Wisconsin Couple unable to get ID to Vote

 

John Wolfe and Rita Platt

(photo and video of partial interview by Art Juchno)

 

Now that photo ID’s are required for voting in Wisconsin, Jennifer “Rita” Platt and John Wolfe drove 45 minutes from Osceola to the nearest Dept. of Motor Vehicles office in Hudson, only to be turned away. Governor Walker and state Republicans recently passed the “Voter Photo ID Law”, or Act 23, which has many Wisconsinites scrambling.  Rita and John brought social security cards, current pay stubs, and driver’s licenses from Iowa, but it wasn’t enough.  They need to pay for certified birth certificates, and wait for them to arrive in the mail, in order to secure a free Wisconsin ID card issued for voting.  To complicate matters further for the couple, the computers at the DMV were down and unable to process their request. 

 Here’s their story.

——————————————-

Rita:  On November 23 (2011), John and I drove down the day before Thanksgiving, because we were both lucky enough to have the day off … hoping to get our Wisconsin driver’s licenses.  It is a long haul down to the DMV, and it takes some time at the DMV, and it is a long haul back up, so we wanted to do it on a day when we didn’t have work. 

So, as soon as we got there another customer told us that the computers were down and that he’d been there all morning.  We must’ve gotten there sometime around 10 or 11:00 am, and he said he’d been there since it opened [8:00]. And so we thought (Hugh…rolled eyes), “What a bummer!  The one day we could come here the computers are down and we can’t get our licenses.”  Then, the gals behind the counter encouraged us to get our paperwork filled out, in the hopes that when we were finished the computers would be up and running. 

So, we filled out the paperwork, and the gal asked for my identification.  I gave her my expired Iowa state driver’s license. [Rita and John moved to WI 18 months ago]  And I gave her my pay stub for my school district in St. Croix Falls, where I teach.  She said these didn’t count as proof of identification and that I needed either a certified birth certificate or a passport, neither of which I had.  Then, I asked her if I could, at least, get a voter ID, since I’d like to vote in the next election.  She said, “No.”  I couldn’t get that either because I’d need either a certified birth certificate or a valid passport to get a voter I.D., as well.  

Finally, I told her that I’d previously been a Wisconsin resident (from the mid ‘80’s – mid 90’s) and that I’d had a driver’s license at that time.  Then, she said, “Oh, if you’ve already had a Wisconsin driver’s license, then you can get a new one and you don’t need the other proof.”  So, she got on the computer…which, I still don’t understand because she said it was down, but she was able to find some information on the computer about me.…She was able to see my old license on the screen but for some reason she couldn’t see enough information for it to count.  So, at that point I knew that there was no chance to get a license or voter I.D. 

I was super, super frustrated at that point.  And, um, and you know, I’d watched John struggle to get his, too, and also be denied.  So, we left, and that was the end of the story for that day. 

John: … fair enough, computers go down…but I went in there with a current Iowa driver’s license, social security card, proof of residency here – a bank statement, and a pay stub.  They said, “No, that doesn’t count as proof of your identity.” They also said that I had no proof that I was aUnited States citizen, because all a social security card says is that at some point I was allowed to work here.  So, you know, it is hard in that situation to not want to argue with the women that are working there.  But at the same time you realize that they are just employees.

 

What is your plan now?  Do you still plan on getting your licenses or IDs?

Rita: Well, I’m really lucky because I know that I will get my driver’s license before the next election.   I have a computer, so I went on to find out how to get a certified birth certificate.  I’m from California, so I have to fill out some online paperwork and pay $26 and wait for it to come.  Then, the next time I go back it will have to be a day off work.  So, that will be lost income, and then to spend the gas down and back the second time, with gas being close to $4 a gallon.  Altogether, that is a ton of money.  There are a couple of other DMV centers that are 30 minutes away, but they are only open 1-2 afternoons per month and only open during my working hours.

John: I was born in Arlington,Virginia and it’s going to take somewhere between $20 and $30 to order a certified birth certificate. But I’m one of the lucky ones.  I can take the time off work.  I can have some flex time, and I have a pretty good salary.  I have a reliable car.  I can do all of this, and I will.  But what worries me is that this is a law that will cause many people not to vote.  I value democracy, and I want my fellow citizens to vote.

