Wisconsin’s voter ID law returns in time for Supreme Court primary election

Voters will need an approved photo ID before they can cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election


Photo by Lauren French

Story by Lauren French, Editor in Chief

Those who plan to vote in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court primary election Tuesday will need more than just a student ID to cast a ballot after the reemergence of the voter ID law.

“Young or old,” Eau Claire City Clerk Donna Austad said, “everyone will have to show a photo ID.”

Tuesday’s election marks the first time Wisconsin voters will have to present an approved photo ID since 2012. The law, which was tied up in court challenges on its constitutionality, received the green light for this election in March. It will also be in effect for the presidential primary this April.

Voters must present at least one of the following at the polls on Tuesday:

– A Wisconsin driver’s license

– A Wisconsin state ID card

– A military ID card

– A U.S. passport

– A certificate of naturalization, within two years of issuance

– A driver’s license receipt, issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, within 45 days of issuance

– An ID issued by a federally recognized Wisconsin Native American tribe

– A Wisconsin student ID that contains the date of issuance, a student signature and an expiration date not later than two years after the date of issuance. Students will also need to provide proof of current enrollment.

UW-Eau Claire’s student IDs do not meet the law’s requirements, but students can obtain a voter ID card from the Davies Center, Austad said.

Even though her student ID won’t suffice, sophomore art education student Autumn Strand said the new requirement won’t deter her from voting. Strand is a Wisconsin native, so all she has to do is bring her driver’s license along to the polls. But, she said the law might pose a challenge for those who aren’t college students and don’t have resources in a convenient spot.

“I feel like that’s just a lot of work for no reason,” Strand said. “… I’m sure it’s a lot harder for people who aren’t in school to figure [voter IDs] out.”

Voters who aren’t students and don’t have any of the acceptable forms of ID can obtain a free one from the Department of Motor Vehicles, 3115 Melby St.

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates include Rebecca Bradley, Joe Donald and JoAnne Kloppenburg.