by Max Brantley
We’ll likely never know how many people were kept from the polls by restrictions like voter-ID laws, cuts to early voting, and barriers to voter registration. But at the very least this should have been a question that many more people were looking into. For example, 27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID. Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives, according to Daniel Nichanian of the University of Chicago.The U.S. Supreme Court's rollback of the Voting Rights Act was instrumental in developments around the country. It's not likely to improve in the coming four years.
I documented stories of voters in Wisconsin—including a 99-year-old man—who made two trips to the polls and one to the DMV on Election Day just to be able to vote, while others decided not to vote at all because they were denied IDs. When Margie Mueller, an 85-year-old woman from Plymouth, Wisconsin, wasn’t allowed to vote with her expired driver’s license, her husband, Alvin, decided not to vote either. They were both Democrats. “The damn Republicans,” he said, “don’t want Latinos and old people to vote.”