When Voter ID became law last May, most student IDs were automatically excluded from acceptable forms of identification. This is no longer the case now that the Government Accountability Board has approved student IDs for voting, provided they have necessary stickers attached.
We endorse this decision as a whole. Yet even this seemingly straightforward directive is laden with conditionals. Rather than limiting ourselves to a blanket judgment, we will weigh in several particulars.
First, we believe that UW-Milwaukee should begin offering these stickers as soon as the law goes into effect. The GAB’s decision stopped short of mandating that colleges issue acceptable voter identification, leaving it to individual schools to pursue a sticker program if they so choose. However, it would be unconscionable for UWM to decline to provide makeshift voter IDs.
While a sticker program would require school funding at a time when resources are already spread thin, administrators should be mindful of the GAB-approved stickers as a cost-effective alternative to calling for new IDs altogether. Turning existing school IDs into acceptable voter identification shouldn’t be considered a luxury, and UWM should find a way to absorb the costs.
Though all students would potentially benefit, those from out-of-state clearly have the most to gain. By having an acceptable college ID, they could avoid having to acquire a separate form of Wisconsin identification. In-state students with expired identification would also be given greater flexibility come election time.
These groups may not constitute a huge number of people, but they are not imaginary either. It is incumbent upon the university to assist them. They should not be subjected to the Kafka-esque experience of going through the Department of Transportation in order to participate in the electoral process.
Full Article: Stickers a welcome start | The UWM Post.