Wisconsin’s Voter ID law does allow the use of qualifying student identification cards to obtain a ballot at the polls. However, very few campuses in the state are currently using card designs that comply with the requirements of the law.
According to the state Government Accountability Board, a valid student ID for voting must include the student’s name, signature, and photo. It must also feature an issuing and expiration date, which cannot be more than two years after the ID was issued, and students must present documentation at the polls proving they are currently enrolled.
GAB director Kevin Kennedy says student IDs “continue to be a challenge,” although he notes that many students already have other types of ID that are valid for voting, such as a Wisconsin-issued driver’s license or a passport. A state issued ID can still be used at the polls, even if the student’s address is not current. If they are registering to vote on Election Day, they will need to have other documentation proving their residency though, such as a lease or housing contract.
The University of Wisconsin System has been working to make sure students have what they need to vote in November. They System has put up a website outlining voting information for multiple campuses. The UW-Madison has also announced that it will begin issuing free ID cards to students who request them, which can be specifically used for voting.
Kennedy says the key is for students to know in advance what they are going to need at the polls. He says “just like you give a lot of thought to who you’re going to vote for, give a lot of thought to what it takes to get a ballot.”