[According to UW Milwaukee, School of Continuing Education, Employment & Training Institute: Minorities and poor populations are the most likely to have drivers license problems. Less than half (47 percent) of Milwaukee County African American adults and 43 percent of Hispanic adults have a valid drivers license ...The situation for young adults ages 18-24 is even worse -- with only 26 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of Hispanics in Milwaukee County with a valid license compared to 71 percent of young white adults in the Balance of State…. An estimated 23 percent of persons aged 65 and over do not have a Wisconsin drivers license or a photo ID. The population of elderly persons 65 and older without a driver’s license or a state photo ID totals 177,399 and of these 70 percent are women.”]

 

What has been your experience voting in other states?

 Rita: I was living in Wisconsin for my first election, at 18, and I’ve voted in every election.  I love adventure and travel, so I’ve lived in a lot of different states.  I’ve voted in 5 different states and overseas.   This is the first I’ve ever had any trouble.  I’ve lived in rural Eskimo villages on the Bering Sea coast, and I’ve voted overseas in Thailand.  No problem.  Now, here I am in Wisconsin raising my kids in theMidwest, with values that are so close to my own, and this is the first time I’ve had any trouble trying to vote. I’ve never missed a single election, and I certainly didn’t want to miss the coming election (special election for the recall of Gov. Scott Walker).

It is sad to say, and I’m certainly not a conspiracy theorist, in general, but it does seem a bit suspicious to me that this Voter ID law came up now, when our state is very divided and there is a lot anger.  Here we have this law that has the potential to disenfranchise an incredible number of voters.  You look at the statistics and this will affect a huge number of African American and Latino voters.  It seems politically motivated.

 John: I’ve lived in Iowa, Illinois, Arizona, Japan, and Switzerland.  Any other place I’ve been, any other state, any other country, it was fairly simple to vote with some documentation, and now, suddenly, I was stopped cold. 

There seems to be a double standard.  You have these legislators who claim that we need this law to protect valid democracy.  And yet depriving someone by setting up conditions that make it difficult to vote, for someone who has a right to vote, means a vote has not been counted.  And that is a blow at the democratic process just as much as permitting someone to vote who shouldn’t be allowed to.  Yet, I don’t see the Republican legislators wringing their hands and panicking over the fact that 100 or 1000 people who should be voting are not going to vote.  You know, where is their concern for the validity for the voting process then?

__________________________________________________

I called the Hudson DMV for comment.  A woman named Joyce verified that the computers were down on the day that John and Rita attempted to obtain I.D.’s.  She acknowledged that, “Every once in a while that happens.  Then, we usually tell them to come back another day or call back later in the day to see if they are back up.”  I asked if this problem was something unique to the Hudson DMV or if this was a statewide occurrence.  The response, “It happens throughout the state.” 

 In 2008, the GAB reported 6 cases alleging voter fraud.  Yet, hearing the extraordinary efforts that one couple is taking to cast 2 votes, one wonders how many voters the law, itself, will disenfranchise?  Voters must now navigate through technical difficulties, new requirements, and financial obligations.  As evidenced with John and Rita, potential voters without IDs need to be finanicially secure enough to have internet research options, gas money for trips to the DMV, time off work, and hard cash to pay for certified birth certificates.  Thousands of  Wisconsinites share their predicament.  John and Rita say, “We are the lucky ones.”  How many will not be so lucky?

 

This story has just gone national.  Watch MSNBC.

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34 Responses to Wisconsin Couple unable to get ID to Vote

  1. My dad likes to tell the story of how he got his driver’s license in the 40′s by filling out a form at the hardware store and turning in two Wheaties box tops. Rita on the other hand should have done her homework before making the long haul to the DMV. A quick visit to the state DMV website would have informed what documents are acceptable for identity and residency. A federal law called Real ID Act of 2005 requires the DMV to request a birth certificate before issuing a DL.

    John at least had a current out of state DL, social security card, bank statement and pay stub but was told none of that constituted proof of identity. It should have as the DMV site lists a valid out of state DL with recognizable photograph and social security card issued by the SSA to be acceptable proof of identity (unless there is reason to suspect the authenticity of the documents.) Perhaps with the state computer system down they were unable to verify his documents making the whole episode atypical of anything.

