Cheesehead Jim Crow

Wisconsin passes a voter ID law, which included a provision for a free voter ID card, and now the head of the Wisconsin DOT has instructed his staff to do their best to conceal this fact from potential voters:

An internal memo from a top Department of Transportation official instructs workers at Division of Motor Vehicles service centers not to tell members of the public that they can obtain voter identification cards free of charge — unless they know to ask for it.

The memo, recently obtained by The Capital Times, was written by Steve Krieser and sent to all state Department of Transportation and Department of Motor Vehicles employees on July 1, the same day employees were to begin issuing photo IDs in accordance with a controversial new voter photo ID law adopted earlier in the year.

As laid out in the memo, failure to check a box when applying for photo ID with the Division of Motor Vehicles will result in the payment of $28. Interviews conducted about the memo suggest the state is more interested in continuing to charge the fee, which is required for a photo ID used for non-voting purposes, than it is in removing all barriers and providing easy access to a free, photo ID.

“While you should certainly help customers who come in asking for a free ID to check the appropriate box, you should refrain from offering the free version to customers who do not ask for it,” Krieser writes to employees.

Like this is not a blatant attempt at voter suppression.

As to “Bull” Kreiser’s response when the story broke, he’s saying that:

In the meantime, Krieser says the Department of Transportation is planning to place signs at each of the DMV service offices that say people need to check the box on the form in order to receive an ID for free. He says the signs are “in the design phase” and could not give a date when they would be placed in DMV offices.

My guess is that there some serious typography issues here, so it will be 2022 before the signs are ready.

A family friend of ours grew up in Mississippi, and is old enough to remember the literacy tests.

Hers was straight forward, a simple section of the Mississippi constitution, and when she finished, the clerk says with a smile, “You should see the ones [section] we use for the n*****s.”

This feels just the same.

Leave a Reply