Students: Concerned About Your Voting Rights?

6 Oct

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin is concerned about today’s decision by the Government Accountability Board not to permit the use of stickers to modify college ID cards in order to make them voting compliant. This decision reverses the GAB’s recent position that use of stickers would be acceptable. The ACLU also objects to the GAB’s decision to prohibit the use of ID cards from accredited technical colleges in Wisconsin, an action likely to make voting more difficult for technical college students – many of whom are students of color.

These actions are just the latest manifestations of efforts to restrict the voting rights of Wisconsin students. The most significant underlying action is, of course, the legislature’s passage of a restrictive voter ID law that not only requires voters to show photo ID in order to vote, but disallows the use of existing, secure, college and university ID cards. This law appears clearly designed to make it much more difficult for students to vote.

While some colleges apparently plan to create voting-compliant ID cards – and we urge every Wisconsin college and university to do so as soon as possible – it is not clear that all Wisconsin colleges will issue separate ID cards, and none have yet created compliant cards.

The ACLU is asking that Wisconsin college, technical college and university students who reside in Wisconsin and want to vote in Wisconsin but lack Wisconsin drivers’ licenses, Wisconsin state ID cards, and passports, contact our intake coordinator at 414-272-4032 x 216, or inquiries@aclu-wi.org. We are especially interested in talking with students who expect they will have difficulty getting a compliant ID (for example, because they lack easy access to a DMV office, or will have difficulty getting the underlying documents they need for an ID card).

The ACLU of Wisconsin urges college and university administrators to take all steps necessary to ensure that the Voter ID law does not deprive students of their Constitutional right to vote.

Student Contact: ACLU of WI Intake Coordinator, 414-272-4032 x 216 or inquiries@aclu-wi.org

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