Results from spring primary elections in Wisconsin – described as a test for the state’s new voter identification laws – indicate that the liberal argument that such laws would lead to widespread disenfranchisement could not have been more wrong.
In fact, voting on Tuesday saw a sharp rise in active participants.
Via the Journal Sentinel:
But if voter ID was intended as a voter suppression tool, it has failed miserably. In Tuesday’s spring primary elections – elections that the Journal Sentinel called a “test” for the new voter ID law – voting spiked sharply. Further, as of Tuesday night, no reports had surfaced of people not being able to vote because they lacked proper identification.
In Tuesday’s statewide Supreme Court justice primary, turnout increased 55% over the last contested Supreme Court spring primary. In 2013, statewide voter turnout was 363,675; on Tuesday, over 563,386 voters cast ballots. Even in the 2011 Supreme Court primary, held just days after the Act 10 drama began, only 420,110 citizens voted.
And guess what? Requiring voter ID appears not to have suppressed the black vote, either.
And it’s not as if the increase was due to white, rural voters turning out in droves. Turnout nearly doubled in the City of Milwaukee, where 60% of Wisconsin’s African-American residents live.
In 2012, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) claimed that voter ID laws were being pushed due to “the color of the President” adding it was meant to suppress the African-American vote because Obama “received record-breaking participation by the very same people that they’re making it difficult to vote.”
The New York Times opined in 2014 that voter ID laws “could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans.”
“There is virtually no in-person voter fraud; the purpose of these laws is to suppress voting,” they wrote.
In particular, the Times targeted Texas voter laws which they said were being advanced to suppress voting due to “the rapid growth of Texas’s Latino and black population.”
All of those arguments were disproved on Tuesday.
“Given all the dire predictions of vote ‘suppression’ we’ve heard for years,” Christian Schneider of the Journal Sentinel writes, “let’s hope the law’s opponents were properly equipped with egg-resistant face protection.”
Cross-posted at the Mental Recession