May 19, 2017
Best of the States
Eligible Wisconsin voters turned away by strict voter ID law
Republicans in Wisconsin had pledged that no eligible voter would be disenfranchised when they passed a strict voter ID law in 2011. After it was used for the first time last year in a presidential election, a group of AP reporters sought to put that promise to the test.
Weeks of research and source work led them to a retired Milwaukee resident who had voted for years and brought to the polls her Social Security card, Medicare card and county-issued bus pass with photo ID; a Navy veteran whose Illinois driver's license was good enough to board a plane and open checking account; an 85-year-old man who had voted in the same small town for years; and a recent college graduate who went to the polls with her three forms of identification – her student ID, copies of her lease and utility bill, and her ID from her home state of Ohio.
In the end, all were turned away or had to cast provisional ballots that were never counted.
For exposing the practical effects of the ID law on Wisconsin citizens, the team of Cassidy, Moreno and Antlfinger wins this week's Best of the States award.