BY Ari Berman
PUB The Nation [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]New recordings from the DMV show how the state is continuing to disenfranchise black voters.[/perfectpullquote]
Madison, WI— Zack Moore, a 34-year-old African-American man, moved from Chicago to Madison last year. He worked at a car wash and then a landscaping job before breaking his leg and becoming unemployed. After staying with his brother, he’s now homeless and sleeping on the streets of Madison.
On September 22, he went to the DMV to get a photo ID for voting, as required by Wisconsin’s strict voter-ID law. He brought his Illinois photo ID, Social Security card, and a pay stub for proof of residence. But he didn’t have a copy of his birth certificate, which had been misplaced by his sister in Illinois, so the DMV wouldn’t give him an ID for voting. “I’m trying to get a Wisconsin ID so I can vote,” Moore told the DMV. “I don’t have my birth certificate, but I got everything else.”
Under Wisconsin law, the DMV should’ve given Moore a credential he could use for voting within six business days. But that never happened. They told him to “drive down there [to Illinois] and get [a birth certificate] and come back.” That would cost Moore money he didn’t have. If he entered what the state calls the ID Petition Process (IDPP), it would take six to eight weeks for him to get a voter ID and he most likely wouldn’t be able to vote by Election Day.
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties.