Wisconsin voters will need to show a valid photo ID at the polls to vote this November, and officials with the state Department of Motor Vehicles are encouraging those who need those credentials to take care of it as soon as possible.
The DMV provides free photo ID cards to residents who need them for voting. The agency has resources available online to help people navigate that process, which includes application information and a list of the documents they will need to obtain an ID.
The state also has a petition process available for those who lack some of the materials and may have trouble getting them, such as a birth certificate. That process results in voters being mailed credentials that will be accepted at the polls, which are sent within six business days of the application.
That time frame prompted concerns from members of the state Elections Commission this week. Commissioner Ann Jacobs said she worries that an individual who goes in to apply the week of the November 8th election may not get the documents in time for their ballot to be counted. She said it could also cause problems for those who go to vote, and only then find out they don’t have the right type of government-issued photo ID that’s required under state law.
In response, the DMV said in a statement that the agency will issue the required photo ID receipt by overnight mail on the same day a person applies. That would allow someone who faces problems on Election Day to still cast a provisional ballot, and then provide the documentation needed to have that ballot counted after the election.
Still, agency officials are urging individuals who don’t have the proper ID at this time to take advantage of the two months remaining before the election, and to not wait until the last minute.