Voter rights advocates, in a federal complaint, allege serious flaws at the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles in the process for providing the photo IDs needed to vote in the state. As part of the voter ID law signed by Gov. Scott Walker, people are supposed to be able to request a free photo card from the DMV under certain circumstances. However, according to One Wisconsin Institute, bureaucratic delays and improper denials are preventing people from obtaining the IDs they need to vote. “There has been a comprehensive, systematic effort in Wisconsin to make voting harder and more complicated for targeted populations by Republican politicians attempting to gain an unfair partisan advantage,” Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Institute executive director, said in a news release. “The documented failures of the DMV to provide legal voters with the ID they now need to exercise their right to vote is yet another sad episode in the assault on democracy underway in Wisconsin.”
The complaint, filed in federal court in Madison, outlines more than a dozen policies making voting in Wisconsin more challenging for eligible citizens. The lawsuit seeks to strike down various restrictive voting measures put in place by Walker and the Republican State Legislature since 2011.
The complaint notes the state supreme court has held that the DMV had to exercise its discretion under the “extraordinary proof” petition process to permit voters to obtain exemptions for having to pay for birth certificates or other government records needed to obtain voter ID.