The Electoral Chaos in WI Gets Chaos-ier with Big Student Voting Issues Looming

New fight over ballot formats as en banc petition on WI voter id looms. Meanwhile, how the hell is the id law going to get off the ground with no time left.  Look at how GAB head Kevin Kennedy describes some of the problems:

Kevin Kennedy, general counsel for the state Government Accountability Board, urged absentee voters to send copies or bring in a valid photo identification as soon as possible to ensure their ballots would be counted.

Kennedy said more than 11,000 absentee ballot requests had been received statewide as of Friday but he didn’t know how many had been returned by voters.

He said clerks are being instructed to use “extraordinary measures” to contact each absentee voter in writing to make sure they understand the new requirement. Overseas and military voters and those who live in a nursing home or other such facility are not required to show a photo ID to vote, he said.

Kennedy also assured reporters that his agency and other state departments, including the Department of Health Services and the Department of Motor Vehicles, were adding resources to make sure voters who lacked proper identification would be able to obtain it before the election….

But Madison resident Jon Senchyne demonstrated the complexity of obtaining the required identification so close to the election. Senchyne said he doesn’t have a driver’s license, his passport has expired and his New York birth certificate was “severely damaged” the last time he applied for a passport.

Senchyne, who has voted without incident since moving here in 2012, said he was told by the Department of Motor Vehicles it could take eight weeks to verify his birth.

“There are only seven weeks left until Election Day,” he said. “I’m going to try to get the ID with the documents I have, but if it takes the DMV eight weeks to verify my citizenship, which the DMV says it could, the clock will run out before I can vote this November.”

Kennedy acknowledged that most university- or college-issued IDs also do not qualify, but he said his agency is working with higher education officials to issue identification cards that do comply. He added that many students already have an acceptable identification, such as a driver’s license.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union said it planned to file a motion Tuesday with the 7th Circuit in Chicago in order to “protect the voting rights of Wisconsin citizens.”

“With just seven weeks before Election Day, this last-minute change will cause widespread confusion, and it stands to disenfranchise the more than 300,000 registered Wisconsin voters – disproportionately voters of color – who lack the required form of identification,” ACLU-Wisconsin spokeswoman Molly Collins said.



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