A hearing in federal court tomorrow will focus on whether the state is properly handling its voter identification law — and whether it should stay in November.
Liberal group One Wisconsin Now filed a motion to suspend the law for this election. Mike Browne, the deputy director of One Wisconsin Now, said giving people incorrect information about the voter ID law could deter them from voting altogether, he said.
With the November presidential elections less than a month away, people are going to their local Department of Motor Vehicle locations to obtain their IDs, but not all have been successful in doing so. Some DMV workers were not made aware of correct voter ID policies, which One Wisconsin Now deputy director Mike Browne said was a failure on the government’s part.
“Once you turn someone away they go away thinking they’re not going to vote and there’s nothing you can do about that,” Browne said. “You have improperly taken away somebody’s right to have their vote counted.”
But Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel wants the federal judge to deny One Wisconsin Now’s request. A Department of Justice study on the process of obtaining an ID for voting found officials had made appropriate changes.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Wisconsin needs voter ID and having voting-only IDs is a common sense measure. He said the state had six cases of voter fraud in the April primary elections. Presenting identification at the polls prevents such voter fraud, he said.
Browne said the state has not done enough when it comes to educating people about voter ID. He said this inability to administer the voter ID law properly is what led to the confusion at the DMVs and is enough reason to suspend the law for the upcoming election.
Fitzgerald said people present IDs for everything from buying alcohol to driving a car. It is only natural that people present IDs to vote as well, he said.
“This is a constitutional and common sense measure which will protect the integrity of elections in Wisconsin and throughout the country,” Fitzgerald said.