Zipperer Stands Behind Voter ID Law
Senator says he will personally help any person in the state who feels disenfranchised under the new law.
State Sen. Rich Zipperer (R-City of Pewaukee) said he’s standing behind the new voter ID bill passed by the Legislature this year and will personally help any person in the state who is concerned about being disenfranchised.
“Any constituent, or anybody in the state…if there’s an individual with a legal right to vote, have them contact me or my office and I will make sure they get properly registered and have an ID,” he said. “If you know any individual, bring them to my attention. Even if they don’t live in the 33rd Senate District, I’ll get them to the office of their senator.”
The voter ID bill, which will take effect during the 2012 election cycle, was a top concern of the eight Sussex residents in attendance of a listening session Zipperer held Monday at Village Hall.
The bill requires all voters to show IDs at the poll and also requires them sign the poll list in order to validate the actual identity of the person voting.
The hotly contested bill has been trumpeted as necessary by Gov. Scott Walker and Republican leaders because they said it will help deter voter fraud. However, the bill is still expected to be legally challenged on the grounds it violates the state Constitution.
Resident Emil Glodoski hammered Zipperer for his support of the bill, saying it’s racist and is aimed at suppressing votes. He told the senator the number of people who have actually been caught in the state perpetrating vote fraud wouldn’t even “fill a basketball roster,” yet the number of people who will have their votes suppressed would “fill the Bradley Center two or three times.”
“That’s voter suppression and it moves us into 'Wississippi,'” he said. “(T)his is the first time we’re eliminating voters rights and it’s just racist.”
Resident Jessie Read said she also has concerns about voter suppression with the bill and said the state would be better off because of the number of people out there who don’t have IDs. But Zipperer reiterated he will work to help everyone in the state get an ID or to make sure their votes are cast if they’re legally allowed to vote.
Resident Deborah Zimmerman said she supports the voter ID bill and told Zipperer she worked as a poll observer during the recent recall elections and everyone in line who was asked for an ID had one.
“I’m happy you passed the photo ID requirement for voting, but my concern is same-day registration,” she said. “We’re one of seven states that allows it…but if there’s a same-day registration and that voter is determined to be ineligible, you can’t take their vote back after it's cast and done.”
Even though detractors said only a handful of voter fraud cases have been discovered in the state in the past decade, Zipperer said even if it was only 10 votes found, those 10 illegal votes still cancelled out legitimate votes.
“The goal is to make sure everyone can vote who legally has the right to vote,” he said. “I don’t think the bill we passed solves every instance of voter fraud in the state, but it gets us a lot closer to where we need to be.”
Zipperer, whose district also includes parts of Waukesha, Menomonee Falls and Brookfield, is holding local "office hours" throughout his district this week. He appeared in Waukesha on Monday, and on Wednesday, he will be at the Menomonee Falls Village Hall at 11:30 a.m.; the Waukesha State Bank in Waukesha at 5 p.m.; the Brookfield Town Hall at 6 p.m. and the City of Brookfield Municipal Courtroom at 7 p.m.