Tuesday’s election was the first in Wisconsin where voters were required to have a form of photo ID to vote.
The expected state voter turnout was 10 percent, and while the city of Green Bay’s turnout was right around 10 percent, the Bridge Point Church precinct in District 11 in Green Bay was over 20 percent by 7:00 p.m.
That meant poll workers there spent a lot more time checking photo ID. And from their side of the table, the new law was a good thing. They could clearly see the spellings of names and addresses and found they had fewer complications in dealing with voters.
“Believe it or not, I had one person say, ‘Oh you have to have a photo ID today?'” Dennis Lawyer, the poll’s chief inspector said.
Aside from a few issues like that one, people at Bridge Point and on Facebook and Twitter agreed that the process went smoothly.
What people disagreed on was whether a photo ID. should actually be required.
“I had no problem with it,” Barb Ludlow said on the WFRV Facebook page. “You have to show an ID for everything these days, at banks, the doctor, etc. If you don’t have a driver’s license, it’s easy and cheap to get an ID card from the local county clerk.”
“I agree with voter ID 100 percent,” Gary Mach, a voter at Bridge Point Church, told us. “It should have been enacted a long time ago.”
However, several people felt quite differently.
“It was terrible,” Steven Wilson wrote on our Facebook page. “Should not have to jump through hoops to vote. Grant you, they are easy hoops, but no hoops should be part of voting.”
“There’s always a good question on whether doing things like this makes a lot of sense,” Bill Eck, a voter at Bridge Point said. “There are some legitimate challenges to it as well.”
What all voters we talked to agreed on was that local elections are important. Bill Eck and Richard Cook say they try to vote in every election.
“The things that are decided specifically at City Hall make a direct impact to our daily lives every single day,” Eck said. “The things in Washington are more of a trickle down type of thing.”
“I believe it’s really important to have community,” Cook said. “I believe alderman have a huge impact on the city. I don’t think people understand what aldermen really do.”