Tuesday, October 17, 2017

UW Study Documents Problems with Voter ID

By Tom Frazier

It appears that people who thought that Wisconsin's strict Voter ID law would suppress eligible voters have had their suspicions confirmed.

A recent (September 25, 2017) study by the University of Wisconsin indicates that 16,801 (11.2%) people were deterred from voting by Wisconsin’s Voter ID law and 9,001(6%) people were prevented from voting in the 2016 presidential election. The study also found that low income and minority voters were disproportionately affected with 21.1% of low-income voters deterred vs. 7.2% of higher income voters. Only 8.3% of white registered voters were deterred compared to 27.5% of African Americans.

“Deterred” from voting is defined as (they) “lack qualifying ID or mention ID as a reason for not voting.” “Prevented” means that “they lack qualifying ID or list voter ID as their primary reason for not voting.”

The study was conducted by mailing a survey to 2,400 nonvoting registered voters in Milwaukee and Dane County with a total of 293 (12.2%) surveys returned. The survey was funded by the Office of the Dane County Clerk, so no questions were asked about political party or who they voted for. People responding to the survey were asked about gender, race, income and exposure to Voter ID information. They were also asked to respond to reasons for not voting such as, unhappy with choice of candidates, vote would not have mattered, transportation problems, did not have photo ID, told at polling place that ID was inadequate, couldn’t get absentee ballot, and problems with early voting.