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Wisconsin Election to Require Voter ID

The non-presidential primary election on Tuesday will be the first statewide Wisconsin election where Voter ID will be required. A driver's license is acceptable. (WI Department of Transportation)
The non-presidential primary election on Tuesday will be the first statewide Wisconsin election where Voter ID will be required. A driver's license is acceptable. (WI Department of Transportation)
February 15, 2016

MADISON, Wis. – Those wishing to cast a ballot in Wisconsin’s non-presidential primary election on Tuesday will need to show appropriate ID at the polls.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to take up a challenge to the law last year allows the Voter ID law to stand.

It's been in place for 29 special elections but Tuesday’s primary is the first statewide election where appropriate voter identification will be required.

"Most people have the ID that they need: either a driver license or a State ID card, and even if those have expired since the last general election in November of 2014, they can still use it," explains Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in Wisconsin.

Voters will have to state their name and address at the polling place, show the poll worker an ID, and then sign the poll book.

If a voter forgets to bring an ID, he or she can cast a provisional ballot and then will have to show an ID by the end of the week.

A complete list of Voter ID rules is available at BringIt.Wisconsin.gov or by calling 866-Vote-WIS (866-868-3947). The Wisconsin Presidential Primary will be on April 5.

The Voter ID law has special provisions for people who have difficulty getting to the polls. If a voter is permanently disabled because of illness, age, infirmity, or disability, or if a voter is voting absentee because of being an active-duty member of the military, he or she can get a ballot without showing a photo ID.

Magney says the procedure is not complicated.

"A lot of people think, 'Oh my gosh I've got to take Great Uncle Ole down to the DMV to get him an ID card so he can vote,'” Magney relates. “That's not the case. We have something in Wisconsin called permanent absentee voting for people like them so they can get an absentee ballot and they don't have to provide a photo ID when they do it."

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI