Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Photo ID Veto Upheld - Barely

The Associated Press reports that the Wisconsin legislature voted 61-34, shy of the 2/3 needed, to override Governor Jim Doyle's veto of a bill to require photo ID to vote. Link.
After failing to override Gov. Jim Doyle's veto, Republican lawmakers Tuesday introduced a plan to amend the state constitution to make voters show a government-issued photo identification before casting ballots.

Republicans were thwarted by Doyle's veto for the second time in two years in their attempts to require voters to produce a photo ID at the polls.

The Assembly's 61-34 vote fell short of the two-thirds required to override Doyle, a Democrat who said in his veto message Friday the bill would disenfranchise 100,000 senior citizens who do not have the type of photo ID required in the legislation.

Immediately after the vote, Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, introduced the amendment, accusing Doyle of standing in the way of a reform that most people would support. [...]

State officials estimate that about 123,000 adults in Wisconsin do not have those forms of ID, most of them elderly residents. The legislation would have given the $9 IDs for free to those who could not afford them.

The Assembly referred the proposed constitutional amendment to a committee that oversees campaigns and elections, whose chairman, Rep. Stephen Freese, R-Dodgeville, said he intends to push it through next week.

In the Senate, Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, said he would introduce the plan, which would add this sentence to the constitution: "A qualified elector may not vote, or register to vote, at the polls on election day unless the elector presents a photographic identification issued by the state or by the federal government."

The Legislature would have to pass the bill in two consecutive sessions before it would go before voters in a referendum. Freese said April 2007 was the earliest it could be on the statewide ballot.

Wisconsin, which allows registration at a polling place on election day, was the scene of massive vote fraud in the 2004 election. This fraud is being actively investigated both by state and federal officials.

There is only one possible reason for the veto. The vote fraud in Milwaukee, as in other urban centers around the country is overwhelmingly by Democrats. The governor knows that in fraud-free elections, Democrats would lose a lot more elections than they currently do.

An amendment to the state constitution is a logical next step. Assuring that state laws on who may vote are followed is worthy of a state constitution. There are no vetoes of amendments. They go directly from the legislature to the voters, who, according to polls, want the Photo ID by an amazing 80%.

I have no objection to showing a photo ID to board a plane, write a check, or use a credit card. I do not like it that I am not asked for photo ID to vote. I wish California would pass such a law as well.


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