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Wisconsin Official Instructs Staff Not To Mention Free IDs For Voting

J.E.D

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A new twist in the WI voter ID controversy has some lawmakers and state officials crying foul. Ids are free as part of the law, but an internal memo surfaced which instructs DMV employees not to offer free IDs unless customers ask for them. Otherwise, the IDs cost $28. Critics say the $28 fee amounts to a poll tax which will discourage low-income voters from registering for an ID. Recently, a DMV employee was fired for blasting out an email encouraging his coworkers to ignore the memo and instruct all customers that the IDs are free.

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin official has discouraged state workers from volunteering information about free IDs available under a controversial voter identification law that critics complain is designed to suppress votes, a memo leaked on Wednesday showed.

The memo, provided to the press by Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach, was likely to fan concerns among critics of the Republican-backed law that it aimed to suppress votes of thousands of otherwise eligible Wisconsin voters.

In the memo, a top aide in the state transportation department told staffers in the motor vehicle department, which is responsible for issuing the free IDs, to "refrain from offering" them to customers who do not specifically ask for them.

"Questions on what kind of ID is needed for voting," the aide, Steven Krieser, wrote in the July 1 memo, "should be directed to the Government Accountability Board."

The voter ID law was part of a broader conservative program pushed through Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature earlier this year by Governor Scott Walker, who took office in January.

That program, which has divided the state along partisan lines and led to a record number of recall elections, has also included curbs on the collective bargaining rights of public workers, deep budget cuts and an easing of restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons.

Krieser, who confirmed the authenticity of the memo, said he was simply trying to make sure DMV employees honored the intent of lawmakers who passed the law, which does not obligate DMV workers to tell applicants they are entitled to a free ID if they plan to use it to vote.

"The DMV is applying the voter ID law that the legislature provided to it," Krieser told Reuters.

"It says the customer has to request it. So we've taken the strict reading of the statute and that's how we've implemented it. That's all that the memo was getting at."

RECORDS REQUEST

Scot Ross, the head of One Wisconsin Now, a group opposed to the voter ID law, called the memo "a smoking gun" that proved the measure was designed to disenfranchise the poor, students and minorities, who are less likely to have state-issued identification and more likely to vote for Democrats.

Ross said his group would file an open records request with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to obtain "all communications and e-mails related to the issuance of state identification cards for the purposes of voting under the state's voter identification bill."

Advocates of voter ID laws, which have also been passed this year in Texas, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Rhode Island, say the rules are needed to combat voter fraud.

Opponents say evidence of widespread fraud is nonexistent. The Advancement Project, a national civil rights legal group, has called the laws "the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century."
cut shorter per copyright rules

Wisconsin official told DMV not to push free voter ID cards | Reuters
 

Full-Auto

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A new twist in the WI voter ID controversy has some lawmakers and state officials crying foul. Ids are free as part of the law, but an internal memo surfaced which instructs DMV employees not to offer free IDs unless customers ask for them. Otherwise, the IDs cost $28. Critics say the $28 fee amounts to a poll tax which will discourage low-income voters from registering for an ID. Recently, a DMV employee was fired for blasting out an email encouraging his coworkers to ignore the memo and instruct all customers that the IDs are free.

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin official has discouraged state workers from volunteering information about free IDs available under a controversial voter identification law that critics complain is designed to suppress votes, a memo leaked on Wednesday showed.

The memo, provided to the press by Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach, was likely to fan concerns among critics of the Republican-backed law that it aimed to suppress votes of thousands of otherwise eligible Wisconsin voters.

In the memo, a top aide in the state transportation department told staffers in the motor vehicle department, which is responsible for issuing the free IDs, to "refrain from offering" them to customers who do not specifically ask for them.

"Questions on what kind of ID is needed for voting," the aide, Steven Krieser, wrote in the July 1 memo, "should be directed to the Government Accountability Board."

The voter ID law was part of a broader conservative program pushed through Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature earlier this year by Governor Scott Walker, who took office in January.

That program, which has divided the state along partisan lines and led to a record number of recall elections, has also included curbs on the collective bargaining rights of public workers, deep budget cuts and an easing of restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons.

Krieser, who confirmed the authenticity of the memo, said he was simply trying to make sure DMV employees honored the intent of lawmakers who passed the law, which does not obligate DMV workers to tell applicants they are entitled to a free ID if they plan to use it to vote.

"The DMV is applying the voter ID law that the legislature provided to it," Krieser told Reuters.