    I’m going out on a limb and guessing John and Rita don’t have a problem with the increasing complexity of state and federal regulations as applied to that evil composite of individuals called a corporation. They favor government action to control every aspect of life from efficiency standards for cars, light bulbs and low flow toilets to agriculture, healthcare and mortgage lending while objecting to any standard that could conceivably restrict people likely to vote for more nanny state controls. Despite the breathless tone of the story it looks more like the banality of bureaucracy than a Rethuglikkkan conspiracy to deny them their voting rights.

  2. Rita Platt says:

    Christopher,

    Check again. You have it wrong. As did the DMV when I contacted them about what I would need to get an ID. One MUST have a certified birth certificate or a current passport. You got it wrong, I got it wrong, and the gals Heidi and I talked to at the DMV got it wrong. How many others will?

    As for your guesses about our beliefs…don’t “assume”….And, if you’re so against the “nanny state” you should support us in our efforts to roll back this silly voter ID law.

    Take care and best wishes for a great holiday!

    : ) Rita

    • Avatar of Bullseye Bullseye says:

      I find it interesting that teachers unions can require a photo ID for teachers to vote and they have no problem with it. But to vote in a statewide or nationwide election, we should just allow people to walk up to the table and state their name.

      The new law is giving people well over a year to get an ID. If you can’t figure out how to do it in that amount of time or find someone to help you, it probably isn’t a very high priority.

  3. Rita, my statement about the birth certificate requirement was “A federal law called Real ID Act of 2005 requires the DMV to request a birth certificate before issuing a DL.” How is that “wrong, wrong, wrong?” You also need a certified birth cert to get a passport.

    According to the story, John was told by the ‘gals’ at the DMV that a valid out of state driver’s license “doesn’t count as proof of your identity.” There may be some confusion here as number one on the state DMV website under acceptable documents for proof of identity is “A valid WI or out-of-state driver license (not a Canadian driver license) with your photograph.”

    When did you first contact the DMV about what you would need to get a voter ID? You went to the DMV because you’re driving on an expired license (don’t tell your insurance company) not to get a voter ID card. Your story is supposed to convince us how onerous and silly the voter ID law is but it ends up sounding like you didn’t do your homework and would rather pick and choose the laws you follow. After your experience at the DMV do you see any possible problems with, for example, having the bureaucrats at HHS running healthcare starting in 2014?

    The following ID’s are acceptable on voting day: Wisconsin driver’s licenses; state-issued ID cards, military IDs, passports, naturalization certificates, IDs issued by Wisconsin based tribes and student ID’s that include the students signature, a date of issuance and expiration date of not more than two years later.

  4. JT Edwards says:

    Wow, I saw comments on the last blog deleted for name calling. How are Ritas comments any better. I see the civility coming throught.

    If you would have looked at the CLEAR requirements for obtaining and ID and doing some research prior to going into this endevour it would have paid in spades. Per the DMV website:

    Any Wisconsin resident who does not hold a valid drivers license from Wisconsin or another jurisdiction may request a photo ID. There is no age limit to apply for an ID card. When applying, it will be necessary to provide:
    -Proof of name and date of birth, for example, a certified U.S. birth certificate, valid passport or certificate of naturalization.
    -Proof of identity (usually a document with a signature or photo).
    -Proof of Wisconsin residency.
    -Proof of U.S. citizenship, legal permanent resident status, legal conditional resident status or legal temporary visitor status.
    -Your social security number.

    PS I have offered to drive anyone who is looking for a ride to the DMV on my days off. I can be reached at jtedwards82@hotmail.com.

    • Avatar of Heidi Herron Heidi Herron says:

      JT – a “name calling” slipped by me and I removed it without tampering with the message. Many times the message is primarily name calling – and those are deleted when I see them.

      Thanks for the heads up and for having a dialogue.

  5. KC says:

    Homework is alway a bore…

    • Adam Myszewski says:

      Sixteen months of avoiding getting a valid WI driver’s license just to get set up by Richard Saks
      for the Democrat’s lawsuit. Enjoy the scrutiny Rita, you are getting hammered at the PP thread…wait until the WI state attorneys start.

  6. Justin Garms says:

    So breaking the law is ok? You were supposed to get a new drivers liscense within 60 days.

