Free voter ID to be made available to students

University says it will provide valid IDs for upcoming election


Photo by Kristina Bornholtz

UW-Eau Claire students can pick up voter ID cards in the same place they pick up Blugold cards, which is on the first floor in the Davies Center.

UW-Eau Claire will be providing students with free voter identification cards, as current student identification cards do not meet the requirements set forth by the recently reinstated voter identification law.

As of Sept. 12, those who wish to vote in the November gubernatorial elections will be required to present a state-approved form of voter identification after a federal appeals panel reinstated the law.

“This ruling is a win for the electoral process and voters of Wisconsin,” Walker said in a statement issued on his website . “Voter ID is a common sense reform that protects the integrity of our voting process. It’s important that voters have confidence in the system. Today’s ruling makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

 The law, passed by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011, requires voters to present an approved form of photo identification. Accepted forms include a Wisconsin drivers license or state ID, a military ID card, a U.S. passport or certain forms of university or college ID.

Beginning Sept. 22, the Blugold Card Office will be making eligible photo IDs for students at no cost. The proof of enrollment form is still required at the polls, along with the new ID.

“I can think of no higher use for universities than to work with students and help them to develop to become civic leaders and be involved in society,” Chancellor James C. Schmidt said. “So when the ruling came down, we had a team on campus immediately looking into how to (make IDs available).”

 The requirements for acceptable student ID include a printed date of issuance, signature of student, expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance, and a separate document that proves enrollment, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

The law also applies to absentee ballots, which will require voters to send in valid photocopies of identification with their ballots. The new requirements for absentee voting can be found on Government Accountability Board website.

Invalidated in April, Judge Lynn Adelman of the Federal District Court in Milwaukee said that the law was “a harmful solution in search of an imaginary problem,” according to the New York Times. She said she believes that the law “will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes.”

Brandon Senger, a senior political science major, said he agrees with Judge Adelman.
“It’s a reaction to a problem that, to my knowledge, has not been documented to exist to a dangerous degree,” Senger said. “It’s also very convenient that it will disenfranchise a block of voters who predominantly vote for dems.”

The Wisconsin gubernatorial election will be Nov. 4. Madison School Board member Mary Burke (D) will be running against Walker, the Republican incumbent.