By Kathy Quirk
The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee received approval Tuesday, Nov. 22, from Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board to proceed with a plan to issue separate student identification cards that can be used for voting.
The cards will be issued, starting in January, to students who request them to comply with new a state law requiring that that voters show valid photo identification at the polls. Current UWM student ID cards do not meet the law’s definition of valid identification.
The new cards, which will be provided free of charge, do not replace current student ID cards used for other purposes. The cards will be available from the Department of Enrollment Services Information Center (Mellencamp Hall, room 274) beginning Jan. 17. That’s more than a month before the Feb. 21 spring primary, the first election requiring voter photo ID.
To meet the new voter identification requirements, students using the new ID cards will also have to provide verification of their current enrollment status. A new selfservice verification document will be made available via the campus PAWS system so that students can easily print this information as needed. This document will also be available on or before Jan. 17.
Students who have other valid forms of photo identification listed in the new law will not need the separate student ID card. The Government Accountability Board lists a Wisconsin driver’s license or state-issued identification card, passport, Indian tribal ID card or military identification as other forms of valid photo ID. (See http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/photo-id for a complete list).
UWM is among at least six UW System institutions planning to issue separate voter ID cards to students.
Early in 2012, UWM will launch an extensive communication effort encouraging students to vote, and providing information about the new voter identification requirements and rules on voter registration.