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Some could have trouble getting Wisconsin voter ID near election
08/31/16 |
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 01:30

When people go to the DMV for driver's licenses or IDs, they typically get temporary documents they can use for voting in the office and their licenses or IDs through the mail. But people who do not have birth certificates or other identity documents get their temporary voting credentials through the mail instead of over the DMV counter.

[Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Ann] Jacobs raised concerns about voters who don't have identity documents who may not know they need IDs to vote until they get to the polls on Nov. 8. Those voters can cast provisional ballots, but those ballots will not be counted unless the voters show election clerks IDs by the Friday after the election.

Such a voter could go to the DMV on election day or soon afterward, but might not get his or her ID by the Friday after the election if the DMV sticks with the process it has been using, Jacobs said.

But DMV spokeswoman Patty Mayers said late Tuesday any voting credentials that need to be mailed during the week of an election would be sent by overnight mail.

Missouri: Freedom Summer ’16
08/31/16 |
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 07:45

On November 8, Missourians will head to the polls to elect the president and a host of statewide officials in a deeply divided state. But this time, they will also be asked — in language that some have described as confusing — whether they want to amend their constitution to open the door to stricter voting laws. If passed, Amendment Six would give a second chance to HB 1631, which was vetoed earlier this summer by Gov. Jay Nixon after passing both state House and Senate. The proposed law aims to limit the forms of ID accepted at the polls to valid Missouri or federal IDs with photos and expiration dates — excluding currently accepted documents like college IDs, driver’s licenses from other states, expired IDs, voter registration cards, and utility bills. Voters without the required ID could sign a sworn statement affirming their identity and recognizing that such ID is “the law of the land” or they could cast a provisional ballot, not valid until they prove their identity. ...

Most commonly, obtaining a photo ID requires a certified birth certificate, which many black and elderly voters do not possess, especially if they were born in the South at a time when most African-Americans were not welcome in hospitals and gave birth at home, said Denise Lieberman, a senior attorney at the Advancement Project’s Voter Registration Program, who has led successful efforts to repeal North Carolina’s voter ID law and has fought Missouri’s version of that law for years. Obtaining post-dated birth certificates requires a half dozen other underlying documents, she noted, and any discrepancy in spelling or names can constitute a major roadblock, which especially affects women who changed their names through marriage or divorce, as well as minorities, mostly Latinos, with multiple first and last names.

Trying to obtain a photo ID without the right underlying documentation can be an “exercise in futility,” said Lieberman. “In a number of states, including Missouri, in order to get a copy of your birth certificate — get this — you have to present a photo ID!”

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

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