Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


The state legislature has failed to override a veto by Gov. Jim Doyle regarding a law which would require a photo ID to vote in the state of Wisconsin.

Doyle's rationale was that it would disenfranchise the rights of thousands of voters who currently do not hold a Wisconsin ID. While there has been no evidence that voter fraud has been committed, I've stated on this site before that I think some Democrats are wrong in opposing such a requirement outright.

The governor is up for re-election in 2006, and if he's smart he will go on the offense on this issue. If he believes Republicans are playing politics on this issue and are only trying to suppress voter turnout, he ought to come up with his own version of this legislation. There is little doubt that Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott Walker and Mark Green are going to make hay of this.

Right now there is no law making it mandatory for Wisconsin residents to hold a state ID. Therefore, requiring residents to purchase a state ID to vote amounts to a de facto poll tax which is possibly unconstitutional. If Democrats and Republicans are serious about maintaining the integrity of the vote, there are pragmatic solutions to this issue. Examples of potential initiatives are as follows:

  • State IDs could be made available free of charge to residents.
  • Provide voter ID cards with a digital photo to residents who register to vote.
  • Ensure that voters with a photo ID can be allowed to provide documentation that they live at an address different from the one on their ID if they've recently moved.
This is just food for thought, but Doyle is being foolish if he thinks vetoing the bill on a Friday, when most people aren't paying attention to the media, is going to make the issue go away.


Post a Comment

<< Home