Wisconsin Republicans are pushing state legislation that would block local governments from issuing voter ID cards — which are required at the ballot box under a 2011 law — even though the locals IDs currently being considered in a Milwaukee program aren’t meant to be used for voting. Republican state Sen. Van Wanggaard and state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo are floating a proposal that would bar cities and villages from issuing any photo ID card, according to the Journal Sentinel. It also would require that any ID issued by local governments to state clearly that it does not meet the state’s voter ID requirements. Nor can local government IDs be used for any public benefits program, under the proposal.
The memo being circulated claims that the legislation would prevent fraud, and that local IDs would be “potentially misleading, confusing, and unfair to the card’s recipient” who would believe he or she qualified for public benefits.
The legislation appears to be a direct response to a program in the works in the Milwaukee area that would fund the issuance of a photo ID for residents to use when seeking health care, obtaining library cards and setting up bank accounts. The local IDs are meant for Milwaukee’s immigrant and homeless populations, as well as victims of domestic violence, runaway youths and transgender people who also face obstacles obtaining state IDs.