Will it cause chaos in November? Some concerned voter ID decision has come too last minute
MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A federal appeals court on Friday, September 12th reinstated Wisconsin's voter ID law, and now, municipalities across the state are trying to prepare for a November 4th election in which photo identification will be required. Meanwhile, some in Milwaukee say they're worried this decision is too last minute -- saying it could cause chaos on Election Day.
Voters head to the polls in less than two months, and with voter ID now in place for the November 4th general election, some see the makings of chaos.
"Our biggest concern right now is DMVs across the state of Wisconsin -- if they are able to handle such a request," Mike Wilder, with the African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable said.
Wilder joined other leaders on Tuesday, September 16th to highlight what they see as potential problems in light of the latest ruling on voter ID.
"We are also having concerns about clerks that have come up to us and expressed their concern that many of the poll workers are being trained right now or have been trained -- they're not going to be retrained to be able to carry out this law," Wilder said.
Opponents of the ruling call it chaos waiting to happen, just days after proponents say it ensures the sanctity of voting.
"No one can deny that voter fraud does occur. The question is how much? Well it certainly is hard to prove, but who can argue that for this process in our democracy that you shouldn't have an ID in order to exercise it? I think that's just common sense," Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) said.
While the group doesn't agree with the voter ID ruling, they say they're vowing to push voters to make sure they have what they need to cast a ballot on Election Day.
"We'd encourage people to try to get photo IDs. If they can't -- particularly if they can't get them under the new system, we'd encourage them to contact the ACLU to let them know what difficulties they're having," Chris Ahmuty with the ACLU of Wisconsin said.
For those who still need a photo ID ahead of the November election, on Monday, September 15th, DMV locations across the state started processing free IDs. The DMV has also announced Saturday hours at two customer service centers in Milwaukee.
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board says absentee voters will have to provide a photo ID with their returned ballot in order to have their ballot counted.
They did not have to present copies of their photo IDs to get those ballots, and state elections chief Kevin Kennedy said Tuesday that hundreds of completed ballots have already been returned to election clerks.
Kennedy says clerks will be contacting all those voters to tell them they need to show proof of photo ID to have their ballots counted.
Meanwhile, groups that challenged the law are asking the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case after a three-judge panel reinstated the law.
CLICK HERE for information on obtaining an ID card, via the DMV.
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