MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate gave final legislative approval Thursday to a bill that would require Wisconsin voters to show photo identification at the polls, setting the plan up for Gov. Scott Walker’s signature.

Assembly Republicans passed the measure in a late-night session last week. Republicans who control the Senate brought the bill up for debate on Tuesday, but Democrats railed against it until the early morning hours on Wednesday. In a last-ditch effort, they used a procedural maneuver to delay the final vote until Thursday morning.

Republicans limited debate to an hour when senators came to the floor. Democrats used 10 minutes complaining about the limits, but Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Democrats had plenty of opportunity to speak. In the end the bill passed 19-5 along party lines. It’s all but certain Walker will sign the measure into law.

Spectators in the Senate gallery exploded into shouts and screams after the vote, yelling “Shame! Shame! Shame!” and “Recall! Recall! Recall!” They then burst into singing “We Shall Overcome.”

Republicans have been pushing the photo ID bill for years. They contend it’s needed to curtail voter fraud. Democrats maintain widespread voter fraud doesn’t exist and Republicans really want to disenfranchise groups that support Democrats, such as senior citizens, college students and the poor. Then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, vetoed similar GOP proposals three times between 2002 and 2005. Now Republicans control both houses of the Legislature and the governor’s office, clearing the way for passage.

Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, accused Republicans of acting like dictators.

“Madison looks more like Moscow today,” Jauch said. “This is a Republican majority that has gone berserk with power.”

Republicans sat quietly, waiting for the Democrats to use up their time. Still, Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, stood up to respond to Jauch, saying in today’s world people need an ID to do nearly everything, from driving a car to buying beer and most people want to make sure everyone else is voting legally.

“If you plan your life, you can get (an ID). And most people already have one,” he said. “One fraudulent vote cancels out a legal vote.”

Under the bill, voters would have to present a driver’s license, a state ID, a passport, a military ID, naturalization papers or a tribal ID. College students could vote with a school ID as long as it has their signature and an expiration date that falls within two years of the card’s issuance. University of Wisconsin IDs currently don’t meet that criteria and would have to be updated to comply before students could vote.

Voters would be asked for ID in elections starting this year but will be allowed to vote without one. Beginning next year, they would not be allowed to cast a ballot without one.

A number of other changes would take effect immediately, including requiring voters to sign poll books and to live at their current address for 28 days rather than 10 before they could cast a ballot.

“In the end, what we’re doing here is very clear. Republicans want to wreck the Democratic Party,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton. “This bill is indefensible. This legislation is based on rumors and lies.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (26)
  1. Dale Gribble says:

    The Democrats are finished in Wisconsin. Without the illegal alien and welfare cheat vote, they’ can’t win.

    1. Brian says:

      Dale, you’ll be surprised to learn that research shows
      illegal aliens (who are, by and large, Hispanic) as well as many others who actually benefit from Democratic fiscal (and some social) policies tend to vote for Republicans because of their more staunchly conservative social/moral values.

      It will be interesting to see how this affects the next election.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Agreed. Lets see how long it takes them to place the race card.

  3. MARK says:

    Republicans in Wisconsin are doing everything they can to rig next election, because they know they won’t win without doing so.

    1. Stop your belly acking Democrats!!! says:

      Mark how is that rigging the election? Is it because the democrats know most of their votes come from fraud? I mean you need an ID for anything these days. An ID in WI is cheap to go in and get, it doesn’t have to be a license just an ID card with your signature. The only reason the democrats oppose this in any state is because they know it will now cost them votes because the illegal’s can’t cast their vote for them. I think it should have been done a long time ago and should be this way in all 50 states.

      1. Opps Meant Aching!!! says:

        Opps meant aching

        1. MARK says:

          I support requiring photo ID to vote. I posted as such in the topic about this bill in Minnesota. Everyone should be required to have ID to vote. I’m a Democrat and do not fear this because I know that the idea that illegals and dead people vote for Democrats is a Republican myth. Neither side has a monopoly on election fraud.

          What I don’t get is that last part. Government should not put more and more roadblocks in front of citizens in order to vote. A voter must be registered and must produce a photo ID to vote. That’s it. This kind of stuff is garbage: “A number of other changes would take effect immediately, including requiring voters to sign poll books and to live at their current address for 28 days rather than 10 before they could cast a ballot.”

      2. eastside_evil says:

        What illegals have been casting votes?

        Are you able to substantiate your claim, or is that all it is, a claim…

      3. Tom says:

        That’s funny I haven’t heard about any wide spread voter fraud in Wisc either. Apparently the GOP / Tea Party are just as delusional in Wisc as they are in MN.

