Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Last week, State Senator Joe Leibham and Rep. Jeff Stone introduced a Photo Voter I.D. bill, a measure that most Wisconsinites agree is long overdue. It would be great to have this in place for the spring election, when we select a new justice for the State Supreme Court. But to do that, the bill needs to be scheduled for joint hearings a.s.a.p. That's where your phone call comes in--contact numbers below.
While I am pleased to see Photo Voter I.D.'s introduction, I think we could do much more to protect the integrity of Wisconsin elections from voter fraud. But at this point, all the bill deals with is the requirement that voters present an approved photo I.D. when they go vote. At present, it does nothing to stop same day voter registration or allowing a 3rd party, such as ACORN, to conduct voter registration drives.
Considering the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly both have Republican majorities, can we please clean up these other two potential voter fraud provisions too?
Those critical of the Photo Voter I.D. requirement say that requiring a Driver's License or State Photo I.D. would discourage voting if the person didn't have an approved I.D. This is a stretch, since most people over 18 years of age drive have a driver's license. In the odd case where an 18 year old doesn't have a drivers license (as was the case with my own offspring) a State I.D. was obtained. The bill has a provision to provide the appropriate I.D. for those who cannot afford one.
Last November, I volunteered to be a poll watcher with We're Watching Wisconsin Elections and was assigned to 2 different inner city polling places. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of voters during my 2 shifts voluntarily showed their photo I.D.s to the poll workers checking them in. Though the driver's license was not asked for, the voter usually started getting it out of their wallet as they approached the table. Sadly, some other voters needed someone to vouch for them as for their change in address.
Since I voted absentee that election, I did wonder if there would be some designation on the voter roll at my own polling place. I checked later in the day and thankfully, there was a notation next to my name. But not all City Clerks are as efficient as our Kris Schmidt! This is an area where fraudulent votes could be cast that Photo Voter I.D. would eliminate.
We need to get this legislation moving through the Assembly and Senate pronto. If it is to be in place by April's election, it must be passed and signed into law by February 15th, according to W.W.W.E.
Call your State Representative and Senator:
- Ask them to co-sponsor the Photo I.D. Bill
- Urge leadership to schedule joint hearing of both the Senate and the Assembly to expedite the Photo Voter I.D. Bill
- Make it clear to your legislators that you want to have Photo Voter I.D. in place by April 5th, 2011
- Explain that other election reforms need to be proposed and passed as soon as possible, but it is important to implement Photo I.D. NOW!!!
I also caught a bit about this on Mark Belling today. He mentioned there will be public hearings on the measure next week. According to Belling, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (608) 266-2540, Rep.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov is in favor of expanding this bill beyond just Photo Voter I.D. The President of the Senate's position on expanding the scope of the bill wasn't known, but you could urge him to include banning same day registration and 3rd party registration. State Senate President Michael Ellis (608) 266-0718, Sen.Ellis@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Dale Kooyenga, 14th Assembly District, (608) 266-9180, Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wi.gov
Representative Paul Farrow, 98th Assembly District, (608) 266-5120 Rep.Farrow@legis.wi.gov
Senator Leah Vukmir, 5th Senate District, (608) 266-2512 Sen.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Rich Zipperer, 33rd Senate District, (608) 266-9174 Sen.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov
Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org
We're Watching Wisconsin Elections Website