The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has passed an amended version of voter ID legislation. This latest voter ID bill would require individuals to be living at their current address for 28 days before voting. That, and a provision dealing with student IDs, didn’t sit well with Democrat, Senator Bob Jauch. “I’m embarrassed by what you’re doing,” Jauch told the panel’s Republican members. “And you should be, too, because it doesn’t make Wisconsin a better place. It doesn’t improve the integrity of our elections if in fact people are disenfranchised.” The amendment included a requirement that college IDs be reissued every two years in order to be used for voting. Democratic Representative Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse said that and new residency requirement will adversely impact the many college students who vote in that city. “The students take it so seriously, and they’re so civically engaged, and we’re making it harder for them.”
But the bill’s Senate author, Republican Joe Leibham, defended the provisions contained in the amendment. “They’re going to add additional reasonable safeguards to our election process, that will ensure the integrity of the votes that take place here in the state of Wisconsin, while instilling a greater degree of confidence in the citizens of Wisconsin,” said Leibham. “The 28 day requirement is to bring Wisconsin in line with what most other states in the nation require in regard to residency. There is concern in regard to the short ten day residency requirement in Wisconsin.” Leibham said that while the 28 day residency requirement will be in place for the Senate recall elections the summer, the photo ID requirement will not. The budget panel passed the amended photo ID bill 12-2, with two Democrats absent. There was a brief disruption which required three people to be taken out of the committee hearing room on the fourth floor of the Capitol.