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Shirley Haidinger: Blame legislators, not the UW, for making student voting onerous

Shirley Haidinger: Blame legislators, not the UW, for making student voting onerous

Dear Editor: A recent article in the Cap Times explained how UW-Madison is attempting to provide special ID cards to students that will meet the requirements for voter ID — and some criticism about how this is being done. Certainly UW officials should do everything they can to make sure that all students can vote, but it should be understood that they are not the ones who caused the problem.

The real culprits are the legislators who made the requirements for student voting so onerous. The student ID used for voting cannot be valid for longer than a two-year period. UW-Madison issues IDs for a five-year period. The university estimates that the additional cost of issuing their IDs every two years could be as high as $2 million over five years.

Voters using a student ID must also provide a document that shows they are enrolled in school at the time of each election. UW-Madison is not a two-year college, and since students must prove they are enrolled, why require a two-year limitation for the ID? This makes no sense. The Legislature could easily fix this problem by changing the law to remove the two-year limitation.

In addition to the hassle for students in obtaining a special student ID for voting, poll workers will need to check both the ID and the enrollment document, likely creating long lines on election day. There must be a better way!

Shirley Haidinger


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