A Republican lawmaker is proposing numerous changes to the state’s voting, election and campaign finance laws, including reinstating the requirement that voters show a photo ID to cast a ballot and shortening the time for in-person absentee voting. The voter ID requirement, passed in 2011, has been tied up in the courts and currently is not in effect. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, has repeatedly called on the Legislature to reinstate photo ID, which surveys have shown is supported by a majority of Wisconsin residents. Opponents of photo ID have argued that many voters — including the poor, elderly and disabled — are disenfranchised because they lack driver’s licenses or the ability to get photo identification. Two Dane County judges have found the provision to be an unconstitutional impairment of the right to vote. The state is appealing those rulings.
The bill being circulated for sponsorship by Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, would exempt from the requirement those who file a sworn statement saying they religiously object to or cannot obtain such an ID card. It also would add military veteran ID cards to the list of acceptable identification.
“Effectively, if this bill passes, we once again have photo ID in Wisconsin,” Stone said.
One opponent of Stone’s proposal, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, called it “a sweeping assault on democracy.” Assistant Assembly Minority Leader Sandy Pasch, D-Whitefish Bay, labeled it part of the Republicans’ “divisive and unnecessary anti-voter agenda.”
Full Article: Voter ID, shorter absentee balloting proposed.