Leaders in the Wisconsin Technical College System are fighting a ruling that student IDs issued by the state’s 16 technical colleges cannot be used to vote. Technical college officials are formally requesting that the Government Accountability Board reconsider its interpretation of a new voter ID law at its next meeting on Nov. 9.
The new law will take effect next year and requires residents to show a photo ID to vote. The board, which oversees elections in Wisconsin, clarified at a meeting earlier this month that University of Wisconsin System IDs could be used for voting – if they include all the required information – but technical college IDs could not.
In an email last week, Paul Gabriel, executive director of the Wisconsin Technical College System District Boards Association, put out a call to college leaders, staff, students and stakeholders to advocate for acceptance of technical college IDs.
“We believe this incorrectly interprets the new statute and that the Legislature in no way intended to exclude technical college IDs,” Gabriel wrote.
He and other technical college officials believe their colleges meet the requirements in the law: they are accredited by a nationally-recognized agency and offer at least an associate’s degree.