MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Latest on allegations the state Division of Motor Vehicles hasn’t been following its own rules for issuing photo IDs to voters (all times local):
The Legislature’s rules committee has extended regulations allowing people who lack identifying documentation to obtain voting credentials through the November election.
The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted 4-3 on Tuesday to extend the regulations for 60 days. They were set to expire on Sunday.
The Department of Transportation adopted regulations in May allowing people who want photo IDs to vote but lack the underlying supporting documents such as a birth certificate to get a receipt valid for voting within six days of applying.
Allegations have surfaced in the last few days that DOT officials have been providing would-be applicants with inaccurate information about the process, prompting a federal judge to order the agency to investigate.
All three Democrats on the rules committee voted against the extension, saying the DOT’s process isn’t working.
State Department of Transportation officials are telling lawmakers they’ve stepped up training for staffers amid allegations some employees have been giving out inaccurate information to people seeking photo ID application receipts for voting.
DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb told the Legislature’s rules committee on Tuesday that beginning that day the agency has created new online training for staff and supervisors have been told to have one-on-one conversations with each employee about protocols by Friday.
The agency also plans to issue each applicant a document that shows them what the receipt will look like when it arrives in the mail.
Democrats on the committee questioned how they can trust the process. Gottlieb said only that he believes the process is sound.
DOT regulations require the agency to issue receipts valid for voting to anyone who begins the process of obtaining a state photo ID.
The Legislature’s rules committee is set to consider whether to renew state Department of Transportation regulations guaranteeing people who lack photo ID can get receipts for voting.
The DOT adopted regulations in May allowing people who want photo IDs but lack the underlying supporting documents to get a receipt for voting within six days.
The move was designed to blunt a pair of lawsuits alleging voters who lack such documents face hurdles in obtaining free photo ID as promised in state law.
The regulations are set to expire on Sunday. The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon to consider a 60-day extension. The meeting comes amid allegations that DMV workers haven’t been following the protocol. An extension would keep the regulations in place through the Nov. 8 election.
Newly released recordings from seven Division of Motor Vehicles offices across Wisconsin reveal workers giving inaccurate information about the availability of IDs for voting.
The recordings come after a federal judge ordered the state to investigate whether DMV workers are failing to issue temporary photo identification for voting, as promised.
On the recordings, one DMV worker in Hudson tells a person asking for an ID that she’s not guaranteed to get one. That conflicts with the attorney general’s office who has said in court filings that DMV workers have been trained to tell people they will get credentials for voting within six days.
The new recordings were provided to The Associated Press by a campaign coordinator for the national group VoteRiders. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported on the recordings.
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