August 23, 2018
Abele, Lipscomb Announce Additional Free Birth Certificates for Voting, Youth Jobs in Milwaukee County
After resolution passes County Board in July, County Executive signs authorization for additional 500 free birth certificates for voting and 250 for youth jobs
Milwaukee - Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb Sr. on Thursday finalized a plan for Milwaukee County to distribute an additional 500 birth records for voting and 250 birth records for jobs through the Free Birth Certificate Program. After the resolution passed the County Board in July, Lipscomb joined Abele at the announcement, as the County Executive signed final authorization for continuation of the program.
"As a County, we need to be making it easier, not harder, for people to better their lives," said Abele. "Whether it's making your voice heard in the voting booth or being able to secure a job, a fee shouldn't be what's standing in your way. I'm proud to expand this program, and I appreciate Chairman Lipscomb's leadership on this issue. I'm happy to work with Chairman Lipscomb and the County Board to always look for ways we can empower our residents."
"By continuing this program we remove an impediment to voting and ensure our young people have access to jobs," said Lipscomb. "I'm proud to author this legislation and to have the strong support of the county executive and unanimous support of the county board."
The Free Birth Certificates Program began in 2012 and was designed to assist county residents in obtaining birth records in order to secure photo IDs for voting. In 2014, the County dedicated a portion of free birth certificates to help youth ages 15-21 who needed a birth certificate to secure employment. An additional allotment was authorized in 2017, but the last of those was distributed earlier this year. The Register of Deeds estimated that an additional 750 free birth certificates would continue the program through the end of 2018.
Residents typically are required to pay $20 to the Register of Deeds for a copy of their birth certificate. Those seeking to obtain a free birth certificate must submit a form with the Register of Deeds, verifying that they meet the program criteria.
Abele and Lipscomb both encouraged Milwaukee County residents who need a birth certificate to obtain an ID for voting and youth who need a birth record to secure a job to contact the Register of Deeds and find out more about the program.