Among the many voted changes, straight ticket voting is now banned
While the photo ID provision of the 2011 election reform law has been struck down, there are other parts other parts of the law that will go into effect and remain unknown to many Wisconsin residents.
From voter registration changes to new voting rules, for many November 6 may be a different voting experience than in the past, particularly if registering to vote with a new name or address.
Voter registration corroboration banned
If you don’t have an acceptable document that shows your name and address, you can no longer establish residency in a ward by having a registered voter vouch for you.
- What to do: Don’t wait until the last minute to dig up a document or set up a new bank account at your new address or under your new name after a marriage or divorce. You can provide a current, valid Wisconsin driver’s license or other official documents including utility bills and bank statements. For a full list: gab.wi.gov/node/2550
- No hard copy required: Establish your residence by showing a clerk or poll worker an acceptable document displayed on a computer or smartphone screen. An internet connection will not be provided.
- No home: Homeless people must obtain a letter from a social service agency specifying a shelter or other location, such as a park bench, as their residence.
New voting rules
- Where you vote: You are expected to vote in the ward where you lived on Oct. 9 — that is, 28 days before the election instead of 10 days under the old law.
- Sign on the line: You must sign a poll book when voting at the polls, unless you are handicapped.
- Ward boundary changes: Your voting district and polling place may have changed. (Go to myvote.wi.gov to check.)
- Straight ticket option gone: No straight party ticket voting. Choose a candidate race by race.
- Voter ID in limbo: You don’t need to show ID to vote, even though the 2011 law required it. A court overturned the requirement after one election. More appeals are pending.
Voter Photo ID Law Status…
Currently, no ID is required for voting. Two separate judges on Marh 6 and March 12 of this year have issued injunctions preventing the Government Accountability Board from enforcing photo ID requirements in the 2011 legislation titled Act 23. The Wisconsin Department of Justice has appealed those injunctions and the cases are currently in the Court of Appeals.
Milwaukee— On Tuesday, Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge David Flanagan issued his decision to permanently enjoin Wisconsin’s restrictive and burdensome photo ID law, declaring Wisconsin’s photo ID law the strictest in the nation.
The Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, Voces de la Frontera, and twelve individuals partnered in the fight against Wisconsin Act 23. The act requires photo identification to cast a ballot, including absentee ballots. Only around 80 percent of Wisconsin residents already registered to vote possess a driver’s license that meets the Photo ID requirements of Act 23. In addition, to obtain a WisDOT Division of Motor Vehicles issued driver’s license or alternative ID a certified birth certificate is required.
If enacted, the act would impose strict voter identification laws on Wisconsin residents, denying the right to vote granted in the Wisconsin Constitution. James Hall, President of the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP released the following statement regarding the decision:
The permanent injunction on Act 23 will help ensure that Wisconsin’s election integrity is preserved during the election season, by protecting each citizen’s right to vote and railing against claims of mass voter fraud and detrimental solutions in search of a problem.
“Since 2004, no state efforts have produced evidence of voter fraud indicative of the voter ID requirements of Act 23. The Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, NAACP Wisconsin State Conference, and leading partners will continue to push against the state and national attack on voting rights.”
In the official court Wisconsin Circuit Court order Judge Flanagan states, “Act 23 addresses a problem which is very limited, if indeed it exists.” “It offers no flexibility, no alternative to prevent the exclusion of a constitutionally qualified voter,” he continued.
Since 2011, Wisconsin and 40 other states have introduced voter suppression legislation. Twenty states have successfully passed restrictive voting laws between 2011 and 2012.
“Restrictive voter ID legislation is only a portion of the strategic attack on voting rights that has grown to include harsh regulations on registration, cuts to early voting, unlawful purges, and the disenfranchisement of former offenders,” said Jotaka Eaddy, NAACP Special Assistant to the President and CEO & Senior Director of the Voting Rights Initiative. “This decision is an important victory for Wisconsin citizens, the NAACP, and voter protection.”
Last December, the NAACP released the report “Defending Democracy” which detailed the various attacks on voting rights, including Florida’s change to third party, non partisan voter registration procedures. The full report is at http://www.naacp.org/pages/defending-democracy
Be ready for first test of state’s new Voter ID law; Sheriff’s failure to provide adequate security contingent for president unacceptable
Wisconsin’s new Voter ID law. Regretfully, we don’t think the results will be pretty. We hope we’re wrong, but we feel those individuals who feared and opposed this law, which restricts first time voters, students, individuals who have recently moved, veterans serving overseas and seniors–the very people who made the election of President Barack Obama possible in 2008–will be made prophets in their own land.
We hope we’re wrong, but we feel there will be unrest at the election polls with people demanding their right to exercise their right to vote their conscience for the individual they feel will best represent and fight for their needs and rights.
Yes, we sincerely hope we’re wrong about what will take place on February 21. The best way to prevent any clashes that may take place at polling locations around the city and county is to register now–immediately–within the next six days.
Please, prove us wrong and come to the polls already registered, with the proper photo ID and or the necessary documentation–such as utility bills or other proof of identification–prepared to vote!
Register now so you can vote on Tuesday! Yes, it’s that important, and will reveal the will of the people as to their commitment to vote in the general election this November and whether or not President Barack Obama will have a second term in office.
• We agree with Common Council President Willie Hines’ and Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway’s criticism of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s decision to scale back his department’s contribution to security for President Barack Obama during his visit to Milwaukee Wednesday.
The sheriff said his department scaled back its participation due to county budget cuts. Clearly what the sheriff did was meant to be a slap at Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s budget, which drastically cut the sheriff’s budget, leading to the layoff of a large number of sheriff’s deputies.
Reportedly, the Sheriff Department’s budget for dignitary protection was eliminated in Abele’s budget.
Though we are not familiar with how manpower is distributed by Sheriff Clarke (who, interestingly, was on vacation–in Mexico–during the presdident’s visit), we can’t believe the sheriff, with his years of experience on the job, could not have adequately shifted manpower to fully staff a contingent of deputies to help with the security detail for the president, while maintaining the security of the county.
The protection of the President of the United States must not be used as a political tool by a sheriff who is disgruntled with the budget cuts he must make in his department.
We hope the sheriff will have a good explaination for what he did when he returns from vacation. The city and county demand and deserve nothing less.