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Priorities USA Report: Voter ID Laws Suppressed Turnout in Presidential Election

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While President Donald Trump continues to spread his baseless claim about illegal voting in the 2016 presidential election, real evidence has emerged showing that voter identification laws in Wisconsin and other states did affect the outcome – by suppressing turnout that possibly led to Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

The evidence is presented in a new analysis by Priorities USA. The study focused on voter identification laws, which are designed to suppress voting among certain groups.

Priorities USA said its study “found that turnout decreased significantly more in states where voter identification laws changed to strict, and that these strict laws disproportionately affected African-American counties.”  These laws resulted in giving more white and Republican-leaning voters easier access to the voting booths.

Despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, nearly 3 million more people legitimately voted for Clinton than Trump. He won the presidency by winning the electoral college, “carrying four large states by 1 percentage point or less: Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, a total of 75 electoral votes,” reported U.S. News & World Report.

In Wisconsin, a voter ID law signed by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011 kept many people from the polling booths in 2016. As many as 300,000 registered voters, or 9 percent of the electorate, “lacked strict forms of voter ID in Wisconsin,” Priorities USA said, citing federal court records. The state’s voter ID laws reduced turnout by 200,000 votes, the study concluded.

The study added, “We estimate that at 200,000, nearly half of the national lost voters are from Wisconsin, where Hillary Clinton lost” by only 22,748 votes.

That means less than 12 percent of those 200,000 potential Wisconsin voters could have turned the tide toward Clinton if they had not been kept away from the polls. Had Clinton won Wisconsin’s electoral college votes, Trump’s total would have declined by 10. While not enough to change the national result (he captured 304 electoral college votes, compared to Clinton’s 227), the outcome could’ve been different had voter ID laws not existed in the 33 states where they do now.

Without such laws keeping away real voters, it’s likely that the nation would now have a president who supports America’s working families, not one who actively works against them.

Learn more here about the how voter ID laws in Wisconsin turned suppressed turnout, and why it’s so important to support federal legislation to end such practices.