Walker Approves New Rules for Obtaining Voter ID, While Court Considers Law's Status

Sep 12, 2014

Gov. Walker has ordered the state to verify people's birth records for free, if they're needed, in order to get a government ID card for voting.

The state just amended the process

This summer, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state's new Voter ID law - it requires people to present photo identification at the polls. But the high court added, that the state cannot force people seeking an identification card, to pay for the necessary documents, usually, a copy of a birth certificate. Obtaining one, has come with a cost.

Under the new rules Walker approved Friday, people visiting a Division of Motor Vehicle office in order to obtain a state ID, must only supply birth information to the agency. It will then ask the State Vital Records Office to verify the person's data. Wisconsin will not charge a fee for the service or for the government ID card.

The new system will take effect Monday, Sept. 15.

The governor signed the new rules Friday, as a federal appeals court in Chicago considered the constitutionality of Wisconsin's Voter ID requirement. Several groups are fighting it, insisting it would discourage thousands of people from voting, particularly low-income people and seniors, because of the steps they'd have to take to obtain the necessary identification.

Supporters of the law claim it will deter voter fraud.

The federal judges will decide whether Wisconsin's Voter ID law will be in place for the November 4 Election.

Republican lawmakers approved it several years ago, but the court have blocked the state from enforcing it, while the issue winds its way through the state and federal court systems.