September 8, 2011

 

STATEMENT ON DMV EMPLOYEE MEMO

(MADISON) Senator Lena C. Taylor issued the following statement on the release of an internal memo from the Department of Transportation instructing staff not to help eligible citizens obtain a free, state-issued identification card:

“The Voter ID Law requires that free IDs be given to people for the purpose of voting. However, the DOT has directed staff not to issue an ID for free unless the customer specifically asks for it. This is, in my mind, a violation of the Voting Rights Act, which demands that no barrier to voting be constructed.

Senate Bill 162 would require the DMV to make each person aware that the ID is free, and offer it, verbally, to each and every person. It was introduced on August 10th, and then referred to the Committee on Transportation and Elections, chaired by Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin).

Since its referral, it has had no movement. Senator Lazich scheduled a hearing for another bill and did not include SB 162. I intend to formally ask the Senator for a hearing on this bill as soon as possible. If that request is not fulfilled, then the message to Wisconsin is clear: Republicans will not protect the integrity of your elections, but they will go above and beyond to keep voters away from elections.”