1. Voter ID Communications. Even though Wisconsin’s voter photo ID law has been in effect since 2016, election officials still need to communicate with voters about the law. Most Wisconsin residents already have the ID they need in order to vote. However, we still occasionally hear about voters who wrongly assume the law is stricter than it really is. For example, some voters believe the address on their photo ID must match their voter registration address, which is incorrect. The purpose of photo ID is to prove a voter’s identity before he or she can receive a ballot. Voters provide proof of residence when they register to vote. Others may believe they cannot vote because they cannot afford to get a Wisconsin state ID card or do not have the necessary documentation or cannot afford to get the certified copies necessary for an ID. They may not know they can get a state ID card free from the DMV for voting purposes or about Wisconsin’s ID Petition Process (IDPP).
2. Sample News Release for Clerks. One way to reach and educate voters about their options is by using news media outlets to remind voters to bring their acceptable photo IDs and to provide other useful information about the law and IDPP. The DMV’s ID Petition Process allows Wisconsin residents to bring whatever documentation they have to a DMV service center and be issued a temporary photo ID document that can be used for voting while DMV staff verifies their birth and residency information so a regular state ID card can be issued.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission this week will be sending a news release to all media outlets on our contact list about voter ID and IDPP. Clerks can help by customizing a template news release and sending it to their local media outlets, some of which may not be on the WEC’s media list. A customizable version in Microsoft Word is attached to this memorandum. Clerks should add their own names and municipality names, as well as contact information for the media and voters. Some media outlets may contact you for a brief interview, but others may use all or some of the information as is. Clerks can also post the information on their websites or use it in their municipal or county newsletters.
3. Questions. Please do not hesitate to contact WEC Public Information Officer Reid Magney at (608)267-7887 or at [email protected] with any questions you may have.