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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette to create voter IDs for upcoming election

Photo by AP

To comply with Wisconsin’s newly reinstated voter ID law, Marquette will devise a plan to allow students to use Marquette- issued identification as recognized documentation for the Nov. 4 elections.

The law, which was reinstated Sept. 12, requires proper identification to vote in Wisconsin elections. According to the law, proper identification includes driver’s licenses, state ID cards, passports, limited types of student IDs, military IDs, naturalization certificates and IDs issued by a tribe based in Wisconsin. It does not include Marquette student IDs.

With the election six weeks away, Marquette is working on a solution.

“Marquette is in the process of determining how to provide a university- issued ID card, valid only for voting, upon request, that will meet the requirements of the voter ID law, to promote the educational benefits that come from student participation in the political process,” said Mary Czech-Mrochinski, director of governmental and community affairs, in an email.

Czech-Mrochinski also said that this initiative would allow any student 18 or older who has lived in Wisconsin for 28 days and is a U.S. citizen without any convicted felonies to register to vote once he or she provides a valid Marquette Voter ID and an enrollment verification document.

So far, efforts have received campus support.

“The Marquette University College Republicans support MU’s efforts to assist students to obtain legal, Government Accountability Board approved voter identification for this election cycle,” said Samantha Connor, chair of Marquette College Republicans, in an email.

The Marquette College Democrats did not respond in time for this article.

The ID card is free to Marquette students and should be distributed in time for the upcoming election.

“The university has determined that the most cost-effective way to do that in time for the Nov. 4 election is to provide, upon request, a unique ID for this purpose,” Czech-Mrochinski said. “As the option isn’t cost prohibited, and given the educational benefits that come from students participating in the political process, the university decided to find a way to provide a university- issued voter ID to students. There will be no charge to students for the ID.”

But this plan is not without obstacles.

“The biggest challenge will be to provide students accurate information as to what they need to do and provide in order to register to vote and actually be able to vote,” Czech-Mrochinski said.

According to the Wisconsin Voter ID legislation unanimously passed by the Marquette Student Government in May 2011, students were allowed to use Marquette student IDs without a birth date or address on them as proper voter identification. However, two weeks ago, Wisconsin reversed this legislation because of the reinstatement of Gov. Scott Walker’s voter ID law, leaving Marquette to find a solution before November’s election between Republican Walker and Democrat Mary Burke.

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