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Elections Board To Request Funds For Statewide Voter ID Education Campaign

Lawmakers Must Approve GAB's Use Of The Funds

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The state elections board is asking the Legislature for $250,000 to fund a statewide voter ID education campaign ahead of this fall’s election.

The Government Accountability Board voted 4-2 on Monday to ask the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to release the funds from its supplemental revenue fund which currently has $267,000 available.

The board has been allocated money for voter ID education campaigns in the past, including about $460,000 in 2011, but has never been able to fully implement them because of legal challenges to the voter ID law.

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“We know that the Legislature intended us to conduct a campaign,” said Reid Magney, the board’s spokesperson. “We started that campaign and it got cut short. And so the question is, do we continue that campaign and, if so, how do we do that.”

Those pushing the GAB to request the finding included Madison Democratic state Rep. Chris Taylor and the state chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Opponents to the funding request said voters should know about the state’s new ID requirement by now and, if they don’t, an education campaign won’t do much to help.

“If they don’t know at this point that there is a voter ID requirement, I don’t think, given all the attention that the media has paid and will pay to this, that more publicity is going to help,” said Judge John Franke, a member of the board.

The request for funding needs to be approved at the Joint Finance Committee’s next meeting, which is expected to happen next month.