Yes, Photo ID Laws Do Suppress Democratic Votes

A new study of last year’s election in Wisconsin, which has one of the most absurd photo ID laws in the country, shows that it prevented 200,000 people — all of them legal, registered voters — from being able to cast a ballot. Most of them were from Democrats, unsurprisingly.


 According to federal court records, 300,000 registered voters, 9 percent of the electorate, lacked strict forms of voter ID in Wisconsin. A new study by Priorities USA, shared exclusively with The Nation, shows that strict voter-ID laws, in Wisconsin and other states, led to a significant reduction in voter turnout in 2016, with a disproportionate impact on African-American and Democratic-leaning voters. Wisconsin’s voter-ID law reduced turnout by 200,000 votes, according to the new analysis. Donald Trump won the state by only 22,748 votes…

The lost voters skewed more African-American and more Democrat. For example, Wisconsin’s 2016 electorate was 6.1% more Republican, and 5.7% less Democrat, than the group of ‘lost voters’. Furthermore, the WI electorate was 3.7% more White and 3.8% less African American than the group of ‘lost voters.’ This analysis suggests that the 200,000 lost voters would have both been more racially diverse and have voted more Democratic.

Though Wisconsin saw the most dramatic reduction in turnout among voter-ID states, it was reflective of a worrisome broader national trend.

In states where the voter identification laws did not change between ’12 and ’16, turnout was up +1.3%. In states where ID laws changed to non-strict (AL, NH, RI) turnout increased less, and was only up by +0.7%. In states where ID laws changed to strict (MS, VA, WI) turnout actually decreased by – 1.7%.

And this, of course, is the entire purpose behind it. It’s not a coincidence that Republicans are always in favor of such laws and Democrats are against them. The claim that it’s necessary to stop voter fraud is simply a lie. All of the evidence proves it false. They prevented 200,000 people from voting to stop, at very most, a handful of instances of voter fraud. And that’s just one state.

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