Wisconsin’s primary elections next month will mark the first time voters will be required to present a government identification at the polls since Governor Scott Walker signed a voter ID bill into law in 2011. That legislation also requires the state to fund an educational campaign about what forms of ID are acceptable—and the state hasn’t done it.
Voter ID laws are ostensibly intended to combat voter fraud, but there’s a reason they enjoy support among conservatives and are reviled by liberals: They lead to lower turnout among poor people and minorities, who are more likely to vote Democrat. (The conservative activist and big-time Trump fan Phyllis Schlafly openly copped to the importance of voter restrictions for suppressing Obama voters a few years ago.)
Wisconsin’s law is anti-democratic, in both the big D and little d senses. But under the letter of the law, voters would at least be exposed to a public information campaign about it. If you’re a veteran but don’t have a driver’s license, for instance, it would be enormously helpful for you to know that your VA card is also accepted.
With primaries less than two weeks away, the state has not yet appropriated funds for such a campaign, ProPublica reports today. The Republican-controlled state government engages in this sort of fuckery all the time: Just last week, Walker signed a bill that will eliminate community voter registration drives. The net effect of that move, just like this one, is that fewer poor people will be permitted at the polls.