    Drivers with a Commercial Driver License (CDL) are required to apply for a Wisconsin driver license within 30 days. Other drivers new to Wisconsin are required to apply for a Wisconsin driver license within 60 days of establishing residency.

  7. Alan says:

    If this law forces Ms. Platt to finally replace her expired Iowa driver’s license with a valid Wisconsin license, which should have been done a year and a half ago, that is a good outcome. Everyone else who moves to Wisconsin needs to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and pay a fee to the state, for the privelage of driving.

  8. Avatar of Bullseye Bullseye says:

    I’m sorry, but don’t teachers get paid days off? I would start with the entire summer and include Christmas vacation, spring break and quite a few other half and whole days off throughout the school year. Why is this such a hardship for Rita again? I am just finding this whole story a bit difficult to swallow.

  9. Avatar of Jack Daniels Jack Daniels says:

    We have a situation where a teacher chose to go to the Hudson DMV during the school year on a work day. There are 180 days she has off work. I would hope you could have chosen one of those days. Also, 18 months without a valid license is ridiculous. I have no sympathy for this type of behavior. Let’s also think about the fact they they admitted that they walked away from the Hudson DMV without a valid license still. Not just invalid but expired. I ask you this, where are the police? They have given their names and where they live. They are driving around illegally and I am willing to bet there will be no ticket issued to these drivers. I mean the police do not care to enforce the laws. They too are mad at Act 10 and it didn’t even effect them. But heck they are part of a Union and Union’s must stick together.
    Fact….there are plenty of days you could go to the DMV without taking time off work
    Fact you have had 18 months to do this
    Fact all the information is on the DMV website as to what you will need.
    Fact you needed your birth certificate to get married…so let me guess you lost it in the move?
    I think this story is a waste of our time.

  10. Marilyn Brissett-Kruger says:

    Does it seem to anyone else that good people are missing the real point of Rita’s and John’s experience? Voter ID in Wisconsin came from a boiler plate model legislation designed by American Legislative Exchange Council in DC. This organization, which most of us never knew about until this year, has a mission of designing legislation that is favorable to corporations, national and international. Rep. Severson from our district, makes the claim that, even though there has been no evidence of voter fraud, it “might” happen and so the strictest laws in the nation were set for our once progressive state. (This is the same legislator who voted to have clean water a choice and assured that he, as a doctor, can’t be sued if/when he makes a medical error, so take his words with a grain of salt, please.) Look at the map of the states that have enacted this law and note our shrinking democracy. Once upon a time voting rights were expanded–non- property owners, blacks, women– and now, playing upon fears,
    ALEC has succeeded in securing a strangle hold on the rights of ‘way too many. I’d like folks to take a deep breath, stop focusing on Rita’s driver’s license, for goodness sake and look at what has happened to us since Scott Walker took office. Just my opinion, but if Walker is recalled, I picture him on the boards of major corporations with all the perks, therein… set for life. He has done their bidding with ample help from his assembly and senate and the rich and powerful will be grateful. It will take years to undo the damage to education, the environment, safety nets for our citizens, just to name a few problems we will live with long after Scott Walker is jetting to exotic locations for “board meetings”.

  11. Steve Klingaman says:

    Here are the facts as presented by the sources identified. Please show me where a certified copy of a birth certificate is needed for either a driver’s license or a to register to vote.

    By the way, one can can simply possess an expired license and not drive.

    Voter registration:

    Proof of Residence
    The following constitute acceptable Proof-of-Residence if the document contains your current name and address and is valid on Election Day (unless otherwise indicated):
    A current and valid Wisconsin driver license.
    A current and valid Wisconsin identification card.
    Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
    Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card.
    A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
    A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes election day (NOT for first-time voters registering by mail).
    A university, college or technical institute identification card (must include photo), ONLY if the bearer provides a fee receipt dated within the last nine months or the institution provides a certified housing list to the municipal clerk.
    A gas, electric or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before election day.
    Bank statement.
    Paycheck.
    A check or other document issued by a unit of government.

    http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/voters/registration-voting

    Driver’s licence or ID card:

