Minority voters represent a big share of those seeking free photo IDs under the state’s new voter ID law and may also make up the great majority of those who experience the most problems getting one, under figures that emerged in a federal trial this week. In testimony and filings in the trial before U.S. District Judge James Peterson, the plaintiffs said that blacks and Latinos make up 44% of those seeking a free ID to ensure they can vote but only 9% of the overall voting age population in Wisconsin. Minorities may also make up the lion’s share of those who struggle to get a photo ID, according to a small sample of voters who lacked the key documents needed to obtain one.
The plaintiffs in the case said that of the 30 such cases they could obtain from the state Division of Motor Vehicles, 84% are for a black or Latino petitioner.
“These DMV statistics show there’s a disturbing pattern of voters being denied the franchise,” said Mike Browne, deputy director of the liberal One Wisconsin Institute, one of the plaintiffs.
A DMV spokeswoman declined to comment on the statistics because of the litigation, but state officials are likely to offer rebuttal to these arguments as they present their side before the trial is slated to end on Thursday. The Department of Justice, Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers have all argued that the voter ID law is meant to strengthen public confidence in election results, not disenfranchise minorities.
Full Article: Testimony: Minorities bear brunt of voter ID law.