Arguments for and against voter ID bill

Reported by Jade Olds |

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LA CROSSE, Wis. – Wisconsin lawmakers are currently considering a controversial bill that would require voters to
show ID at the polls.

UW-L students took time out of their busy exam week schedules to learn more about the issue some say would
negatively impact college students as a whole, along with the elderly.

“It’s going to be very difficult for a lot of people particularly who don’t have access to a vehicle to get that
voter ID,” said Guy Wolf, advisor for the UW-L Progressives.

Under the proposed ID bill voters would be required to show a drivers license, state, military or tribal ID,
passport, naturalization certificate or a student ID that has an expiration date and signature.

While many at the public hearing were against the bill, some feel a picture ID isn’t enough to prevent someone from
exercising their right to vote.

“I’m kind of in favor of it, I don’t see why it’s a bad thing. If that’s what the law requires, then I should do
what the law requires and make sure I’m within those boundaries,” said Reece Rykal, a UW-L student.

Many Republicans believe this bill will improve the reliability of the current voting system and decrease cases of
fraud.

However, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has found “no documented evidence” of widespread problems at
the polls.

Since 2008 the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office has charged 19 people in fraud cases, 10 of which were felons who
provided correct names and addresses.

For that reason, many argue the cost of implementing the bill, expected to be more than 7 million dollars, is not
justified.

“Someone really has to ask the question, first of all can we afford this change and secondly is there really a
problem of voter fraud in the state of Wisconsin,” said Wolf.

If passed, the photo ID portion of the bill won’t go into effect until 2012.

A previous version of this bill would have required college students to show ID’s with the correct address and date
of birth.

As of Monday that portion has been removed.

The Assembly is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday night.