New study shows effects of voter ID law on 2016 election
MADISON, Wis. — Six percent, or 9,000 people, in Dane and Milwaukee counties were prevented from voting in the 2016 presidential election because they lacked an ID, according to a recent study.
The study was conducted by political scientists at UW-Madison’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. The study surveyed registered voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties who didn’t vote in the 2016 election.
It found that 11.2 percent, or 16,801 people, in the two counties were deterred from voting. Six percent of those people cited ID as the primary reason for not voting, according to the study.
Around 80 percent of registrants who were deterred from voting in 2016 had voted in the 2012 election.
The majority of people who were deterred from voting for lack of an ID were low-income and minority populations, the study found. 21 percent of people with a household income under $25,000 were deterred from voting, compared to 7 percent of those with a household income over $25,000 and 2.7 percent of those with a household income over $100,000.
The survey questions included reasons for not voting, the type of IDs responders had, interest in election, confidence in accuracy of the vote count, and demographics. Many people were confused about Wisconsin’s voter ID law, the study found.
“The main conclusion of the study is that thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands, of otherwise eligible people were deterred from voting by the ID law,” said one of the researchers, Kenneth R. Mayer.
“An eligible voter who cannot vote because of the ID law is disenfranchised, and that in itself is a serious harm to the integrity to the electoral process,” Mayer added.
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