After an eight-year quest by GOP officials, Gov. Scott Walker will sign a bill Wednesday requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls.Actually, this is common sense, so naturally Democrats oppose it. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize they're the ones most affected by any measure to prevent illegal votes being cast.
But the measure costing more than $7 million in new spending and lost revenue could still face a legal challenge as opponents mulled over the possibility of suing to block it from taking effect.
The legislation will require poll workers to start asking voters for photo IDs for the July 12 state Senate recalls elections, but the voters will not be required to present them until next year's presidential primary.
"Requiring photo identification to vote will go a long way to eliminate the threat of voter fraud," Walker said last week. "If you need an ID to buy cold medicine, it's reasonable to require it to vote."
The signing will make Wisconsin the 11th state to have approved requiring some form of photo ID at the polls. Democrats have decried the measure, saying it would do little to prevent voter fraud while disenfranchising thousands of minority, elderly and rural voters.
"This is voter suppression," Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) said during the Senate vote approving the bill last week. "This is voter disenfranchisement. This is voter confusion. This is voter restriction. This is a voter discouragement bill."
Democrats shouldn't be all that upset since there's still plenty of room for their usual chicanery.
Under the bill passed last week, people would be allowed to vote only after showing Wisconsin driver's licenses, state-issued ID cards, certain very limited student IDs, military IDs, passports, naturalization certificates or IDs issued by a tribe based in Wisconsin.H/T Sean Hackbarth.
Those living in retirement homes, nursing homes and institutions would be exempt from the law, as would victims of stalking and those who opposed having their photos taken for religious reasons. A voter who did not show a photo ID would be allowed to cast a provisional ballot that would be counted if the voter showed photo ID to an election clerk by the Friday after the election.
Update: More good news out of Wisconsin.
Publicly-financed political campaigns for state office in Wisconsin would be completely eliminated under a plan approved by Republicans on the legislature’s budget committee yesterday.Jauch, of course, was one of the cowardly fleebaggers who fled the state earlier this year.
The plan goes farther than what Governor Scott Walker proposed in his budget. Walker would have ended the use of tax dollars for candidates for Governor, the State Supreme Court or the legislature. But he would have let people use the income tax checkoff to spend their own money on Wisconsin’s Election Campaign Fund. The plan Republican lawmakers approved yesterday would delete the checkoff entirely, putting an end to the decades old program.
Poplar Democratic Senator Bob Jauch called the move disgusting.
“It's pathetic to think that Wisconsin -- a state that has promoted transparency, a state that has encouraged clean and open elections -- is about hand the keys of our election process completely over to those with the deepest pockets, those with the greatest amount of money, those who can write the largest checks,” he said.