Republican congressman says voter ID will help party win Wisconsin in November

Psst! You aren’t supposed to say this part out loud!

As returns were coming in from last night’s Wisconsin primary, Republican congressman Glenn Grothman told Milwaukee’s TMJ4 that he felt his party could win the state in November for the first time since 1984 because they had a new advantage this year.

You see, not only is Hillary Clinton a weak candidate, according to him, but, “now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference as well.”

Voter ID proponents typically say that the laws are designed to protect the integrity of elections. But Wisconsin’s photo ID law, along with other voting restrictions that have been the subject of a lawsuit from a group of lawyers affiliated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, can be better understood as being designed to simply make it harder to vote.

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R - WI), on the right, screenshot via YouTube

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R – WI), on the right, screenshot via YouTube

For instance, states requiring photo IDs usually couple the requirement with a provision for the state to provide IDs to those who don’t have them, but according to the Brennan Center for Justice (emphasis theirs), “the only ID issuing office in Sauk City, Wisconsin is open 8:15 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the fifth Wednesday of each month. There are only 4 fifth Wednesdays in 2016.”

The state also recently approved a measure that coupled online voter registration with a provision effectively banning third-party voter registration drives. As I wrote at the time, the dual changes represent “the same logic that would lead a city to get rid of its bus lines after building a subway.”

This isn’t the first time that a Republican lawmaker has let slip that voter ID is intended to do what everyone already knows it’s intended to do. Here’s Pennsylvania House Republican Majority Leader Mike Turzai in 2012, on how his work during the previous legislative term would “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania:”

For these Republicans, there isn’t any contradiction between the election integrity justification and the Republican victory justification for voter ID laws. They simply don’t believe that Democrats can win without cheating. Of course, there is zero evidence of voter impersonation fraud at any significant scale, and it would be next to impossible to organize an in-person voter fraud operation large enough to swing, say, a congressional race. But that doesn’t matter. They feel it in their guts that Democratic victories are illegitimate, and they need to use the levers of policy to correct for their electoral failures.

Sometimes, they just can’t help themselves and tell it like it is.

(h/t Independent Journal)

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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