        But I got a better idea since the GOP / Tea Party want voter ID for voting, then I think it is only fair that we make those who are registered GOP / Tea Party voters take a test to check their intelligent level is and if they fail that means they don’t get to vote. And that should eliminate about 99.999% of the GOP / Tea Party voters.

        1. Just some more belly aching!!! says:

          Tom, I think it would eliminate all 100% of the democratic voters, so the GOP still would win.

          1. MARK says:

            What a mature discussion you guys have going here. You must both be big hits on the playground. “You’re dumb!” “No, you’re dumb!”

          2. Tom says:

            Just some more belly aching!!!

            You give the GOP / Tea Party way to much credit!

            When was the last time you saw a Dem dress like Paul Revere and where Tea bags on their hats?

  4. eastside_evil says:

    Governor Walker is ending a law allowing gay partners to visit each other in the hospital as family.

    He says it’s unconstitutional and “wrong.”

    Thoughts, Republicans? Should gays not be allowed to visit their gay partners in the hospital? Honestly?

    1. Family Values says:

      No. Promoting sin is an open defiance of God’s word.

      1. MARK says:

        I couldn’t care less about your belief in the supernatural. Keep it to yourself.

      2. Tom says:

        Family Values

        What is your definition of Sin?

        My definition of Sin is this:

        It is not a sin if you love the life your living and you are not living your life to make others happy.

        It is a sin if you are not loving the life your living because you are trying keep others happy.

        If you and others like you have a problem with gays in anyway that is your problem, not theirs!

  5. Shannon says:

    There were something like 15 cases of voter fraud in the last Presidential election in the state of Wisconsin. The Rethuglicans are going to be spending a ton of money implementing this voter ID bill. And Wisconsin is supposed to be “broke”.

    And now Walker is busy denying gay rights in addition to defunding public education. Where are the jobs he promised?

    The only good thing to come of Scott Walker’s being governor is that there will not be another Republican governor in the state of Wisconsin for a very, very long time after we get rid of him.

    1. Oh stop belly aching dems!!! says:

      I don’t think you are point here about the public education; he isn’t defunding it he is making cuts to a lot more than just that. It is called hard times and you can’t please everyone. The whole thing about WI taking away public workers rights(is what I am guessing you are talking about) was a farce because all he did was make it so those so called “excellent teachers” have to actually pay for something instead sleeping with your kids, I mean of getting a free ride from the state. How many of us have driven by a road worker, or some other state employee and said “boy must be nice to have a government job” because we all know their benefits are awesome. They should be no different than me as far as my insurance premiums and me contributing to my 401K. You think they should be different because they teach our kids?
      As far as getting rid of him you must be from Milwaukee because those are the only ones that want him gone and I got news for ya I think he is there to stay because even my father who is a diehard democrat likes what Walker has done.
      Oh one last thing where is the Hope and Change Obama promised?

      1. MARK says:

        You seem angry and bitter that some people in the government make more than you. I don’t really see how it’s the fault of teachers and other government employees that you don’t like your job. This is still a free country and you’re welcome to find something that might pay you a bit more. Go for it.

        As for that hope and change, I think Obama is doing a pretty good job, as evidenced by the amount of consternation he causes Republicans.

  6. Incredulous1 says:

    Thank goodness for Governor Dayton! I appreciate him more and more every day as the ruling elite in Wisconsin continues it’s takeover.

  7. Bob says:

    I’m not sure about Illegals, but certainly the Dems bus in thousands of people from out of state for tight elections. That is how Al Franken got elected in MN.

    1. MARK says:

      That’s a lie. Why would you post this nonsense?

  8. CommonMan says:

    Soon we will put in the chip at birth via a new law and many things will change.
    China will be doing it soon….

    1. Betty says:

      Yes and since China will own us in a few years they will require us to do the same.

  9. wondering says:

    Franken got elected because not all votes were counted…I am sure there is fraud on both sides, but I know there were no Acorn workers bussing in voters from Chicago to vote Republican. When I saw the protests at the capital when Gov Walker wanted to modify what the unions could do…it was shameful what kind of example they were showing their wonder the schools are in such shambles.

    1. Shannon says:

      Our schools are not in a shambles in Wisconsin – yet. They will be soon since they are being defunded. Can’t make a profit on public schools. And for your information, the unions conceded to contributing everything asked of them, but Walker wants to bust the Unions because they back Democrats. It has nothing to do with Wisconsin being “broke”. In the last election, many counties flipped from Repubs to Democrats, and it’s going to continue. We hold our teachers in high regard here, and we believe that education is a priority. Sadly, our college drop-out (some say expelled) Governor does not, and many people who have already put their kids through school probably don’t give a rat’s behind about “other people’s kids'” education either. We’ll continue to make our voices heard at the polls.

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