    Documents presented as proof must be original (photocopies are not acceptable):
    A valid WI or out-of-state driver license (not a Canadian driver license) with your photograph. Note: Temporary out-of-state driving receipts are not acceptable.
    Military discharge papers, including Federal DD-214.
    U.S. Government and Military Dependent ID Card.
    A valid WI or out-of-state ID card (not a Canadian ID card) with your photograph.
    Certified copy of a Marriage Certificate or Judgment of Divorce.
    Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration.
    If you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian can show a valid Wisconsin driver license or ID card and confirm your identity.
    TSA Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card).
    http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/doc/proof-identity.htm

    Real ID Act:

    202(c)1: Minimum state ID requirements:

    A photo identity document (except that a non-photo identity document is acceptable if it includes both the person’s full legal name and date of birth)
    Documentation showing the person’s date of birth
    Proof of the person’s social security account number (SSN) or verification that the person is not eligible for an SSN
    Documentation showing the person’s name and address of principal residence

    http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13579

    Wikipedia: the easy version…

    Before a card can be issued, the applicant must provide the following documentation:[20]
    A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes full legal name and birthdate.
    Documentation of birth date.
    Documentation of legal status and Social Security number
    Documentation showing name and principal residence address.

  12. Matt Paust says:

    I grew up in Wisconsin where we were taught to be proud of Wisconsin’s progressive civil rights tradition. We were taught to look at the South with disdain for literacy tests voters had to take to prove they could read, tests intended to screen out blacks who were denied educational opportunities equal to those guaranteed whites. I live in Virginia now where the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed literacy tests and other obstacles intended to keep blacks from voting. I look at Wisconsin today in amazed embarrassment. Maybe it’s time to start busing freedom riders to the state that gave us Fighting Bob LaFollette and Bill Proxmire. Well, of course, it also gave us Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy. Looks like Joe’s in the cockpit there now. Y’all singin’ Dixie up there?

  13. Lara says:

    Wow. I would have thought that folks who want “less” Gov’t regulation would want less red tap, including for voting. Is Wisconsin afraid that a bunch of non-US Citizens are going to show up and sway voting results? I don’t like the atmosphere, politically or socially, that this law reinforces.

  14. Larry Moore says:

    Blogging is such a wonderful new medium of communication and information. My thanks to the person who is giving us Wiscoinsin Voices and taking care of this blog. This is a person who is truly committed to open discussion and the open transferance of information…honest and unedited.
    People with differing opinions and different political beliefs should be able to converse and debate on a wonderful ‘instant’ medium like this blog.
    What irrates me personally and scares me about our society is the number of people who use this (and other media) to be cyber-bullies. They take every opportunity to reduce the conversation to personal attacks, belittling comments, and verbal intimidaton. They are no different that any other bully…someone with no real courage of their own who seek to attack, intimidate and dominate others…while knowing that they are probably safe from any retaliation.
    Good decent dialogue and exchange of differing ideas is at the root of positive growth and problem solving. From the halls of government to bar rooms to blogs, negativity and intolerance and personal attack magnifies the power of the bully and the nay-sayers…and drives reasonable people seeking solutions and progress to shrink away from such confrontation and attack.
    There is NO PLACE for this type of behavior on this blog!

  15. Elizabeth Connelly says:

    The problem with the new voter-ID law has nothing to do with the myriad nit-picky details of exactly what documentation is or is not needed, how scarce DMVs are, how restricted their hours of operation or even whether any given citizen gets paid time off work. The problem is that it makes it more difficult for Wisconsin citizens to exercise their constitutional right vote for no good reason.

    The law was brought into being by a set of politicians who never tire of proclaiming their fealty to the Constitution yet one of whose first concerns once in power was limiting the exercise of the most fundamental constitutional right – the single right that allows each citizen a voice in government. The other great cause of these elected officials has been Wisconsin‘s fearsome fiscal condition. “The state is broke,” is their rallying cry as they ruthlessly slash and burn any program that stands a chance of benefitting ordinary citizens in favor of tax cuts for the few, the profitable, the very wealthy. And yet the voter suppression law they were so pantingly eager to bring about will cost the poor, sad, bankrupt state many millions of dollars to implement including $436,000 to one advertising agency alone for a campaign to inform voters how to get their approved proof of identification. Is it a case of sadly misplaced priorities or blatant dishonesty?

