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.
“I’m disappointed in the government,” Moore said after leaving the DMV. “I guess they’re trying to keep people from voting.”
Moore voted in the last two presidential elections and wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. “I consider myself a Democrat and I don’t think Republicans are for poor people or minorities,” he said. He was so disgusted with conditions in Wisconsin that he was thinking of moving back to Illinois before the election.
Nine percent of registered voters in Wisconsin don’t have a valid voter ID and many are still struggling to get the documents they need to vote in November. It appears that Wisconsin is violating multiple court orders by not promptly giving eligible citizens free IDs or certificates for voting. This is particularly concerning, since early voting began this week in cities like Madison and Milwaukee and thousands of Wisconsinites are casting ballots.