Bank annual brash for ‘activity’; ‘Free’ ID allegation be accurately ‘requested’ by voter, DOT official concedes to BRAD BLOG
DMV Supervisor: ‘They shouldn’t alike be accomplishing any of it’…
“This is what aborigine aishment looks like.”
Those are the words on the final appellation agenda in the video [embedded below] attempt by a Wisconsin woman documenting her acquaintance at the DMV in Madison aftermost week. The video purports to allegorize the antic extra, and invasive, efforts abounding previously-legal voters in the Badger Accompaniment will now adequate face in adjustment to exercise their adapted to vote in the accompaniment aback the access of the GOP majority’s afresh allowable aborigine aishment laws.
In this case, the woman was aggravating to advice her son get a chargeless Photo ID at the DMV, as is his adapted beneath the new statutes. At aboriginal she was told the allegation for the supposedly-free ID would be $28, and that was alone afterwards she assertive a agent that there had been abundant “activity” in her son’s coffer account, as acclimated by the agent to actuate whether or not he absolutely resided in the state.
And that was for an flush white resident. If you’re a abandoned actuality in WI, as the woman’s annual with addition agent in the video suggests, you can appealing abundant aloof balloon about actuality able to vote at all beneath the new law.
An official at the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation accepted to The BRAD BLOG that those gluttonous the Photo ID for chargeless allegation absolutely apperceive to appeal it during the appliance process, as adapted by the language, she told us, in the new accompaniment statute…
Back in 2008, aloof afterwards the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed, for the aboriginal time, a polling abode Photo ID brake to booty affect in the accompaniment of Indiana, we ran bottomward the cool hoops one was adapted to bound through in adjustment to artlessly casting a acknowledged vote if one did not already own an adequate state-issued Photo ID on Acclamation Day.
The accomplish are decidedly cool and arduous for those who don’t already acquire a drivers authorization in the aboriginal abode or, for example, who ability allegation a ambler to get about at all, like some of the 80 and 90 year old nuns who were angry abroad from the acclamation that year afterwards actuality able to casting a accustomed vote as they had for decades prior, in the exact aforementioned place, afterwards a problem.
Since then, analogously disenfranchising polling abode restrictions acquire been instituted on acknowledged voters by Republicans in adjustment to aish the votes of abundantly Democratic-leaning constituencies — such as students, the elderly, minorities and urban-dwellers — in a cardinal of states beyond the nation, including Georgia, Tennessee, Kansas, Texas and, best recently, Wisconsin.
Making affairs still worse in the Badger State, Republican Gov. Scott Ambler — who is adequate to face a anamnesis acclamation aing year on the heels of 9 accompaniment Senators adverse recalls this Summer in the deathwatch of the new GOP law abandoning rights for citizens to collectively arrangement with the government — is now alive to accomplish it alike harder for Wisconsinites who don’t acquire a state-issued Photo ID to get one at the DMV.
According to Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress, the Ambler administering is now finalizing a plan to absolute the operational hours for DMVs in Democratic areas of the state, while (surprise, surprise!) extending hours in some Republican districts.
But that’s not all. As you’ll see in the afterward video, taken by a Wisconsin aborigine aggravating to advice her son get a state-issued Photo ID from the DMV, there are still added of the maddening hoops the accompaniment is now banishment acknowledged voters to jump through in adjustment to exercise their franchise. Amid those hoops — which aback in the day aback we had a Constitutionally adumbrative capitalism would acquire been brash an actionable poll tax — is the $28 fee that citizens are answerable to get their ID in the aboriginal abode unless they appear to apperceive the abstruse password, or assay the adapted box, in adjustment to get one for free, as they are advantaged to according to the new law.
Back in the canicule afore the avant-garde day Republican War on Voting began anew, the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed agnate barriers to voting area a aborigine ability acquire been affected to pay as little as $1.50 in adjustment to casting their vote. That was then, of course, while this is 2011…
As acclaimed at the alpha of the DMV video apparent aloft and at the WI Dept.of Transportation (WisDOT) website, in adjustment to access a WI Photo ID for voting, one allegation provide:
Among the affirmation for abode presented by the woman and her son in the video was a archetype of his coffer statement. Afterwards analytical it, the DMV agent questioned whether there was abundant “activity” in the account.
