As the City of Madison increases easier access to voting, the University of Wisconsin has followed suit by offering voter ID printers at polling stations around campus — even on Election Day.
There’s no catch. All you’ll need is a driver’s license or your WisCard to get a voter ID printed for you, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said.
“If you get to the voting booth and you don’t have what you need, you can just get what you need,” McDonell said. “It works pretty well.”
Since the voter ID law in the state of Wisconsin requires proper identification at the poll, this decision will largely impact the 14,000 out-of-state students who don’t have time to register to vote in Wisconsin, McDonnell said.
Wisconsin residents may get the secondary form of identification if they want, but it is not necessary for them, McDonnell added.
A week before Election Day, Union South will be one of 12 designated locations around Madison that will offer early and in-person absentee voting. In addition to offering those services, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., they will also have a printer to help students obtain a voter ID.
The day of the election, the Chancellor decided to have a printer at all of the campus voting locations, McDonnell said.
“Some of the other campuses like Green Bay and Superior have altered their regular ID card so it conforms to voter ID law — Madison has yet to have that,” McDonnell said. “But what they’ve done, with having printers at each of the polling locations, is really a semantic thing.”
The voter IDs printed at Union South will be plastic cards, similar to previous years, while the rest of the printers will simply print out a sheet of paper.
With increased access to voting and obtaining proper voter identification, McDonell estimates a higher voter turnout for this upcoming election, especially among out-of-state students.
“I think [this decision] makes it so that students aren’t uncertain, as there has been a lot of confusion around the law,” McDonnell said. “[The current voter ID laws] are a bit complicated, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. If you bring a smartphone and your ID, you’ll be set.”
Locations around campus which will offer a printing station on Election Day
Marquee lounge at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St.
Gordon Dining & Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St.
Ogg Residence Hall, 835 W. Dayton St.
Red Gym, 716 Langdon St.
Eagle Heights Community Center, 611 Eagle Heights