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PolitiFact Wisconsin: Voter ID law in the 2016 election

Posted: 7:21 PM, May 24, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-24 20:21:43-04

Wisconsin's photo ID law remains a lighting rod for Democrats who watched the state turn red in the 2016 presidential race for the first time in three decades.

PolitiFact Wisconsin checked a claim of just how big of an impact it had on voter turnout.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is blaming Wisconsin's voter ID law for a lower voter turnout in last year's presidential election.

"She said that because of Wisconsin's voter ID law 200,000 fewer people came out to vote," said Tom Kertscher at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The 2016 was the first presidential contest the state's law was in place. Voters were required to show a photo ID to vote. Wisconsin voters did turn out in bigger numbers for the 2012  race when President Obama won.

"She was relying on a report produced by a group that's aligned with Democrats that said because of that law, voter turnout in Wisconsin went down instead of up," Kertscher said.
PolitiFact Wisconsin talked with experts who questioned the report's methodology. Yes, there's consensus the ID law prevented some people from voting, but 200,000?

"There's no way to put a number on that," Kertscher said. "And certainly there's no evidence that the ID law itself stopped 200,000 people from voting."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Baldwin's claim mostly false. PolitiFact Wisconsin reports the Badger state is one of 34 states that require voters to show some form of ID at the polls.