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Politics & Government

Was Election Turnout Down in Wisconsin Because of Voter ID? UW Looking for Answer

A study has commenced at UW-Madison, to determine whether Wisconsin's Voter ID law contributed to the state's lowest turnout for a presidential election in more than two decades. Approximately 66 percent of eligible state voters cast ballots in the November 8th election, down about four percentage points compared with 2012 and three percentage points from what Wisconsin elections officials had forecast.

In Milwaukee County, nearly 50,000 fewer votes were cast than in 2012. The research will focus on Milwaukee and Dane counties which have high percentages of minority and low-income voters. 

Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki reported few problems on Election Day but says he wants the facts because, "There were reports of voters who showed up to the polls with the wrong form of photo ID, while others simply did not go to the polls because they feared they did not have proper ID."

UW Political Science Professor Kenneth Mayer is leading the research and hopes to draw a conclusion by next August. 

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