They argue the application process is cumbersome and may take too long for voters to receive an approved ID. In addition, several thousand absentee ballots have been mailed without instructions about voter ID, complicating an election process already underway.

PROFS registered against AB 7, legislation that became the state’s voter ID law in 2011.