Judge OKs voting credential handouts

Posted at 10:03 AM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 15:46:42-04
A federal judge has signed off on new handouts explaining how people who lack photo identification can get alternative voting credentials.
U.S. District Judge James Peterson ordered the Wisconsin Department of Transportation last week to clarify the process for obtaining the credentials in the wake of media reports that showed Division of Motor Vehicle employees were giving people inaccurate information about what documents they needed and how long it would take to receive the credentials.
He ordered the agency to produce simple, one-page explanations of the process to distribute to voting advocacy groups and to applicants as they leave DMV stations so they know what they'll receive. He also ordered DOT to clarify an online explanation.
Online court records show Peterson approved the handouts and website clarifications on Friday.
A federal judge is criticizing the state for not telling people clearly how they can obtain voting credentials if they lack documents to obtain photo ID.
One Wisconsin Institute wants U.S. District Judge James Peterson to block Wisconsin's voter ID law after media reports showed Division of Motor Vehicles workers have given inaccurate information to people looking to obtain alternative voting credentials without presenting birth certificates to get free photo IDs.
Peterson began a hearing Wednesday by saying the state clearly has fallen short of its obligations to administer the credentials and the chances of getting misinformation is very hight.
Peterson questioned whether he has the authority to block the voter ID law, though, noting the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the law.