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As I See It

Turnout down under Voter ID. Connection?



Voter turnout in Wisconsin for the most recent presidential election was down to its lowest levels in 20 years. This most recent election was also the first in which Wisconsin voters had to show a photo ID in order to vote. Is there a connection? A new study will take a look. Only 66% of Wisconsin’s registered voters cast a ballot in the most recent election, down about 4% from 2012. And the numbers of voters dropped even further in areas where the new Voter ID law was expected to pose problems for potential voters. Parts of Milwaukee and Dane counties saw voter totals drop more sharply than other parts of the state, with significantly fewer votes by young people, and by African Americans. A UW-Madison professor is about to begin a survey to find out why those who didn’t vote didn’t bother to cast a ballot. They hope to be able to provide specific numbers of people who were disenfranchised by the new law. But for what purpose? Those lawmakers who fought so hard for Voter ID knew what the results would be. They knew it would be harder for certain people, primarily democratic voters, to comply with the law. So no matter how much proof can be provided that Voter ID caused fewer people to vote, nothing will be done about it, because that is exactly what they wanted to happen.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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