All 26 campuses in the UW System use “smart” cards for student identification. These cards can be used for a wide array of monetary and security functions. But the issue at hand is that across the System’s 26 campuses, there are as many as 14 different versions of student IDs, and not all of them meet the new requirements, said David Giroux, spokesman for the System.
For example, the cards currently issued by UW-Madison do not meet the new voter ID law’s standard for voter identification. Wiscard IDs expire every five years, exceeding the two-year allowable time between issue and expiration dates on student IDs for voting, said Government Accountability Board Spokesman Reid Magney.
Last month, UW-Madison administrators estimated that issuing all students new, compliant smart cards every two years would cost the school about $700,000. With large numbers of in-state students already possessing a driver’s licence, military ID or passport — all acceptable for voting — many of the System schools are looking at options that provide supplementary cards instead without replacing the more expensive smart cards.