Report: Confusion at polls during Wisconsin recalls due to new Voter ID laws


Voter ID laws are intended to keep Democrats away from the polls. That's because they are aimed at the poor, students, the elderly, minorities, and rural voters, who tend to vote Democratic. Let's not forget those who can’t afford to pay a fee, get a ride, own a car, or otherwise have access to a Department of Motor Vehicles. They're targets, too.

And of course, one of the results of these laws are things appalling injustices like this: 96-year-old Tennessee woman gets no Voter ID. Why? No marriage license.

Yesterday, the League of Women Voters released a report about (expected) confusion at the polls during the recent Wisconsin recall elections, now that the state has one of those very voter ID laws. Starting next year, not only will photo IDs will be required, but voters will also have to sign poll books and meet new residency requirements.

The findings show there was insufficient time before the recall elections to train local election officials and voters about changes made to the law passed less than three months before, said Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network. [...]

— Some voters showed IDs, such as fishing licenses and employer IDs that would not be valid for voting in 2012.

Voters were incorrectly told at some polling places to re-register if the address on their photo ID did not match the address on the poll list. The law does not require that the address on their photo ID be current in order to vote, but they do have to show proof of residency when registering.

— In at least four locations voters were incorrectly told they couldn't vote next year if their driver's license was expired. The law allows for licenses that have expired after November 2010 to be used.

— Observers found problems experienced by disabled voters with the requirement they sign the poll book, even though the law allows for exemptions.

That sound you hear is the chip-chip-chipping away at democracy.