WI GAB Has Only Tiny Budget to Get Out Word About New Voter ID Requirements

Troubling report from the GAB, indicating a budget of only $34,000 to get out the word about mandatory voter id requirements:

The G.A.B. staff does not believe that voluntary efforts and free media will be adequate to the task of getting the word out to voters about the need to show an acceptable photo ID to receive their ballot in all future elections, especially during a presidential election year. Staff is also concerned that without a robust public information campaign, certain elderly voters who are exempt from the requirement will believe they need to have a current photo ID. In 2011 and 2012 staff heard numerous stories about families who experienced unnecessary inconvenience and hardship in taking elderly relatives to the DMV because they did not understand the exemption for voters who are indefinitely confined due to age, illness, disability or infirmity. Additionally, the DMV’s new procedure to help people without birth certificates get a free state ID for voting is not well known. Re-launching the Bring It to the Ballot campaign in 2016 will be a significant expense which is not currently included in the agency’s proposed FY 2015-2017 budget. Staff has alerted members of the Joint Committee on Finance that the Board will be seeking funding for public education. It will be a policy and fiscal decision for the Legislature to determine at what level the campaign should be funded. The staff is still working with KW2 to develop detailed estimates and plans for a cost-effective, multi-media public education campaign. Based on initial work, we believe the cost will be at least $300,000 and could be as much as $500,000. This compares to the Board’s original budget of approximately $430,000 for all of 2012.


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