Wisconsin Voter ID Bill Gains Momentum, But Timeline Questioned For April Elections

Friday, January 14th, 2011 at 11:20 am

State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls, Pictured below) announced earlier this week that she will co-sponsor bipartisan legislation requiring Wisconsin voters to show photo identification at the polls.

“It is crucial that elections in this state are conducted with integrity and that voters have confidence in the process,” said Senator Harsdorf.  “This bill takes common-sense steps towards safeguarding our elections against fraud.”

The issue of requiring voters to show photo ID has gained increased attention in wake of several election fraud incidents around the state.

Still, some state election officials say it will be nearly impossible to train poll workers on voter identification requirements by this spring. Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy told the Associated Press that it would be difficult to train local officials and launch the public relations drive on the changes the bill demands by then.

Board member Gerald Nichol says it would be impossible for board staff to be ready. He says it would be a disaster.

So, in short, while the bill may become law, it may not be implemented in time for April’s elections.

Exemptions to the photo identification requirement are included in the bill for frail and homebound citizens and identification cards would be issued at no charge to those in financial need.  The bill additionally requires an individual to provide proof of residence when registering to vote, ending the ability of one voter to vouch for the official residence of another.

Comment on this Story

Join the conversation! All fields are required, but your email address will never be published or shared. Your comment will be held for moderation before posting.