Voter ID needed to cast ballot in Wisconsin

When Wisconsin voters head to the polls next Tuesday they’ll be required to show a photo ID.

Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of confusion about whether you need an ID to vote but now it’s official, a Voter ID is required for all upcoming elections in Wisconsin.

“You are definitely going to be asked to see your photo ID. If you don’t have your ID, you won’t be receiving your ballot at the polls on Tuesday,” said Ginny Dankmeyer, La Crosse County Clerk.

Most voters will show their driver’s license but there are a few other options. For example, a state-issued photo ID, a U.S. passport or a military ID card.

“A lot of people talk about getting a voter ID card. There really is no such thing as a voter ID card. Your voter ID card is what you are going to present in order to vote,” said Dankmeyer.

Dankmeyer said whichever form of photo ID you choose to use, it doesn’t have to include a current address to be valid.

“We are not looking at the address. We are looking at the picture, we are looking at the name and we are looking at the expiration date,” said Dankmeyer.

If you are a college student, there are different rules to follow. Western Technical College students can use their school ID to vote. UW-La Crosse students are being issued a separate ID card to use when voting and Viterbo students will be given a sticker to put on their school ID’s to make them valid at the polls.

“In all cases they have to show proof of enrollment with a tuition fee receipt or a class schedule, something that is dated currently so they know you are still a student,” said Dankmeyer.

If you don’t have a photo ID at all, head to your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

“You can get a free ID for voting purposes but don’t wait until the last minute because it does take time to do so,” said Dankmeyer.

Showing a photo ID at the polls is something new for voters but Dankmeyer said it shouldn’t slow down the process.

“It’s going to take an extra five to 10 seconds so I don’t think there’s going to be an extreme amount of time that people are going to be waiting,” said Dankmeyer.

There’s one more thing to keep in mind if you are voting in the city of La Crosse. The city recently redistricted its districts, going from 17 polling places to just 13 places. Dankmeyer said everyone should have received something in the mail saying where you need to vote but just double check that before heading to the polls.

If you do not have your ID when you get to the polls, you can cast what is called a provisional ballot, which basically means you can fill it out, but it won’t be counted as a vote until you show your photo ID.

If you have any questions at all, visit www.bringit.wisconsin.gov.

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