SLINGER, Wisconsin — With polls showing a surprisingly tight presidential race in Wisconsin, the state’s new voter ID law could make the difference for Mitt Romney, according to the State Senate Minority Assistant Leader Glenn Grothman (R).
Grothman helped pass voter ID in Wisconsin last year, which disenfranchisescitizens who don’t bring a certain form of photo identification with them to the polls.
In an interview with ThinkProgress on Sunday, the number-two Republican senator argued that voter ID could be a boon for Republicans’ electoral prospects if the controversial law, which was recently blocked in state court, is reinstated in time for the November election. “Insofar as there are inappropriate things, people who vote inappropriately are more likely to vote Democrat,” argued Grothman.
KEYES: If it were upheld and in place in time for the November election, do you think — polls have shown a pretty razor-thin margin — do you think it might ultimately help Romney’s campaign here in the state?
GROTHMAN: Yes. Right. I think we believe that insofar as there are inappropriate things, people who vote inappropriately are more likely to vote Democrat.
KEYES: So if these protections are in place of voter ID, that might ultimately help him in a close race?
GROTHMAN: Right. I think if people cheat, we believe the people who cheat are more likely to vote against us.
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Wisconsin is perennially a swing state in presidential elections. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) carried Wisconsin by just 0.4 percent in 2004; polls this year suggest it could be another nailbiter. PPPgives President Obama a 6-point edge, 50-44, but Rasmussen put Romney ahead by 3 points, 47-44.
Approximately 300,000 Wisconsinites lack a government-issued photo ID, more than 27 times the margin that Kerry won by in 2004. If the polls are still close in November and voter ID is reinstated, Grothman may very well be correct that the new law will give Romney an edge on Election Day.
Wisconsin isn’t the only state where Republican legislators think voter ID could help their presidential nominee prevail. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) turned heads last month when he declared that voter ID “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” Turzai helped lead the push for voter ID in the Keystone State, whichpassed earlier this year.