For Release: Tuesday - June 30, 2015
A coalition of 13 Wisconsin advocacy and research organizations have sent a letter to Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Mark Gottlieb urging that the DOT establish a "Mobile DMV" program to serve the many communities who currently have limited access to Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices, which issue the state identification now required in order for Wisconsin voters to cast a ballot at their polling places on and before Election Day.
Currently, Wisconsin has just 92 DMV service centers – 60 of these centers (65 percent) are open just two days per week or less.
After being enacted into law in 2011, the state voter photo ID law will now be in effect in Wisconsin beginning in 2016, after the United States Supreme Court earlier this year decided not to consider an appeal to strike down the law. The organizations calling for the new program and many election experts are concerned that the required form of ID may be very difficult for many Wisconsinites to obtain.
They point to other states that have enacted voter photo ID laws and have established mobile DMV programs such as Alabama, Indiana, Texas and Virginia in order to make required DMV-issued identification more easily available to voters who need it. Wisconsin ought to establish a similar program if it is serious about wanting to make the required forms of state-issued identification accessible and available to those Wisconsinites who currently lack it and who want to be able to continue to vote, or vote for the first time.
If Alabama, Texas and Virginia – states which have a history of making it difficult for certain segments of their citizens to be able to vote – can provide a mobile program to serve those citizens who seek required forms of ID, then surely Wisconsin must do at least as much. The fact that such a program has not yet been established here thus far is surprising and troubling. It is time to correct this significant oversight.
The letter to Secretary Gottlieb is here.
Common Cause in Wisconsin
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