By Ald. Milele Coggs
With the state Senate passage of the “Voter ID” bill last week, we have witnessed what I believe is a sad day in the history of Wisconsin. A state long known for its strong reputation of voting openness and access has legislatively stepped backward into a process that will make it much harder for thousands of residents to exercise their voting rights.
Although there will now very likely be some legal challenges to the new law, it is truly up to the people to organize now so that the disenfranchisement that was intended in the law does not happen.
We owe it to ourselves to learn and publicize the details of how one goes about getting the necessary photo ID that will likely be a golden ticket to voting. Groups must do what they can to educate and “crowd source” information about photo ID access and process, and we must all demand that systems for providing IDs be workable and reasonable.
For many in Milwaukee the “Voter ID” law is an obstacle in their path to voting. But we need to empower those who could be affected with information and access to resources, so that they can overcome this legislatively-created obstacle – an obstacle I believe that has rightly been called “a solution in search of a problem.”