The head of a state watchdog group thinks he knows why turnout among black voters plummeted in the last presidential election. “I don’t think there’s any question that voter ID has caused suppression of the voting population, not just among African-Americans, but also among college students and in the population in general,” said Jay Heck with Common Cause in Wisconsin.
Heck said there’s no disputing facts cited in a new study from the liberal Center for American Progress. “There was a 47,000 vote drop-off in Milwaukee County, from 2012 to 2106,” Heck said.
The study, based on data from the U.S. Census, polls, and state voter files, found that overall turnout among black voters in Wisconsin dropped about 19 percent, or four times the national average. While some point to diminished support for Hillary Clinton compared to Barack Obama, Heck pointed to the state’s restrictive voter ID requirement.
“There were thousands of people who were unable to vote, because they didn’t have one of the narrow forms of ID that were required to vote,” Heck said.