In states where a photo identification is required to vote, Republican lawmakers have been able to avoid legal challenges to the rule by giving away free voter ID cards, thereby ducking the label of a “poll tax.”
But in Wisconsin, which recently passed one of the nation’s most restrictive voter ID laws, another roadblock exists: ignorance.
A leaked memo written by a high-ranking Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation official stipulates that DMV workers are not to offer the voter ID, leaving it to the patron to explicitly ask for the free ID, then fill out the proper paperwork.
“While you should certainly help customers who come in asking for a free ID to check the appropriate box, you should refrain from offering the free version to customers who do not ask for it,” Steve Krieser, executive secretary for the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation, wrote to employees.
Signage which was supposed to notify DMV patrons of the new voting rules is also missing in action, still being designed, according to The Capital Times.
After passage of the voter ID law, Gov. Scott Walker (R), pictured above, called for the closure of as many as 16 DMV offices, mainly in Democratic-leaning areas. After intense public backlash, he reversed himself, expanding the DMV and adding operating hours in some offices to accommodate increased demand for ID cards — at a cost of $6 million over the previously allotted budget.
Democrats argue that voter ID laws are unnecessary due to a complete lack of evidence of any organized voter fraud scheme. They say it unfairly targets students, the poor and the elderly, who are more likely to not have a photo ID and also tend to support Democrats over Republicans.
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