Representative Lisa Subeck Testifies Against Extending Broken Voter ID Rule

Committee Declines to Fix or Halt Rule Amid Concerns Raised in Recent Review of DMV Implementation

October 4, 2016

MADISON – Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) testified today before the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, urging the committee to fix or halt a proposed 60 day extension of an emergency rule relating to photo ID cards for the purpose of voting.

Since implementation of the rule, intended to ensure that individuals without access to underlying documentation are not denied identification for voting purposes, a study identified significant problems with its implementation. The study indicated individuals were provided incorrect information at 7 out of 10 Department of Motor Vehicle locations reviewed and were, in some instances, discouraged from utilizing the petition process in place to ensure identification may be obtained in time for Election Day.

“The current petition process to ensure no eligible citizen is denied the proper ID to vote has clearly been an abject failure,” said Representative Lisa Subeck. “The rule extension passed today makes only minor tweaks, effectively continuing a process we now know is broken. This is unacceptable, and the committee should have demanded better.”

The hearing on the emergency rule extension comes days after a federal judge ordered the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to investigate incidents where DMV workers in at least 7 locations throughout the state provided incorrect information about obtaining the identification required under Wisconsin’s Voter ID law.

“It is incumbent upon us as legislators to ensure no eligible voter is disenfranchised by our actions,” said Rep. Subeck. “The committee failed today by simply extending a broken rule instead of demanding more responsible measures to guarantee eligible voters are not turned away or discouraged from obtaining ID for voting purposes.”

“Republicans passed their Voter ID law with one goal in mind – to suppress the votes of those least likely to support Republican candidates – and today, they doubled down on that goal,” concluded Rep. Subeck. “With only a month left until Election Day, it is my hope that the courts will recognize the gravity of the problem and block implementation of the Voter ID law for the upcoming November election.”