Republicans Walk Photo I.D. Bill to Governor's Office

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Madison: A long line of legislators snaked through the Capitol Tuesday, as Republicans walked from the Senate Chambers to Gov. Doyle's office on the first floor.

The Governor wasn't there, so they presented a legal staffer with the Photo I.D. Bill, and about 6,000 petitions from people supporting the bill.

"Hopefully there is room on the Governor's desk for this correspondence from the citizens of Wisconsin," said Sen. Joseph Leibham (R-Sheboygan).

The Photo I.D. Bill would require all voters to show a state I.D. at the polls. Supporters say it would prevent voter fraud. Opponents say it would suppress the vote among the poor and the elderly.

Republicans resorted to this pageantry because they are hoping to pressure Doyle into signing the bill. But we caught up with the Governor earlier this morning, and his position hasn't changed. "They keep sending me bills over and over again that I've vetoed once and I'll veto again. I've always said I would veto this."

"If it does get vetoed we'll bring it up for an override immediately," says Assembly Speaker John Gard (R-Peshtigo).

In the original votes, the photo I.D. bill did not receive the 2/3rds vote needed to override in either house, but Speaker Gard says he hopes some Democrats will jump ship. If not, he says a constitutional amendment could be in order. "At some point we're going to find a way around the Governor. We're going to amend the constitution."

And even before that happens, Republicans are hoping to make this an issue in Doyle's re–election campaign in 2006. "I think it's a grave miscalculation to think people won't find this to be an important issue when they go into the ballot box," says Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greenfield).

Gov. Doyle says he'll veto the bill as soon as he gets back to the Capitol.

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