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DOT prepared for free voter ID

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The state Transportation Department is writing new administrative rules on how it would provide free I-D's if people need them to vote in November.

Governor Scott Walker officially assigned the task to the D-O-T last week. Department Secretary Mark Gottlieb says his agency will implement whatever's required -- but at this point, he's not saying how. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the agency has budgeted 200 hours of staff time to come up with something. It was almost a month ago when the State Supreme Court upheld the Republicans' photo I-D law for voting. But the justices said the state must find a way to give I-D's without forcing people to buy birth certificates to prove their identity. The court ruled that any such payment would be equivalent to an illegal poll tax.

Meanwhile the federal appeals court in Chicago continues to hold up the voter I-D law. Federal Judge Lynn Adelman ruled it unconstitutional this spring. The state is appealing, and a three-judge panel of the Chicago appellate court will hear oral arguments in the case on September 12th.