Glen Grothman (Republican in Wisconsin’s State Senate) said it out loud and into a microphone. When asked how he thought a Republican could win Wisconsin in the general election when such an event hasn’t happened since 1984, he responded, “…now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference.”
Voters now need to present a photo ID at the polls every time they vote. Drivers’ licenses, passports, military IDs – easy, right?
Let’s take Amigo for example. He’s blind; he doesn’t drive. He has a state photo ID because he had access to the documentation he needed and he had someone to drive him to the DMV to get it. When he lost his wallet at a school reunion, he was able to replace that ID at the DMV. It was a bother, but he had a ride (me) and someone to fill out the form for him (also me).
Not everyone has the advantages that Amigo does. He also votes in his home city, so the address on his ID is current. Take college students, for example. The liberal arts university in my fair city’s downtown had long, long lines last week. Long, long lines that meant waits of more than an hour. One reason: These college students moved annually, so their campus addresses changed. Another reason: the poll workers were stymied by the college IDs, identification that didn’t have addresses or dates on them.
In general, high voter turnout often favors Democrats. When the Republicans controlling our state government introduced and passed the law requiring photo ID at the polls, we progressives complained, and loudly. We knew, just KNEW that the goal was to make voting more difficult. We could tell this law wasn’t intended to combat fraud, but intended to keep more voters away from the polls. The right wing denied it over and over and over. And then Grothman went oops. He admitted publicly that he thought Voter ID would give the GOP an advantage over the progressives and Democrats so popular in our grand old state.
What’s next? Registration tests? Gerrymandered districts? Oh, wait, that’s already happening. More important, readers: what do we do next?