"It says the customer has to request it. So we've taken the strict reading of the statute and that's how we've implemented it. That's all that the memo was getting at."

RECORDS REQUEST

Scot Ross, the head of One Wisconsin Now, a group opposed to the voter ID law, called the memo "a smoking gun" that proved the measure was designed to disenfranchise the poor, students and minorities, who are less likely to have state-issued identification and more likely to vote for Democrats.

Ross said his group would file an open records request with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to obtain "all communications and e-mails related to the issuance of state identification cards for the purposes of voting under the state's voter identification bill."

Advocates of voter ID laws, which have also been passed this year in Texas, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Rhode Island, say the rules are needed to combat voter fraud.

Opponents say evidence of widespread fraud is nonexistent. The Advancement Project, a national civil rights legal group, has called the laws "the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century."

Because voters who do not assert that they are seeking the free ID will be charged a $28 fee for the document, critics see the law as illegal because it may disenfranchise voters who don't pay.

Last week, a top official with the Wisconsin state bar asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the law, which was passed by the state legislature and signed into law in May.

Wisconsin official told DMV not to push free voter ID cards | Reuters

And? you go in and ask for your free ID and get one.

THE OUTRAGE available upon request.
 

Truthmatters

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Good find jose


the republican party just keep outing itself as the anti democracy party
 

Google

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Good find jose


the republican party just keep outing itself as the anti democracy party

Great find! I can't believe those bastards aren't out there advertising. Requiring people to go in and ask for their free ID.

This will be one of the countless bullshit excuses pointed to in 2012 while the left screams the racist Tea Party stole the election form Obama and incites riots nation wide.
 

Truthmatters

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Good find jose


the republican party just keep outing itself as the anti democracy party

Great find! I can't believe those bastards aren't out there advertising. Requiring people to go in and ask for their free ID.

This will be one of the countless bullshit excuses pointed to in 2012 while the left screams the racist Tea Party stole the election form Obama and incites riots nation wide.

Its not the tea party doing it.

its the corporate "people" who are supporting this. The Koch Bros , the ones who OWN the tea party and use them like 2 dollar whores to get what they want from this country
 

Truthmatters

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Everything must be free for the useless, how else do we expect them to better themselves! lol

And there you have it.

poor people are useless to the right.

They dont want them eating or voting.
 

Oddball

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Snippet from the copyright-violating OP:

"The DMV is applying the voter ID law that the legislature provided to it," Krieser told Reuters.

"It says the customer has to request it. So we've taken the strict reading of the statute and that's how we've implemented it. That's all that the memo was getting at."

OMGNOWAY!...They're following the letter of the law!
 

ladyliberal

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This is hardly surprising. It's hard for me to imagine an objective, informed individual who would fail to come to the conclusion that these types of laws are motivated in part by a desire to discourage likely Democratic voters from voting. I expect that in Wisconsin at least the laws will be reversed eventually.
 

Full-Auto

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The Koch Bros , the ones who OWN the tea party

You are one ignorant MF
 

Truthmatters

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where does the tea party come from?

the koch brothers pocket
 

Truthmatters

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Care4all

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if anyone is coming in for a voter id, because they do not have a government id yet are citizens, then it should be paid for by the government, so that there is not a FEE to vote(a poll tax).....which is against the law.
 
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J.E.D

J.E.D

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Everything must be free for the useless, how else do we expect them to better themselves! lol

Requiring fees for voter IDs amounts to a poll tax. In the USA, you cannot charge people a fee to vote. The Republicans who crafted the law know this. That is why they put in a provision that says the $28 fee will be waved if people ask for it. That way they can say, "Look, we're not charging people to vote, the IDs are free". The problem is that DMV employees have been instructed not to tell people the IDs are actually free unless they ask.

Here's a hypothetical scenario:

An elderly lady who has lived in her district for 30 years doesn't have an ID because she no longer drives and doesn't see the need for an ID. She goes to the DMV because she has learned that she will now need an ID in order to vote. She tells the DMV employee that she is on a strict budget and cannot afford the $28 fee. She doesn't actually ask if the IDs are free because she doesn't know to ask. The DMV employee, despite knowing that the woman cannot afford the ID, cannot, according to the law, inform her that the IDs can be obtained for free. So the lady walks away, without her ID, unable to legally vote.

Imagine that scenario multiplied by the thousands as uninformed elderly and poor people are turned away at the DMV window simply because they didn't ask about the free IDs.
 

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