Special IDs, free of charge: College campuses working to help students who want to vote

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- There are six weeks left until voters hit the polls in the November 4th general election, and now, colleges are preparing special ID cards for students to use at the polls. The recently-reinstated voter ID law means voters must show photo ID at the polls.

"Right now working with University Communications to get an email out to all enrolled students so that they're aware," Seth Zlotocha, UW-Milwaukee's Registrar said.

Some students in the UW System might not have the proper ID for voting -- particularly those who have come from out-of-state to study. For many, their student ID card doesn't meet the requirements under the voter ID law. That's why campuses like UW-Milwaukee are offering a special photo ID for students to use for voting. The IDs are being offered free of charge to any student who needs one.

"The voter ID has a few pieces of information that aren't on the regular campus ID -- one of which is an expiration date that's two years after the issue date," Zlotocha said.

The student IDs being provided for students to use when voting include a line for the student's signature -- another requirement of the voter ID law.

Students using a university or college ID to vote must provide proof of enrollment. UW-Milwaukee will have those documents available online for its students starting October 1st.

"They can print off the letter on a self service basis, so as long as they have access to the internet and a printer they can do that at any time," Zlotocha said.

UW-Waukesha is also offering IDs to its students for voting. Both UW-Waukesha and and UW-Milwaukee previously offered IDs for voting back in 2012.

"We actually only had one or two students take advantage of it. We're not a residential campus. Most of our students -- I think 85 percent are in the Waukesha or Milwaukee counties," Shaun Manning, the director of enrollment and marketing at UW-Waukesha said.

At UW-Milwaukee, we're told only a handful of students sought IDs for voting in 2012.

"That was a spring primary election, so we are definitely anticipating some more this time around, but it's difficult to say exactly how many," Zlotocha said.

The IDs for voting are expected to be available to students at both UW-Waukesha and UW-Milwaukee starting October 1st.

A spokesman for Marquette University says it too is currently making plans to have a university-issued ID for voting available for their students.

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3 comments

  • vernon

    Are they doing anything to make sure that every student who gets those cards actually has a legal right to vote? Non-citizens do NOT have a right to vote.

    • Felicia

      The Voter ID requirement is designed only to prevent the misuse of another’s identity to vote. It does not address whether a person is legally able to vote. That should actually be addressed during voter registration. At this time, when a person registers to vote, they are not required to give an ID…just a proof of residence. They are also not required to prove legal citizenship. The application to register to vote simply states about 4 qualifiers (including the legal status to vote) and has the registrant sign that they are in compliance 2ith those requirements. Thats it.

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