    Perhaps this simple fact will lead us to an answer: in a respected, impartial, undisputed study Wisconsin was found to have a statewide voter fraud rate of 0.0002%. Each of the seven cases (seven of 3,000,000 voters) in that statistic was a person voting with a felony conviction. It is a level of voter “fraud” that would influence no election and that would not be prevented by this law. As Steven Colbert said, “our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere.” (http://www.truthaboutfraud.org/pdf/TruthAboutVoterFraud.pdf)

    Whatever you may think of John and Rita, consider Ruthel Frank, the 84 year old woman who, because she was born at home in rural Brokaw, Wisconsin, has never had a regulation birth certificate. Even so, she has voted in every election since 1948. Whether it will cost her the reported $200 to get her identity documented in a way that will satisfy Wisconsin’s new political regulators or whether there is some obscure loophole she will be able to crawl through, with this outrageously disrespectful culmination of her lifetime of patriotic citizenship forced on her, she becomes the light illuminating a stupid, partisan, ideological piece of legislation that serves no honest purpose.

    You who defend this solution without a problem betray Wisconsin’s noble and historic reputation for uplifting the common people, the little, low-profit people, and you are being played for suckers by those who will come after you before long.

  16. JT Edwards says:

    Both people in this story have broken the law in one way or another. There is no grey area, they have. They should have gotten updated id’s or drivers licenses within 60 days of living in Wisconsin from another state. This could have easily been done during summer break.

    While you may find that the voter id law is unfair, unlawful, sham, ect…voter fraud is happening and only going to be more rampant as the stakes get higher and people find more elaborate way to commit this horrible fraud. If only seven cases, 7 people were unjustly wronged. While only seven instances might have been found in the last election…how many more are undocumented? How else do you prove people arent voting illegally but by having a drivers liscense/id card with a unique number on it? While there has been much disdain over the law, there has been little if no better solution presented.

    Have a better solution, I am all ears. If anyone is having a hard time and needing resources to getting to the dmv or walking through the process, I am available for email jtedwards82@hotmail.com.

  17. Cindy Ross says:

    I am so glad that Elizabeth Connelly beat me here! Elizabeth, you saved me the trouble of attempting to articulate what you said so well. Bravo!

  18. Elizabeth Connelly says:

    JT Edwards – I repeat, you have a solution without a problem. The seven fraudulent voters of some 3,000,000 were felons and voter ID would not have prevented them from voting. (Note that in almost all cases that have been documented of felons voting, or attempting to vote, it is because they are not aware that they are not allowed to vote because they once committed a crime.)

    Clearly, you are not absorbing the information that is out there. 0.0002% not only is not rampant, can’t remotely be described as anywhere near rampant or threatening in any way ever to become rampant, yet you predict confidently that “voter fraud is happening and only going to be more rampant”.

    You offer no documentation that voter fraud is happening on any scale, you just assert that it is. The study I cited – with a link if you ‘d like to investigate further, actually inform yourself – with actual, honest-to-god information as opposed to feeling and certainty – is as reputable an investigation as is possible. The methodology is described at the link if that matters.

    You say, “If only seven cases, 7 people were unjustly wronged. “ What does that even mean? The seven were felons who probably didn’t know they had lost their right to vote. How does their attempting to vote wrong them?

    Nobody is offering “a better solution” because there is no problem to be solved! This is a blatant effort to prevent some citizens from voting. That’s the only problem and the better solution, the only solution, is to repeal the Voter ID law.

    • Here a problem with voter fraud Elizabeth, in 2008 a US senate race was decided by just 312 votes in Minnesota. A tiny non-profit organization called Minnesota Majority investigated fraud in the 2008 election and already has double the convictions in 1 year than the US Dept of Justice found in 5. They found a wide range of illegal votes including incapacitated patients at a mental health home who have guardians and are not eligible to vote and 2,800 ineligible felons who voted in the 2008 election.

      That’s more than enough willful ignorance to throw an election, my conclusion is we need stronger enforcement to prevent voter fraud including photo ID. Why is Eric Holder’s highly politicized Justice Department refusing to investigate or prosecute voter fraud?

      In order to exercise your 2nd amendment right to carry a gun in Wisconsin you have to prove citizenship, take a training class and pass a background check. But on voting day you just waltz in to a voting booth, sign your name and vote?

