Dad, husband, baseball coach, writer, community activist and crappy guitar player...I tend to stand a little to the left on most issues. I don't get my news from Fox "News" - and neither should you.
The Voter ID Law will be the subject of a public hearing set for today at 10 am in Madison by the Committee on Election and Campaign Reform. Representative Jeff Stone is on that committe, and I believe was a co-sponsor of that bill.
Requiring an ID to vote sounds almost like common sense, except that the proposed bill in WI goes way beyond any other state's current Voter ID Laws and is too restrictive as written. Even Kevin Kennedy, director of the non-partisan Government Accountability Board (GAB) said, "The Wisconsin proposal would be much stricter and more cumbersome to administer than the Indiana law." The Indiana Law is considered the strictest of such laws in the US..
In it's current form the law will not accept U.S. passports, student identification cards, or cards issued by a unit of government other than a driver's license, a military identification card or a state identification card. In other words, seniors who do not drive, people with disabilities, college students, poor urban residents and Native Americans would not be allowed to vote until they get a new state-issued ID.
What this means is that any college student could no longer use their college ID to vote and would have to get a state-issued ID with their college residence to vote. A big deal when you are living on campus with no transportation and limited time and resources.
This also means that my elderly aunt, who does not drive and is wheelchair-bound would have to trek it into the DMV to get an ID, make a photo copy of that, and then send that in with her absentee ballot.
As a result, Disability Rights Wisconsin, The Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, as well as NAACP-Milwaukee believe the bill is discriminatory.
The GAB also found that at least $500,000 would be required for a public information campaign about the law and another $1,500,000 just to pay for changes and administering of the law.
The GAB has stated that only about 20 cases of voter fraud were found in 2008. Let' see, at a cost of $2 million for the program with 20 recent cases of voter fraud, that equals $100,000 per fraud. Seems like a waste of tax-payer $ to me, but hey, if it suppresses the Democratic vote the Republicans will pass it, no matter what the cost!
Within a "free" country, shouldn't the act of casting a vote be the easiest thing we do in any given day, not the most cumbersome? With already low voter turnout, why put obstacles in our path?