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Milwaukee Lauches Social Media Push on Voter ID

Marti Mikkelson

The City of Milwaukee is using a popular social media tactic to help prepare voters for the upcoming election - a challenge.

Mayor Tom Barrett is asking people to post photos or videos of themselves and their Wisconsin ID online. The idea is to show they’re ready to vote and challenge others to prepare.

In September, a federal appeals court ruled Wisconsin can enforce its Voter ID law for the Nov. 4 election.

Critics, including Barrett, argue the law is intended to lower turnout.

“Make no mistake about this. There are people in state government who do not want you to vote on Nov. 4. They don’t want you to vote. This is your challenge to make sure that you don’t let them discourage you from participating in the greatest democracy in this world,” Barrett says.

Supporters of the ID requirement say it’s necessary to prevent voter fraud.

It’s estimated that as many as 300,000 Wisconsin residents do not have an acceptable ID for voting, such as a driver’s license, state-issued identification card or passport.

Patricia Ruiz is with the Southside Organizing Committee. She says some Milwaukee residents struggle with transportation, so it might be challenging for them to visit a DMV office. The agency processes state IDs.

“A lot of people do not know what they need and they’ll find a ride but then they get there and they don’t have the correct information that they need in order to get the ID and then they won’t go back. That’s the issue. That’s why people don’t have IDs sometimes on the south side. And the language barrier,” Ruiz says.

Milwaukee elections officials are predicting turnout as high as 80 percent on Nov. 4, when Republican Gov. Scott Walker will face Democratic Challenger Mary Burke.

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