WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and SportsCity Clerk working hard to spread word on Voter ID law

City Clerk working hard to spread word on Voter ID law

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Voter ID law goes in full effect next February.

Madison's City Clerk says a "soft implementation" of the new law this summer, shows there may be longer lines at the polls.

Madison's city clerk says in the next few months, her office will work hard to spread word about the new law. She says there may soon be vulnerable populations who won't have the proper identification to vote.

Numbers according to the Brennan Center of the New York University Law School report "The Driver License Status of Voting Age Population in Wisconsin." The report showed the driver's license status for the voting age population of Wisconsin. The following groups do not have a Wisconsin driver's license or identification card:

* 23% of persons aged 65 and older

* 17% of white men and women

* 55% of all African American males and 49% of all African American women

* 46% of Latino men and 59% of Latina women

* 78% of African American males age 18-24 and 66% of African American women age 18-24

While a valid driver's license isn't the only way to prove citizenship - it is one of the easiest.

The city clerk showed these numbers to the election advisory committee Wednesday night, to stress the importance of spreading the word before this year is out.

"We're gunna be doing questions and answers at food pantries, presentations at libraries, so no one's surprised at the polls in February," said Maribeth Witzel-Behl, City of Madison Clerk.

She added that during the election for State Assemblyman Joe Parisi's vacant seat Tuesday, 18% of people who voted, did not have proper identification. Voters are waived from having to prove citizenship until next year.

She says the estimated cost to implement the new Voter ID bill in Madison for 2012 is about $350,000.

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