A new study shared exclusively with The Nation indicates that Hillary Clinton could have won Wisconsin after all, and she might have done better in other areas, too.
The catch to this is that she only could have done better should the severely restrictive voter ID laws not been in place in the areas in question.
Wisconsin’s law, which was in place for the first time last November, required voters to have a Wisconsin state photo ID in order to vote. There were, at the time of the law’s implementation, some 300,000 otherwise eligible voters who did not have the required identification needed to vote.
The study shared with The Nation indicates that up to 200,000 of these voters might have made it out to the polls on Election Day last November had the laws in question not actually been in place. The researchers compared the increase in voter turnout in areas that didn’t have new, restrictive voter ID laws to the increase — or lack thereof — in areas, like Wisconsin, that did have such restrictive voter ID laws.
Their findings are as follows:
‘While states with no change to voter identification laws witnessed an average increased turnout of +1.3% from 2012 to 2016, Wisconsin’s turnout (where voter ID laws changed to strict) dropped by -3.3%. If turnout had instead increased by the national no-change average, we estimate that over 200,000 more voters would have voted in Wisconsin in 2016.’
The vast majority of the voters who accounted for the documented increased turnout in 2016 were members of minority communities and/or Democrats. With Trump having won Wisconsin by barely 23,000 votes, Hillary Clinton may very well have won Wisconsin had these laws not been in place.
The study in question was not peer reviewed, but it, remarkably enough, is “consistent” with the findings of a 2014 inquiry of the Government Accountability Office, which showed that strict voter ID laws caused turnout to sink by some 2 percent.