Thanks to new GOP-promoted voter ID laws, many citizens who typically vote Democrat are facing serious obstacles in casting their votes in the primary elections. For college students in Wisconsin, some of those obstacles are proving insurmountable.
Between classes and on lunch breaks, students attempted to go to their polling place and cast a vote in the Wisconsin primaries. When they arrive and see the lines, however, many are simply forced to leave and hope they’ll be able to return before the polls close at 8 pm.
Volunteers with the League of Women Voters told ThinkProgress they were concerned some students would not be able to return. Marquette University employees said the majority of the school’s 12,000 enrolled students were assigned to a single precinct.
For the students who needed to complete the steps for same-day registration, the lines were even longer. Same-day registrations are a quite common necessity for college students since their addresses generally change each year. Receiving a voter ID through this process is a particular struggle since students IDs are not acceptable under Wisconsin’s new laws.
Education major Megan Malloy, as she passed her time in line doing her homework on the hallway floor, said she did not know until Tuesday that such an extra step was necessary. ‘It’s an inconvenience, but it’s not that big a deal,’ she said. ‘At least they have [the ID office] on campus. If it was far away, I think the voter turnout would be a lot less.’
For students whose campuses do not offer free IDs, the rules get much more complicated and difficult to navigate.
You can vote with an expired military ID, but naturalization papers and student IDs must be current. Students must bring additional proof of enrollment, such as a class schedule. All Wisconsin residents can obtain a free state ID from any DMV, but only if they have no drivers license from any state. For 18-year-olds registering to vote for the first time, a public high school ID counts, but a private one doesn’t. A bank statement can serve as proof of residence, but not a credit card statement.
For more on Wisconsin’s voter ID laws, see the video below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube