Voter ID Confusion: People asked to show ID's in area town - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Voter ID Confusion: People asked to show ID's in area town


Trempealeau County (WQOW) - In Trempealeau County there's been some confusion about what voters needed to bring with them in order to cast a ballot.

In early October the Supreme Court blocked the state from implementing the Voter ID Law... And the attorney general guaranteed voters would not need an ID to vote in Tuesday's election.

Despite all of that, WQOW News 18 learned that the Town of Sumner, near Osseo, apparently missed that memo and was asking for voters to show their ID's.

When Sumner resident, Ron Henry, got to his polling site Tuesday he was shocked to be asked to show his ID. He told News 18 he argued he didn't need to, but didn't want to cause a scene and eventually just showed his driver's license.

According to Paul Syverson, the Trempealeau County Clerk, this happened to a number of voters Tuesday morning. Syverson says after some voters complained, the Sumner Town Clerk reached out to him. Syverson says the clerk was unaware that the voter ID law was not in effect.

Syverson says, "She actually was asking if voter ID was in and I said 'no it's not' and that I'd sent out emails saying that it wasn't and the state sent out emails as well so they should have known."

Henry says, "It's distressing because this thing bounced back and forth and as a layman I was aware of it. I don't understand how three people at the polls wouldn't know that. I mean if you watched any news at all you would have known that."

It was about 9:30 Tuesday morning that Syverson says he talked to the town clerk and since then, things have been straightened out.

News 18 talked with the town clerk who says about 50 people were asked to show their ID's. She says it was an honest mistake. She even showed News 18 the form that came with the ballots, about three weeks ago. In that document it says a voter should show an ID before being allowed to vote.

She said that's the last form of information she received ahead of the election.

She also says that everyone that was asked to show an ID did, and no voters were turned away.

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