July 28, 2011
Taylor Bill Requires DOT to Inform Citizens of Free ID for Voting
Voter Suppression Law Grants Free ID, Citizens Forced to Pay
(MADISON) Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) has circulated a bill that will require the Department of Transportation to make clear in writing and to each client at a service center that a free ID is available for the purpose of voting. The Voter Suppression Law, passed earlier this year and signed into law by Governor Walker, guarantees each citizen a free ID if they require one for voting. Unfortunately, many citizens are forced to pay for the ID, when they do not ask specifically for an ID for voting.
“The Voter Suppression law is not yet in effect fully and already many people are forced to pay a de facto poll tax to receive their state ID. Our government should be helpful to citizens, not a hindrance to receiving something the law guarantees them for the performance of a constitutional right. This bill will guarantee that any person applying for a state ID will know that the law grants them a free ID card without pay so that they may vote.” Taylor commented.
The free ID provision of the Voter Suppression law is meant to overcome the poll tax implications of the policy. However, it appears that the government is reluctant to inform citizens of its obligations under the law, leaving a voter to possibly be subject to a poll tax function. The bill comes after hearing of complaints by citizens, many of whom are senior citizens, that the DOT did not indicate in any way to these persons that an ID was free for their voting purposes.