In the small towns of Walworth and Rock counties, voters and poll workers usually know each other, their kids and their kin. The friendly familiarity that clerks say has suppressed voter fraud might turn to hard feelings when photo identification becomes a voting requirement for the 2012 spring elections.
On the other hand, showing photo identification could prevent occasional misunderstandings by elderly, hard-of-hearing poll workers.
Clerks in Darien, Delavan and Edgerton expressed differing opinions on the voter identification law signed this week by Delavan alum Gov. Scott Walker.
Diane Hermann-Brown, Sun Prairie city clerk and president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association, is on record as saying that acquainting poll workers with the nuances of the new law would be a huge undertaking.
In small towns, the law’s effect on the folksy culture could be as much of an adjustment as its practical application, the three local clerks agreed.
“For smaller communities, it could be different because everyone knows everyone,” Edgerton Clerk Cinthia Hegglund said. “There would be a loss of community feel.
“I think it’s going to put more responsibility on voters. If they don’t have proper ID, they’ll be sent home to get it by someone who knows them.”