The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is relaunching its statewide “Bring It to the Ballot” multimedia campaign to educate Wisconsin residents about the voter photo ID law that will be in effect in 2016 starting with the Spring Primary on Feb. 16.
“Voter ID is back, and voters need to be prepared to bring their IDs to the polling place,” said Kevin Kennedy, Wisconsin’s chief election official. “The campaign’s message is that most people already have the ID they need to vote. If they don’t have one, they can get a free ID for voting at the DMV, even if they don’t have some documents like a birth certificate.”
“If voters do not have an acceptable photo ID, they should start taking steps to get one now,” Kennedy urged. “Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure you are able to vote.”
Kennedy also emphasized exceptions to the photo ID requirement for absentee voters who are active-duty military or who have a hard time getting to the polls because of age, illness, infirmity or disability.
The media campaign is designed to raise awareness and encourage the public to go to a website (BringIt.Wisconsin.gov) where they can learn more about what IDs are acceptable and how they can get a free ID if they need one for voting. The campaign’s TV and radio ads, short videos and printable brochures are available on the website. Voters can also call a toll-free number, 866-VOTE-WIS, for information. Black-and-white print ads are available for newspapers.
“Our Bring It website and toll-free number have many resources to help people understand how voting with photo ID works,” said Meagan Wolfe, the G.A.B.’s voter services specialist. “Voters can also visit MyVote.Wisconsin.gov to find out whether they are currently registered, where to vote and what will be on the ballot.”
Kennedy is contacting Wisconsin television and radio stations and cable system operators with information about how to get broadcast-quality copies of the public service announcements. “We are asking broadcasters and cable operators to start airing these short PSAs in 2016 so we can reach as many Wisconsin residents as possible,” Kennedy said.