County Clerk: No Photo ID Required November 4th
For the City-Times
Portage County Clerk Shirley Simonis is reminding voters they won’t need to show a photo ID at the November 4 election.
On October 9 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an earlier 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision which had reinstated the photo ID law. The law had been enjoined by the courts since March, 2012.
According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), the Supreme Court’s order is not the final word on the legality of Wisconsin’s voter photo ID law, but it does set the rules for the General Election. The Supreme Court halted enforcement of the law for the time being to avoid voter confusion and because some voters had already been mailed absentee ballots without instructions on how to comply with the voter photo ID law. The Supreme Court may decide to hear the case on its merits sometime after the November election.
Even though voters will not have to show an ID to receive a ballot at this election, voters who are registering between now and Election Day should be aware that they may use their driver license or state ID card to establish their residence if it contains a current address.
GAB is predicting that 2.5 million people will cast ballots for the Tuesday, which accounts for about 56.5 percent of Wisconsin’s 2014 voting-age population.
“We project turnout will be similar to the 2012 recall election, which was 57.8 percent, not the presidential election, which was about 70 percent,” said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel for GAB. “We typically look at history for guidance in predicting turnout. We expect turnout for this election to be similar to the recall election.”
Historically, the highest voter turnout in a November gubernatorial election in the last 50 years was 52.4 percent in 1962. The highest turnout in the past decade was 50.9 percent in 2006. Statistics on past voter turnout and current voter registration are available at http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/statistics.