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Judge calls out DMV on voter ID

— From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

U.S. District Judge James Peterson made the right call last week when he ordered the state to provide additional information to the public about how to get voting credentials but chose not to halt the state’s voter ID law. The law should be ended permanently — it’s completely unnecessary — but doing so with less than a month to go until election day would have caused confusion at the polls.

Instead, Peterson offered a temporary solution to mend the system, which was the best he could do at this point.

At issue is how to provide IDs under the law for the small cohort of people in Wisconsin who have trouble getting them because they don’t have birth certificates or because they have other problems documenting their identity.

Such people are thrown into a petition process that Peterson has called a “wretched failure.” As he noted, prospective voters haven’t a clue what to expect from the process, and the Division of Motor Vehicles has failed to make clear how the process is supposed to play out.

Based on audio recordings made public recently, DMV employees didn’t know how the process was to work, either. The recordings found DMV workers providing inaccurate or incomplete information about the ability to get an ID if you don’t have a birth certificate. Peterson has ordered the state to investigate, and on Thursday said the state should provide cards that clearly explain the process and update the information as needed.

The judge also said the state would need to do further outreach to reach people who have the most challenges. He asked for weekly reports on the administration of voter ID in the state.

“Close court supervision of the reform process is going to be necessary,” Peterson said. “It’s not going to be easy. It is a very complicated beast of a system that is really going to have to be carefully evaluated.”

Indeed, it should be monitored.

The best solution, though, would be to slay this “complicated beast.”

Voter fraud is almost nonexistent, and voter ID does nothing to deal with the most common forms of fraud.

Here’s what voter ID really is — it is nothing more than a tool for political attack.

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