A federal judge heard testimony Tuesday from Wisconsin residents who have faced difficulties obtaining photo IDs for themselves or family members on the second day of a trial challenging several of the state’s voting laws. Witnesses for the plaintiffs included a son who faced difficulties getting an ID for his mother in 2011, a homeless man who couldn’t afford a driver’s license but didn’t want to relinquish his driving privileges for a free ID and a mother who spent days navigating the process to get an ID for her adopted daughter. “I’m trying to teach them that this is what you do to preserve this beautiful right,” said Laura Patten of Whitefish Bay, discussing the importance of voting to her children, adopted from Romania.
Patten and her youngest of three adopted children, Mara, spent several days trying to get an ID in February, about a week before the Feb. 16 primary election, she testified.
Based on the information on the state Department of Motor Vehicles website, Patten and her daughter showed up at the DMV with the materials they thought they would need to get an ID card for Mara.
They brought two recent paychecks, her Social Security number, a completed application, a W-2 form, her re-adoption papers, her Whitefish Bay student ID card and Patten’s driver’s license. They were sent home empty-handed and instructed to return with Mara’s expired Romanian passport.