Wisconsin residents who are in the process of trying to obtain a photo ID card for voting may be able to obtain a ballot without one in upcoming elections.
An emergency rule signed by Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday will allow polling places to accept receipts issued by the state Division of Motor Vehicles that indicate a voter is in the process of obtaining an ID, but are unable to produce the necessary documents before an election. It builds off an existing service offered by the DMV that provides free ID cards for the purposes of voting, and assists them in sorting out problems with missing or incorrect documentation that’s needed to prove their identity.
In a statement, Governor Scott Walker said “this action ensures an individual is still able to vote while they work to obtain documentation needed for a free voter I.D. card.”
The move comes less than a week before a federal trial is set to begin in a lawsuit arguing the state should allow a wider range of IDs to be used at the polls.
One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross, one of the organizations that’s a party in the case, said in a statement that their legal counsel was reviewing the emergency rule. “This is an administration that time and again has manipulated the rules on voting to gain partisan advantage, and the fact remains that legal voters have been and will be denied the franchise because of Governor Walker and Republicans’ voter ID requirement,” Ross said.