Historic turnout election was accompanied by minimal confusion over new law
Madison, Wis – Claims that Wisconsin’s Voter ID law would suppress turnout and create chaos at the polls evaporated as Wisconsinites voted in droves on April 5th.
Not only did voter turnout far exceed expectations, but confusion and chaos at the polls were minimal. In fact, most long lines were attributable to new voter registrations. Overall, the election went relatively smoothly despite the election boasting the highest turnout in a Wisconsin presidential primary since 1972.
“The Wisconsin primary’s record turnout was a great display of democracy and a great day for Wisconsin. With Voter ID in place, the public can be more confident than ever in the integrity of our elections and proud of the historic civic participation,” said Matt Batzel, National Executive Director of American Majority.
Out of a total of 4.4 million eligible voters in Wisconsin, 3.4 million were registered to vote as of March 25. An estimated 2.1 million voted on April 5 for a turnout of 49 percent of all eligible voting-age citizens. Wisconsin’s astronomical turnout is the second-highest voter turnout of any state in this primary cycle, trailing only New Hampshire.
As the first major-turnout election since the Voter ID law was passed back in 2011, April’s election was viewed as a test of the new law by some. Observations at the polls revealed minimal confusion over Voter ID, and data suggests most Wisconsinites were aware of the new requirement.
“Challenges to voter ID claim widespread disenfranchisement. It simply doesn’t happen,” said Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.
The state of Wisconsin makes photo ID cards valid for voting available for free. In total, the state has issued 550,690 non-driver ID cards since the Voter ID law was passed on July 1, 2011, 440,641 of which were issued free of charge per the law.
“Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is a Constitutional and common sense way of protecting the integrity of every Wisconsinite’s precious right to vote. While April 5th was an overwhelming success, with a little more training and a free public education awareness effort, bringing an ID to the polls will become second nature, just like showing your ID when we purchase the 30-pack of PBR for the weekend cookout,” said Brett Healy, president of the MacIver Institute.