Voters Without ID Cast Provisional Ballots In Wisconsin Primary

Provisional Ballots Are Issued to Registered Voters Who Don't Have Proper ID


Madison resident Audrey Thomas lost her photo ID — something that proved to be a problem at the polls on Tuesday.

Wisconsin’s photo ID law requires voters to present specific types of identification to cast a ballot. When Thomas brought her medical records with her to the polls — along with the great-grandchildren she cares for daily — she learned that the documents wouldn’t suffice and that she needed a photo ID to cast a ballot.

“It makes me feel like, ‘Gee you don’t trust me as an American?’” said Thomas. “I was born and raised in this country. So were my parents and their parents.”

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Instead of walking out, Thomas filled out a provisional ballot — a form of ballot provided to registered voters who don’t have the proper ID. Thomas now has until 4 p.m. Friday to get a photo ID and bring it to a municipal clerk to have her vote count.

Three hundred and sixty-three provisional ballots were cast in this week’s primary. Government Accountability Board officials said typically anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of provisional voters present their photo ID to a municipal clerk by the deadline to have the vote counted.

Thomas said she cast her provisional vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She plans on obtaining her photo ID before the Friday deadline, and said she will definitely have the proper identification in order to vote in the general election in November.

Supporters of the voter ID rule say it prevents fraud. Opponents say it unfairly discriminates against certain groups of voters who are less likely to have an ID, including racial minorities and the elderly.