New voter ID requirements continue to make news here and across Wisconsin, and WLUK, Fox 11’s Kelly Schlicht was on campus Thursday (Sept. 18) to find out how UW-Green Bay is preparing. Schlicht spoke with University Union Director Rick Warpinski and Student Government Association President Vanya Koepke about the law, what the University has planned and the importance of getting out the vote. “Our first focus is to make sure that students have the availability to vote. So, we’re going to make sure we have the voter registration drives going,” Koepke said. Warpinski outlined the changes that will need to be made to current student ID cards to make them voter ID-compliant — they’ll need an issue and expiration date, as well as a student’s signature. “We will not charge the students to have that new ID issued to them,” Warpinski said. “It’s on an on-request basis because not all students will need to get one.” Full story.
As we told you here earlier, the recent voter ID ruling could have implications for student voters, and UW-Green Bay is working to ensure all needs are met prior to Election Day. Student Government Association President Vanya Koepke spoke about the issue Wednesday (Sept. 17) for a story in today’s Green Bay Press-Gazette. UW-Green Bay is making enrollment verification available online, Koepke said, and the University will issue new student IDs that meet the requirements at no cost for students who request them. The SGA is working to get the word out to students, he added. Full story.
And speaking of voter ID, new System website will help students comply
The UW System on Thursday (Sept. 18) announced the launch of a new website designed to help students understand and comply with the new state voting regulations. The site, www.wisconsin.edu/voting/, includes basic information about voting, links to UW voting documents, information from the Government Accountability Board (GAB) and more. The site provides detailed information but may not address every voting situation a student may face. Those with questions can contact the GAB at http://gab.wi.gov, their local municipal clerk (information available on the GAB website) or their local Student Affairs office.
With federal appeals court approval of voter ID in Wisconsin, UW-Green Bay will be doing the following to address the implications for students in November:
• Any student will be able to request a free student ID that includes an issue and expiration date, which for those without a driver’s license would make it a valid identification for purposes of the law.
• Students also will be able to access a website that allows them to print off verification of their enrollment at UW-Green Bay, which they can then bring to the polls.
• University officials will be working in conjunction with student government to get the word out about the changes, what’s required and how UW-Green Bay can work with them to ensure they have the appropriate identification for Election Day.
The Greater Green Bay League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women and the ecumenical social justice organization JOSHUA are sponsoring a public forum from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 25) in the auditorium of the Brown County Central Library. A presenter from the state’s Government Accountability Board will discuss changes in the ID requirement, documentation required to register, documentation required to obtain an absentee ballot, and information on how to obtain the required voter ID.
And speaking of elections, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board is spending more than $40,000 on a voter ID ad campaign, aiming to correct misperceptions and inform voters ahead of the state’s Feb. 21 spring primary (not to be confused with the presidential primary and spring general election April 3). Asked for his take during an interview with WLUK, Fox 11, UW-Green Bay Prof. Michael Kraft said the ad campaign is a good move. “This is really helpful,” Kraft said, “because beyond the partisan disputes, people now have a reliable, nonpartisan source they can go to get information.” More.
We told you recently that UW-Green Bay is among the University of Wisconsin System schools that will provide no-cost secondary student identification cards, upon request, to comply with Wisconsin’s Voter ID law. The new IDs, which have been approved by the state Government Accountability Board, include such required elements as a photo, student signature and marked expiration date. Fox 11 talked to our own Mike Stearney, dean of Enrollment Services, as well as some student leaders, about the change. Full story.
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.
It’s official: Wisconsin voters will have to show a photo ID at the polls beginning next year. Student identification cards, not included in the original proposal, will be accepted — but student IDs here and throughout the UW System currently don’t meet the requirements outlined in the freshly inked law. Action 2 News was on campus yesterday to talk about the changes and grab some video in our University Union. Check out the story here.