State News

DMVs could see potential for growth via new executive order

Gov. Tony Evers creates ruling to improve voter turnout by expanding access to Department of Motor Vehicle identification cards.

Gov. Tony Evers creates ruling to improve voter turnout by expanding access to Department of Motor Vehicle identification cards.

Image By: Courtesy of Creative Commons

Believing all Wisconsinites “should have the opportunity to participate in our democracy,” Gov. Tony Evers signed his 14th executive order, expanding access to voter identification cards by improving Department of Transportation facilities.

Gov. Evers signed this executive order during a visit to the Green Bay Transit Center Monday.  

“The cornerstone of American democracy is the right of the people to choose their representatives,” Gov. Evers said. “Through my budget proposal that calls for automatic voter registration, and through actions like today’s executive order, we are working to make it easier for people to obtain the identification they need to vote." 

The ruling highlights Wisconsin’s strict voting laws, which limit the permissible identification options required for voting in elections. In most cases, the only place to get these IDs is the Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV, which require an in-person visit.

Gov. Evers’ order attempts to mitigate barriers for obtaining these IDs by increasing DMV hours on weekends, innovating technology to boost efficiency and potential relocations to create easier access for those using public transportation. 

During former Gov. Scott Walker’s lame duck session, new restrictions were introduced on voting. This included time limits for conducting early voting and types of ID allowed at the polls. 

In a legal case challenged by One Wisconsin Now and Citizen Action of Wisconsin about a month after the late session, U.S. District Judge James Peterson struck down these provisions, deeming them unconstitutional. 

The nonpartisan research and education institute, One Wisconsin Now, supported Gov. Evers’ order. 

“Legal voters in Wisconsin ought not be denied the right to have their voices heard in our elections because of bureaucratic roadblocks like a lack of access to a DMV,” said Analiese Eicher, the executive director of One Wisconsin Institute, in a statement. “The real fraud in our elections is when politicians manipulate the rules to give themselves an unfair advantage, and for eight years we’ve seen Republicans try to suppress the votes of people that don’t support them.”

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