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UW-Madison begins issuing voter ID to students

September 22, 2014 By Käri Knutson

University of Wisconsin–Madison students will be able to get a free voter ID card right on campus beginning today.

The university is making the cards available following the Sept. 12 decision by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that lifted the stay on Wisconsin’s voter ID law. The state Government Accountability Board has indicated the requirement will be in place for the Nov. 4 election.

Students are not required to obtain this new card and may use another form of photo identification approved for voting purposes. For example, students who are Wisconsin residents don’t need a voter ID if they have a state-issued driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. passport or military ID. Visit the Government Accountability Board website for more information on other approved forms of identification.

Students from out of state who have lived in Wisconsin for at least four weeks before the Nov. 4 elections are eligible to vote but must meet a higher standard than in previous elections. Students who use a university-issued voter ID to vote must also provide an enrollment verification form. The form can be either printed out or shown to an election official on a mobile device.

“We want our students to be informed and involved citizens,” says Lori Berquam, vice provost for student life and dean of students. “For many, this will be the first election they vote in. I encourage all students to take this opportunity to become educated about the voting process as well as all of the candidates.”

The Associated Students of Madison will be registering students to vote as well as educating them about the recent changes.

“Although the recent decision on the voter ID law has created a very hectic situation, the university and students have come up with a great process to get the IDs,” says Tom Gierok, Committee Chair for Legislative Affairs at ASM. “We are very pleased that the university is offering an on-site location for students to pick up a voter ID and that the process for pick up will start Monday.”

The UW–Madison voter ID card is available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Wiscard office in Union South. Expanded hours from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. will be offered Tuesday, Sept. 23 for National Voter Registration Day. More details can be found at

Students must present their current Wiscard to receive the supplemental card.

The UW–Madison voter ID card is similar to Wiscard IDs issued to students, but will be clearly marked “VOTER IDENTIFICATION.” The IDs include the student’s signature and expire two years from the issuance date in compliance with a new state voting law. The UW–Madison voter ID cards will not be valid for any other purpose or service on the campus.