Voter ID laws are a hotly debated topic in the United States. Those who support the measures say they reduce voter fraud, but opponents argue that such laws are discriminatory and do nothing but suppress the vote.
One state that has implemented stricter voter ID laws is Wisconsin. The law was challenged in court, but was upheld on the state government’s assurance that it had taken steps to make sure the law did not disenfranchise eligible voters.
However, it turns out that isn’t the case. Wisconsin’s state attorneys told the courts that there were measures in place to ensure that obtaining a voter ID was a simple process.
‘DMV is carefully administering the process to ensure that anyone who is eligible for the IDPP will have a valid ID for the November general election.’
On paper, it does appear to be a simple process, but in practice it’s another story. For example, Zach Moore went to his local DMV with copy of driver’s license, social security card and pay stub as proof of residence. By law, he should have been given a credential that would allow him to vote. However, because he didn’t have his birth certificate they told him they couldn’t give him the ID.
Moore said he was disappointed in his government and felt like the voter ID laws were meant to restrict his right to vote.
‘I’m disappointed in the government. I guess they’re trying to keep people from voting. I consider myself a Democrat and I don’t think Republicans are for poor people or minorities.’
Molly McGrath, who is the national organizer for the VoterRiders campaign, accompanied Moore to the DMV and recorded her conversation with the officials.
‘Molly: If you initiate the petition process do you get an ID for voting?
DMV Employee 1: No, you don’t get anything.
DMV Employee 2: No, you don’t get anything right away.
Molly: Ok, so even if we start the petition process, and it takes eight weeks, he wouldn’t be able to vote.
DMV Employee 1: Right, right, right.
DMV Employee 2: Well, I don’t know, they’re working on that. It’s kind of up in the air right now.
…Molly: I thought you could get an ID, like the sign says over there: “No birth certificate, no problem.” You can get an ID to vote.
DMV Employee 3: You can. It just takes the time.
Molly: So even if we just start the petition process, he wouldn’t get anything temporarily that says you can vote?
DMV Employee 3: Nope. Nope.’
This is just another example of the problem with Voter ID laws. It is far too easy to use voter fraud as an excuse to disenfranchise legitimate voters.
You can watch Moore tell his story below: