There’s no sure way to project what would have happened if things had been different during a presidential election, but there are ways to look at the factors that influenced voters’ decisions. A study from University of Wisconsin-Madison has done just that, as a survey sent out by political scientist Ken Mayer found that anywhere from 16,800 to 23,250 people in two counties in Wisconsin were deterred from voting by the voter ID laws in those areas.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on the results of the survey:
“Key portions of those surveyed said they did not vote because they did not have ID that would allow them to or did not believe the IDs they had could be used under the voting law. The study found the ID law disproportionately affected African-Americans and low-income people.”
The Sentinel quoted Milwaukee County Clerk George Christensen: “As the clerk who serves the largest population of African-Americans in the state, I was shocked by the numbers and am furious to see that Jim Crow laws are alive and well.”
Mayer’s study had a small sample size (only a few hundred surveys received from non-voters), but he maintains that the 7 percent of them who said it was specifically the Voter ID law that deterred them from voting can be extrapolated to the numbers seen above. The study serves as a vindication of criticisms of Wisconsin’s voter ID laws, which were technically passed in 2011 but were blocked by litigation for years. Mayer was a part of some of that litigation. Republican Governor Scott Walker, pictured above, called these criticisms a “load of crap” after the election, saying, “People didn’t turn out in Milwaukee because Hillary Clinton was not an aspirational candidate for them. It’s that simple.”
Sorry Scott, looks like your law that was clearly designed to suppress the votes of minorities and low-income people did, in fact, suppress the votes of minorities and low-income people.