Friday, May 20, 2011

Refuse To Show Photo ID When Voting During Recall Elections and Still Vote

Update: (March 21, 2012) This post is no longer relevant. The Voter Suppression Law "is no law at all" according to Wisconsin Judge Richard Niess who placed a permanent injunction on enforcement of the law. Photo IDs are NOT required just as usual.

It won't be required, but poll workers will be asking for specific photo ID when you go to vote during the recall elections this summer. The Republicans in the Assembly and Senate have already swiftly passed the Voter Suppression Bill (Assembly Bill 7) by cutting off debate, and Governor Scott Walker likely won't find a conscience before signing it into law.

The bill includes a provision requiring that poll workers request to see specific photo ID before voting, but not requiring the ID to vote. The provision was added to confuse voters into believing they must show ID to vote in the recall elections, hoping to suppress Democratic voters in order to keep the radical-right stranglehold on Wisconsin. Don't be fooled, you don't have to show ID to vote until 2012!

The provision was added as part of the adopted Assembly Substitute Amendment 2 in section 144 (2) Special Procedure at Elections Held Prior to 2012 Spring Primary. The relevant text is:
" elector who votes at a polling place at an election held prior to the date of the 2012 spring primary shall be requested by the election officials to present proof of identification, but if the elector does not present proof of identification, and the elector is otherwise qualified, the elector’s ballot shall be counted without the necessity of presenting proof of identification and without the necessity of casting a provisional ballot."
Please help ensure that every voter in Wisconsin knows that even though they'll be asked, they don't have to show photo ID to vote in the recall elections.

In support of Wisconsinites who will find it difficult or impossible to vote and in protest of the Voter Suppression Bill, voters who have the requested photo ID should refuse to show it when they vote in the recall elections. Don't take more time than is necessary. Politely say that you forgot your ID or don't want to show it in protest of the new law. Then, cast your ballot as is your right.

Voters who don't have the requested photo ID should tell the poll worker how difficult or impossible it will be to vote in the next election. It's a simple act of legal protest, which may actually provide empirical evidence of the unconstitutionality of the bill.

Let's show the Republicans and the Supreme Court how unnecessary, unconstitutional and inconvenient the Voter Suppression Bill is!


  1. If we refuse, they won't let us vote and then those guys won't be recalled.

  2. No, Heather, we don't need to show ID. They will ask, but we can vote in the recall elections without an ID. So, we should protest the law by refusing to show our IDs, and we can still successfully recall the Republicans.

  3. By loudly and clearly refusing to show ID, stating, "I know you are supposed to ask, but we all know ID isn't required until 2012 -so, NO, I'm not going to show any ID" -and proceeding to vote, others in line will learn they can still vote even without ID.

  4. I work as an election official in Madison, and we get excellent training provided by our city clerk, Maribeth Witzel-Behl, so I'm sure we'll all know how to handle this situation. I am less sure about how it'll go down elsewhere in the state, especially in Walker-supporting strongholds like Waukesha County and the Fox River Valley. It would be a good idea to have copies of this provision of the law available on line so voters could print them out and take them in to the polling places with them.

  5. Having copies of the provision easily accessible online is a very good idea, richardsrussell, and I've now added it to the end of the post.