Wisconsin officials reinstated the voter photo ID law for the November election on Sept. 12, only to have the Supreme Court block the enforcement on Oct. 9. Katie Cronmiller, the vice president of the Student Government Association, was conscious of the precautions students would be required to take if the photo ID law was carried out.
“As long as students are proactive and register ahead of time, they should have no problems on the day of the election,” Cronmiller said.
Many people in Wisconsin do not possess a government-issued photo ID, or the birth certificate necessary to obtain one. According to the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, about 300,000 Wisconsin voters do not possess a proper ID.
If the voter photo ID law had gone through, approximately 9 percent of Wisconsin voters would be incapable of casting a vote.
Luckily for students who have been unable to locate their birth certificate, the law will not be active for this year’s general election because there was not enough time to implement it.
“We are doing our best to make sure students are registered, educated and able to vote come Nov. 4,” Cronmiller said.
SGA registered voters in the Dreyfus University Center until Oct. 15. Proof of address was the only thing needed at the time of voting. Cronmiller said this can be presented with a letter of enrollment, course schedule or a bill from the university with the student’s current address.
Proof of permanent residency may prove difficult for students who move around a lot. The requirement is 28 days of consecutive residency.
“I’m actually very glad the photo ID law didn’t go through. My grandma was born down south and never retained her birth certificate, so she wouldn’t be able to vote,” business major Shannon McGinnis said. “Just because she doesn’t have her driver’s license doesn’t mean anything. She’s an American, and she has every right to place her vote.”