Election officials across Wisconsin are bracing for a difficult transition as the state rushes into place new rules for voting signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday — including a controversial measure requiring voters to use photo identification.
Passage of the law, which has been discussed by Republicans for more than a decade, means those charged with enforcing it have less than two months to develop and implement the training needed to handle polls in the coming recall elections.
“This will be a huge undertaking, to get everything and everybody ready,” said Diane Hermann-Brown, Sun Prairie city clerk and president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association. “We still have questions about how this will work.”
… With passage of the law, Wisconsin joins Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and South Carolina as states with photo ID requirements. Four other states request photo IDs but allow voters to cast regular ballots without one. The Wisconsin measure, which could cost the state as much as $7.5 million to execute, has long divided Republicans and Democrats.
Supporters contend it will cut down on voter fraud and say it’s reasonable to expect the same level of scrutiny for voting as for cashing checks, renting cars or using credit cards. Opponents say it is a solution without a problem. They fear it discourages people from voting, especially college students, seniors, minorities and people with disabilities.