People who die waiting for a state-issued voter ID are recorded as a “customer-initiated cancellation” by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, a DMV official testified Thursday. On the fourth day of a trial challenging a series of voting changes implemented in Wisconsin since 2011, U.S. District Judge James Peterson heard testimony from a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and Sun Prairie’s city clerk. But lawyers focused on Susan Schilz, a supervisor in the DMV’s compliance, audit and fraud unit, who was questioned for several hours. Schilz’s unit oversees the ID petition process, or IDPP — the system qualified voters use to obtain a free ID from the state. The lawsuit, filed about a year ago, argues the IDPP is ineffective and is failing minority groups in particular.
Attorneys challenging the laws say the measures were passed with the intention of disproportionately burdening non-white voters, young voters and poor voters.
Lawyers for the state have noted the increased turnout in elections that have occurred since the state’s voter ID law was passed in 2011 and emphasized that the DMV provides free IDs to those who need them.
Lawyer Josh Kaul called the IDPP “almost cartoonishly unconstitutional” on Monday, noting that the majority of IDPP applications that have been denied have been for non-white applicants.