Voters should be aware that Wisconsin’s new election law requiring the need to show a photo ID will be in effect for the first time in next Tuesday’s (Feb. 16) election.
In addition, other recent changes in the state’s elections laws will remain in effect. These include a prohibition against municipal clerks providing more flexible hours to vote absentee in-person before election day, longer residency requirement, and the need to show proof of new residence:
• Municipal clerks are prohibited from extending office hours for early absentee in-person voting. The hours must be between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. and cannot be more than 45 hours per week. There can be no evening or weekend hours. The time runs on weekdays for two weeks before an election, ending at 5 p.m. or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before the election.
• People applying for an absentee ballot must send in a copy of a photo ID.
• Residency requirement has increased from 10 to 28 days.
• People who have changed their address must have documents to prove residency with a name that exactly matches their voter registration.
According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) website, the following photo IDs will be accepted for voting purposes, and can be unexpired or expired after the date of the most recent general election (currently, the Nov. 4, 2014 election):
• A Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended
• A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card
• A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card or driver license without a photo issued under the religious exemption
• Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service
• A U.S. passport
• An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin (may be used even if expired before the most recent general election)
Learn about getting a free Wisconsin ID card even if you do not have a birth certificate: http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/petition-process.aspx
The GAB website also lists other photo IDs, which are also acceptable for voting purposes, but must be unexpired.
Ballots in Tuesday’s election will include a statewide primary for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Candidates are incumbent Rebecca Bradley, appointed last October by Gov. Scott Walker to fill a vacancy; Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge Joanne Kloppenburg; and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Joe Donald. The two candidates receiving the most votes will go on to the April 5 general election.
Anyone needing more information can go to the GAB website, the GAB’s www.bringit.wi.gov, Hoff or their municipal clerk.