Wisconsin’s new voter identification law has been plagued with problems even before its first election, whether from government officials trying to shield the public from learning about the free version of a vote-only ID, Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) pledge to close Department of Motor Vehicle offices where the IDs can be obtained, or from protests from angry Wisconsinites who claim the new law, like similar laws around the country, is only aimed at disenfranchising voters who are more likely to vote Democrat.
Now, after test votes in Madison led to long lines and confusion, the law has a newer and perhaps even bigger problem: rather than remaining in line, frustrated would-be voters left before they even got to the polls. And according to state officials, who are now encouraging other locations to run trial votes to prepare for upcoming elections, the issues won’t be solved by the spring primaries in February, the Appleton Post-Crescent reports:
Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl told The Post-Crescent the same issues that arose during their mock election Tuesday would come up across the state during the spring primaries on Feb. 21. The primaries will be the first time Wisconsin voters are required to show photo identification and sign a poll book before casting their ballot.
But Wisconsin officials continue to dispute that the new law will cause massive problems, primarily because the state is preparing to spend as much $600,000 on public education projects in an effort to prepare voters for its implementation. In all, the law — backed by the same Republicans that fought to end collective bargaining rights for public workers to fix a budget “problem” that didn’t actually exist — could cost the state as much as $7.5 million, all to fix a voter fraud “problem” that doesn’t actually exist either.