Lawmakers want the Department of Motor Vehicles to take photos of seniors at their residence.
Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) introduces her Seniors Vote Act, saying it would eliminate barriers created by the Voter ID law. Under the bill, DMV service centers would hit the road to accommodate elderly and disabled citizens. “…having these mobile DOT units go out and actually take the photos. So, you can go to the people who can’t necessarily get to the DMV and take the photo they need for the ID.”
Taylor’s measure would also allow people to sign an affidavit if they unable to obtain any of the accepted identification documents needed to vote. The proposal could be moot, considering on Tuesday a circuit court judge temporarily halted Wisconsin’s controversial voter ID law. Taylor applauds the judge’s decision, but won’t be happy until the bill is permanently enjoined. In the interim, she will move forward with her legislation.
Senator Lena Taylor’s bill (SB-162) compliments the Seniors Vote Act. It would make it very obvious that IDs are free for those who can’t afford it. “I believe that it’s important that when individuals come to the DOT that they know without a doubt that they can get a free ID.”
Senator Taylor adds that many elderly folks were born under circumstances that prevented them from obtaining a birth certificate. She wants (SB-323) to give seniors in need access to free birth certificates, which would make it easier to get a photo ID. Twenty-three percent of seniors age 65 and older in Wisconsin do not possess a driver’s license. Advocates for the elderly say 180,000 Wisconsin seniors could be disenfranchised by the Voter ID law.
According to the Department of Justice, “The vast majority of eligible electors either has a qualifying photo ID or can obtain one without significant burdens. For the rest, the law makes accommodations to reduce any potential burden.” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Wednesday in a statement that the DOJ will move quickly to appeal Judge David Flanagan’s injunction to ensure the law will be in full force and in effect before the April elections. Van Hollen says his office will continue its efforts to defend the law, and he’s “confident that the Voter ID law ultimately will be upheld.”
Regardless of action or inaction with Voter ID, Representative Taylor is hopeful her bill will be taken up by lawmakers before the regular legislation ends next week.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:55