The Wisconsin Elections Commission is launching its statewide “Bring It to the Ballot” multimedia campaign to educate Wisconsin residents about the voter photo ID law.
“Voter ID is back and voters need to be prepared to bring their IDs to the polling place,” said Michael Haas, Wisconsin’s chief election official. “The campaign’s message is that most people already have the ID they need to vote. But if they don’t have one, they can get a free ID for voting at the DMV, even if they don’t have some documents like a birth certificate.”
Last week, the Elections Commission approved spending $250,000 to put the campaign online, on the air, and in other locations designed to reach voters who may need to get an ID. The first phase of the campaign, eight weeks of paid TV and radio public service announcements, is slated to start airing on Monday, July 11. The PSAs are placed statewide through the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association at a cost of $48,000.
Haas said the Commission’s advertising agency, KW2, is finalizing plans for the digital and out-of-home campaign, at a cost of $202,000, which will run at various times up until the election on November 8. Pre-roll videos and digital ads will run in movie theaters, and on targeted websites and smartphone apps. There will also be public transit posters. The exact locations and timing of ads is still being determined.
The Bring It campaign has two key messages designed to help voters who need an ID learn how to get one for free, as well as to raise general awareness of the law.
The media campaign encourages voters to visit a website (www.BringIt.Wisconsin.gov) where they can learn more about what IDs are acceptable, how they can get a free ID if they need one for voting, as well as about exceptions to the law. The campaign’s TV and radio ads, short videos and printable brochures are available on the website. Voters can also call a toll-free number, 866-VOTE-WIS (866-868-3947), for information in English and Spanish.
“Our Bring It website and toll-free number have many resources to help people understand how voting with photo ID works,” said Meagan Wolfe, the Commission’s voter services specialist. “Voters can also visit www.MyVote.Wisconsin.gov to find out whether they are currently registered, where to vote and what will be on the ballot.”
A voter without an acceptable form of ID will be issued a provisional ballot at the polling place, but voters can avoid delays and complications by preparing ahead of time. “If voters do not have an acceptable photo ID, they should start taking steps to get one now,” Haas urged. “Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure you are able to vote.”
Haas also emphasized exceptions to the photo ID requirement for absentee voters who are active-duty military or who have a hard time getting to the polls because of age, illness, infirmity or disability.