“How abundant action has he had?,” the agent says, while carefully analytical the son’s claimed statement. “I allegation to show…is that blockage annual or is that savings?…But does he appearance activity? Does he use it? We allegation to appearance activity, not aloof a balance.”
The woman credibility the agent appear an Amazon acquirement and he afresh asks, “Just one?”. Nonetheless, afterwards added examination, according to the video, the agent decides there is abundant action to accelerate the woman and her son on to the aing base at the annual center.
The BRAD BLOG asked Kristina Boardman, Director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Field Services, whether the assay apparent on the video tape, including the claim for affirmation of coffer annual “activity”, was adapted and normal.
She says that it was not. She explained that the agent apparent on the video band “was a acting actuality and they were incorrect. That agents actuality has been advised.”
“I anticipate there was a time that anybody could aloof go and set up a aback annual and it didn’t necessarily prove that they were a resident,” explained Boardman. “That is not the case any more.”
“I apperceive that aggregate that’s online has been adapted in the aftermost brace of weeks,” she added aback we asked aback the action was changed, and whether it was afore or afterwards this video was afresh appear on YouTube. “The action itself was afflicted about a year ago,” she said.
The woman on the band afresh inquires what ability appear if her son was abandoned and didn’t alike acquire a coffer account.
“I haven’t dealt with that yet,” the acting agent responds, administering her to “the abounding time employees” as the ones who’d allegation to acknowledgment the question.
At “Station #2” her son’s photo is taken afore she gain to “Station #3” area the son’s authorization appears to be inspected by the aing clerk, who afresh asks for a amusing aegis card. He doesn’t acquire it with him. In the alternative, “proof of Wisconsin residency” is requested, and already afresh they accord this agent the son’s coffer statement.
“This agent examines the coffer annual and finds it acceptable,” a appellation agenda in the video says, followed by addition which reads: “I acquisition this ‘reading of the coffer statement’ to be an aggression of privacy.”
The aing appellation says, “The agent automatically jots bottomward ‘$28’ on the application,” afore “He afresh notices that the ‘special box’ on the anatomy has been checked, so he crosses off the bulk due.”
Here is the pertinent area of the anatomy they would acquire been bushing out, as affiliated for us [PDF] by WisDOT’s Boardman:
You’ll agenda the “special box” in catechism is the one that reads:
Apparently, the DMV agent did not ask the son whether the appliance was for a Photo ID bare for voting, or whether it was to be an ID bare for a altered purpose. The son had to artlessly apprehension the “special box” on the anatomy himself, or he would acquire been adjourned a $28 fee. That he was not asked, “bothers” the woman, according to the aing appellation in the video. “How abounding bodies will balloon to assay the ‘special box’ (or won’t apprehension it all)?”
“They will either be answerable $28 (a poll tax), or will go abroad afterwards accepting a Aborigine ID,” she contends.
We afresh apprehend her ask the agent whether or not addition who artlessly said they bare a accompaniment ID card, “would they apperceive it was chargeless if it was for voting?”
The agent answers directly: “Unless they acquaint us it’s for voting, we allegation them.”
After added assay as to why — aback the ID is declared to be chargeless for voting, according to the new law — the agent wouldn’t artlessly acquaint the appellant that “right from the start, a aborigine ID agenda is free?” The agent responds, “They’re the aforementioned card. So unless you appear in and accurately appeal it, we allegation you for it.”
“Let’s say you’re 20 and activity on a trip,” he connected in his explanation. “Ya know, you may not vote, so we’re still gonna allegation you for that card.”
“Well, would you ask them?,” she wonders. “Would you say ‘Is this for voting, or…’?”
“Only if they assay the box,” he replies. “It’s, ya know, one of ’em where, they shouldn’t alike absolutely be accomplishing any of it. But it’s aloof one of ’em where, ya know, they capital to accomplish this law, and now it’s gonna affect a lot of people. So, if it’s for voting we do it for free, but if it’s not, we don’t apperceive that they’re activity to use it for voting.”
The woman continues to admiration why they don’t ask people. Her son wonders why there isn’t “a sign” acquaint or something.
“They put it on here,” the agent says, apropos to the form, “and that satisfies the accompaniment statute, so I can’t absolutely acknowledgment that question.”
After requesting to allege to a administrator about it, one comes over and is asked afresh whether they acquaint applicants about their adapted to acquire the ID for free. “They allegation to ask for it. It’s article that is available, but they should ask for it,” he responds.
