Instead of spending $2 million or more to implement a voter ID law in Wisconsin, the state should be spending that money on improving the overall voting process in the state. Lawmakers are getting ready to vote on a measure that would require everyone who wants to vote to show a valid identification card with a photo on it before he or she is given a ballot.
The Republican sponsors of the measure, including Sen. Joe Leibham of Sheboygan, contend voter ID is necessary to ensure that fraudulent votes aren’t cast. The bill’s sponsors make these claims despite only a handful of voter fraud prosecutions in recent years. In order to pass constitutional muster and the ban on a poll tax, the measure provides for the issuance of free ID cards to those who don’t already have an acceptable photo ID. The estimated cost of this provision is $2.7 million.
The Government Accountability Board estimates another $2.1 million for computer upgrades and other costs to implement voter ID. These cost figures don’t include the cost to local government to train poll workers and ensure there are enough people at the polling places when voter ID becomes law.