There was plenty of publicity earlier this week when UW-Madison announced students who do not have valid Wisconsin IDs will be issued a free supplemental identification card for voting purposes only. Students who are Wisconsin residents and have a state-issued driver’s license or identification cards are able to vote using those forms of identification and do not need the UW-Madison voter ID. The IDs — to be clearly marked “Voter Identification” — include the student’s signature and expire two years from the issuance date in compliance with a new state law. The cost to UW-Madison of issuing the cards is estimated to be $100,000 over five years.
The news coverage also noted that at this point, only one campus (UW-Superior) has decided to issue all-new primary ID cards that will comply fully with the Voter ID requirements; that new card design has been approved by state election regulators. At least six other UW institutions have confirmed plans to issue new secondary ID cards, and those designs, too, have been approved by the state. The six schools are UW-Green Bay, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Whitewater and, as mentioned above, Madison.