Wisconsin’s voter ID law will be in effect next week for the first time during a presidential election. For those who still need a government-issued photo ID to present at the polls, state officials are urging them to act quickly to make sure they have one in time to vote.
The state does provide free ID cards that can be used to vote. Since 2011, the Division of Motor Vehicles has issued 504,054 of those to individuals who need them.
For those who may face problems getting a card, due to errors on key documents or because of a missing birth certificate, there is also an ID Petition Process (IDPP) available.
Those who need to get an ID quickly, but fear they may face trouble, are being told by the Department of Transportation to bring all documentation they have to a DMV service center to get the process started. Those who enter the IDPP before or on Election Day will be issued a temporary identification card receipt by overnight mail, which can be used to obtain a ballot.
Voters who find their ID is invalid on November 8th will have to cast a provisional ballot. If they face problems providing the documents needed to get an ID, they will have to enter the IDPP and then provide the receipt to their local clerk before that ballot will be counted.
The state drew criticism from a federal judge last month, after it was discovered staff at multiple DMV service centers gave out wrong or incomplete information about the IDPP to those asking about how it works. The agency has since expanded its training materials for workers and is providing informational handouts to voters who inquire about the process.
During the month of October, the DOT says 845 petitions for ID cards were filed with the state. Of those, all applicants now have receipts that are valid for voting.