Voters would be asked for a photo ID in the upcoming recall elections but would still be allowed to vote without one. They would then be informed that a photo ID would be mandatory beginning with the spring 2012 Primary.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee passed an amended version of the photo ID bill Monday, removing a provision that required student IDs to carry correct addresses and moving up the date of implementation to immediately after the bill passes.
“We were all wondering why there’s such a rush on this bill — now we know,” said state Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. “It’s about the recall elections. You feel the rules need to be changed right in the middle of the game.”
Six Republicans and three Democrats face Senate recalls this summer. Republicans hold a 19-14 majority, so a net victory of three seats would give the Democrats control. The first elections are scheduled for July 12.
Photo ID has long been a divisive issue in Wisconsin, with Republicans championing the measure and Democrats saying it would suppress turnout among seniors, minorities, the disabled and college students — voter populations that lean heavily in their favor.