Gov. Scott Walker will sign into law the controversial Voter ID Bill (AB-7) on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., and protesters will gather outside the Capitol to make their discontent heard. Whether you're in favor of the bill, against it or indifferent, it will change the way you cast your vote as early as the July 12 recall elections.
Republican Sens. Dan Kapanke of La Crosse, Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Luther Olsen of Ripon all face recall elections in July, and the Government Accountability Board will consider the recalls proposed for Republican Sens. Alberta Darling of River Hills, Robert Cowles of Green Bay and Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls next week. Democratic Sens. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie, Jim Holperin of Conover and Dave Hansen of Green Bay also face potential recalls.
Some, but not all, of the new voter ID rules will be in effect for the first recall elections, which will be held July 12. Here's what you need to know if you plan to vote:
- If you are a Wisconsin resident, you voted in the last election and you haven't moved since then, you won't be asked for proof of residence in the July 12 elections.
- However, if this is your first time voting, you'll be required to provide proof that you've lived at your current Wisconsin residence for at least 28 days. Parents and neighbors can no longer vouch for your residence, as the bill "continues current requirements for certain electors to provide proof of residence ... but discontinues the use of corroborating electors to verify residence." Current acceptable forms of proof of residence are, according to:
- A current and valid Wisconsin driver license.
- A current and valid Wisconsin identification card.
- Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
- Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card.
- A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
- A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes election day (not for first-time voters registering by mail).
- A university, college or technical institute fee card (must include photo).
- A university, college or technical institute identification card (must include photo).
- A gas, electric or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before election day.
- Bank statement.
- A check or other document issued by a unit of government.
- If you are a Wisconsin resident, but you move to a new place of residence outside your current voting district after June 14, you will be required to vote in your old district.
- If you're a new Wisconsin resident and you move to the state after June 14, you won't be able to vote in the July 12 recall elections. Voters must be residents of the state for 28 days before an election -- a change from the current 10-day residency requirement.
- If you want to request an absentee ballot, you'll need to do so no more than two weeks prior to the election.
- If you vote with an absentee ballot, it must be mailed or hand delivered to your municipal clerk the Friday before July 12, which is July 8. Absentee ballots will not be accepted after that date.
- You don't need a photo ID to vote in the July 12 elections; however, a poll worker will likely ask you to present one when you vote. If you don't have one, you will not be turned away. Instead, you'll be reminded that an ID will be required the next time you vote.