ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



For this report, new Employment and Training Institute research on interrelationships between race/ethnicity, income and geography for the driver’s license issue is applied to proposals in the Wisconsin Legislature to require state driver’s licenses or photo IDs as identification for voting in elections in the state. The report details the impact of the proposed voter identification legislation on the population of adults 18 and older in Wisconsin compared to the population of adults with a current driver license and current address. An estimated 23 percent of residents aged 65 and over do not have a Wisconsin driver’s license or a state photo ID. The population of elderly persons 65 and older without a driver’s license or a state photo ID totals 177,399, and of these 70 percent are women. Minorities and poor populations are the most likely to have driver’s license problems. Less than half (47 percent) of Milwaukee County African American adults and 43 percent of Hispanic adults have a valid driver’s license compared to 85 percent of white adults in the rest of Wisconsin. The situation for young adults ages 18-24 is even worse -- with only 26 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of Hispanics in Milwaukee County with a valid license compared to 71 percent of young white adults in the rest of Wisconsin.