  19. Mr.America says:

    I agree Voter ID is a “solution” looking for a problem. Under the guise of stopping voter fraud the GOP is blatantly practicing Voter Suppression. Add to that the Unnecessary cost this new law incurs such as costly “education” program to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars and the issuing of New Student ID cards at a number of UW campuses.
    Remember the stated GOP “Jobs” agenda? “Senate Republicans have one key question for EVERY piece of legislation they vote on or propose: “Will it help grow jobs?”” How many jobs is the Voter ID legislation going t create. You know the answer NONE!!!!!

  20. Sharon Johnson says:

    Just in time for the Holidays the Republican National Lawyers Association released its report last week documenting All instances of voter fraud.

    Their report cites 311 cases since 1997. Yes, you read that correctly 311 cases. 17 of those cases were in Florida – 4 of the cases were dropped.

    GOP officials can keep defending a foolish pretense about imaginary fraud, but there’s no reason for anyone else to take it seriously.

    Republicans support all kinds of new voting restrictions — voter-ID laws, severe limits on voter-registration drives, closing early-voting windows, strict new limits on absentee ballots — because they find it easier to rig voter eligibility than to win elections fair and square. It’s why all of these restrictions affect traditionally Democratic constituencies.

    I guess when they cannot win legitimately the only other option is to cheat.

  21. Carol says:

    What is this Republican legislature afraid of that they have put laws into place to discourage large numbers of people from voting? A truely democratic body who had the support of the people of the state of Wisconsin would not have to spend the precious state money to completely redo the voter id system. They wouldn’t have to cheat to win. This story isn’t about two teachers…it’s about thousands of normal qualified voters who will be unable to vote, if this idiocy stands!

  22. Avatar of Heidi Herron Heidi Herron says:

    This story has gone prime time with Al Sharpton, MSNBC. Watch here:

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/politicsnation/45744306#null

  23. I have applied employment and public assistance recently and I was required to provide them with a certified copy of my birth certificate, social security card or passport (a valid drivers license was not acceptable alone). Must be another Democratic Party plot to keep poor people from getting a job or public help, to keep them dependent and voting for them.

    By the way the Democratic Party line is meant as a satire on all their retoric on Republicans trying to keep poor people from voting. Man Up People, take responsiblity, there are many reasons to have a valid ID, quit whining.

  24. Avatar of Heidi Herron Heidi Herron says:

    The Obama adminstration has just spoken to Voter ID issue (not about this couple) in this news release:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45779698/ns/politics-more_politics/#.TvUat9QS2Ag

  25. Tam O'Tellico says:

    No thoughtful person should object to requiring a person to have a valid form of identification in order to vote. Nor should any thoughtful person argue that the state has a right, nay an obligation, to decide what constitutes a valid ID.

    BUT — no thoughtful person should deny that the sudden rush by newly-installed Republican legislatures to adopt far more stringent requirements than are warranted is anything but a scam intended not to protect the vote, but to disenfranchise voters who have a habit of voting against Republicans. Shame on these legislators — and shame on the people who voted these sorry officials in office.

    One more thing, be careful what you wish for — on some day in the not too distant future, a Democratic controlled legislature may decide to get even — say by disenfranchising voters who regularly watch F*x News, on the grounds they are obviously too propagandized to qualify as informed citizens — a not unwarranted charge. Were that to happen, the howling on the Right would be deafening.

    • There’s no shame in being disgusted with liberals stealing elections and finally doing something about it. Requiring a legitimate photo ID to vote is entirely warranted due to the documented examples of wholesale fraud carried out by groups like ACORN. Who is disenfranchised by this law? Only illegal aliens, criminals, individuals living on fake identities, wards of the state and possibly dead democrats.

      You need a photo ID to cash your welfare or social security check, buy cigarettes or alcohol, walk into a bar or purchase a firearm. How does that “disenfranchise voters who have a habit of voting against Republicans?” All it does is disqualify Democrats who have a habit of committing voter fraud.

      Requiring photo ID to vote is a sound way to protect the integrity of the electoral process because every fraudulent vote disenfranchises a legitimate one. As a thoughtful person you wouldn’t want a stranger to access your bank account just because they gave a teller your name so why would you allow that for your most sacred rights?

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