Glenn Grothman pretty much said on Tuesday what everyone already knew: The state’s voter ID law, which requires voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, was all about power. It had nothing to do with voter fraud, of which there has been virtually none that a photo ID would stop. It had everything to do with boosting Republican odds at the polls. Asked by Charles Benson of WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) about GOP prospects this fall, the congressman said, “Well, I think Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up, and now we have photo ID and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.” And why is that? It’s because the Republican thinking (and the Democratic fear) was that it might help suppress voting by minorities and students, who often vote for Democrats. That’s certainly what a Republican legislative aide thought after a closed meeting in 2011, where voter ID was being discussed by legislators, including Grothman: “I was in the closed Senate Republican caucus when the final round of multiple voter ID bills were being discussed. A handful of the GOP senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters,” Todd Allbaugh wrote in a Facebook post. He reiterated those charges in a powerful interview with MSNBC Thursday night.
Grothman denies Allbaugh’s charge but it’s hard to draw any other conclusion. The issue was never fraud; it was always power, just as it was in Republican gerrymandering of legislative districts and their efforts to block government from public view and reduce governmental watchdogs.
But Republican hopes and Democratic fears may have been overblown, at least on voter ID, at least on Tuesday. Wisconsin had the highest voter turnout in a presidential primary in 44 years.
Full Article: Primary results expose hopes and fears of voter ID law.