The state’s first major test of its voter ID law arrived with historic turnout and scattered long lines, prompting Republicans to dismiss claims it suppresses the vote and Democrats to maintain that it played a role in some delays. U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) also said Tuesday that he thought the law would take Republicans a small step closer to winning the presidential election in Wisconsin for the first time in 32 years, and a former legislative aide said he had quit the Republican Party over the voter ID law, calling it the “last straw.” In general, voting went smoothly Tuesday, but there were lines of an hour or more in a few locations statewide, especially near college campuses such as Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
In most cases, the delays at the polls had more to do with the historic number of voters who showed up and less to do with the photo ID law. “Clerks seemed to be concluding that for the most part it was not creating a lot of delays,” said Michael Haas, elections administrator for the state Government Accountability Board.
With fiercely fought races on both sides, Wisconsin on Tuesday saw its largest turnout for presidential primaries since 1972. More than 2 million votes were cast, with 47% of the voting age population showing up at the polls. The high turnout could be viewed as cutting both ways on the voter ID debate, with election officials and experts saying it isn’t possible to draw firm conclusions.
Both sides are trying to prove a negative. Voter ID opponents are trying to show that people who would have otherwise voted didn’t. And supporters are trying to show people who would have committed fraud didn’t do so.
Full Article: Jury is still out on voter ID after first big test.