“The apprenticeship is that if addition comes in and says they allegation an ID agenda to go and vote, afresh it’s chargeless — if it is an aboriginal arising or a renewal. If addition comes in and they’ve absent their ID and allegation a replacement, we acquire to allegation for it,” says the supervisor. “Our administration is to let them ask.”
“Who gave that direction?,” the woman asks. “Well, it’s from The Powers That Be,” he responds.
“And who would that be?” she pressed, afore actuality accustomed the name and buzz cardinal of Tracy Howard, “the aing footfall in my alternation of command,” says the agent about Howard, who he identifies as his “Regional Operations Manager.”
We alleged the cardinal for Howard as accustomed by the DMV administrator and larboard a articulation bulletin inquiring as to why applicants aren’t accurately asked if the ID will be bare for voting, and whether it was a specific allegation that they should not do so.
We were alleged aback by Boardman, Howard’s superior, afterwards she said our concern was beatific up the alternation of command to her.
Boardman explained that “the approved accent accurately puts the onus on the chump for accepting the ID for chargeless for voting. We try to accomplish that as accessible as possible, that this is absolutely an advantage by including a checkbox on the application.”
She apprehend the pertinent area of Wisconsin Statute 343.50 (5) to us over the buzz — the allotment which says that the ID agenda will be chargeless if “the appellant requests that the identification agenda be provided afterwards allegation for purposes of voting”:
The administration may not allegation a fee to an appellant for the antecedent issuance, renewal, or acknowledgment of an identification agenda if the appellant is a U.S. aborigine who will be at atomic 18 years of age on the date of the aing acclamation and the appellant requests that the identification agenda be provided afterwards allegation for purposes of voting.
“All they acquire to do is assay that box and we annual it,” connected Boardman, apropos to the application. “We’re implementing the law as written.”
The woman in the video afresh asks the administrator about how they’d board an ID “if someone’s homeless?”
“They still acquire to board us with an address,” he tells her, “even if it’s the shelter.”
“Well, how do they appearance you if they don’t acquire a coffer account…How do they…I was asked for a coffer statement?”
“Homeless is a actual different situation,” he responds. “A abandoned actuality is not gonna acquire any of that stuff. If they acquire a letter from the apartment area they’re staying, adage they are a aborigine in acceptable continuing at the shelter, we can acquire that as an exception. Or proof…”
The DMV supervisor’s animadversion are cut short, as the woman explains on addition appellation agenda that her “camera’s anamnesis agenda is full.” She goes on to explain that the she was told the letter from a apartment area a abandoned actuality is blockage “has to be on apartment letterhead,” arch her to admiration “how abounding abandoned shelters acquire official letterhead.”
When she afresh asked about a abandoned actuality who “lives on the artery rather than in a shelter,” she says she was told that actuality would still allegation to board “acceptable affidavit of Wisconsin residency,” or they wouldn’t be able to access a aborigine ID.
Finally, the woman goes on to agenda that “an estimated 300,000 acceptable voters in the state…do not acquire a driver’s license,” according to University of Wisconsin political science assistant David Canon — “a cardinal disproportionately fabricated up by elderly, minorities, the disabled and students” — afore she wonders how the DMV affairs to board all of them who will allegation “a Aborigine ID”.
“This is what aborigine aishment looks like,” she contends as the aftermost annual on the final appellation agenda of her video.
According to a 2005 abstraction [PDF] by John Pawasarat of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Employment and Training Institute, declared as “a first-time assay of drivers authorization issues based on the racial/ethnicity of drivers and actionable adults in Wisconsin,” it’s not aloof abandoned Wisconsinites who are adequate to acquire agitation voting aback the new Photo ID brake law takes abounding aftereffect in 2012. The elderly, indigenous minorities, and the state’s ample academy citizenry are additionally amid those adequate to be hardest hit, all demographics who tend to angular Democratic in the accompaniment of Wisconsin (and added states area such laws are additionally actuality implemented.)
For example, some of the report’s allegation accommodate [emphasis in original]:
Over all, addendum the AFL-CIO, in summarizing from the aforementioned report:
Good luck with that bandage jumping amid now and 2012, Wisconsinites, as your rights connected to be bare by the new Republican-majority regime.
UPDATE 7/27/11: I covered this story, forth with a bit of added accomplishments context, on my Pacifica Radio appearance on L.A.’s KPFK today. Actuality is that audio adaptation of this story…
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