Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How Many People Were Turned Away in Wisconsin?

17,000 People in Wisconsin didn't vote due to voter ID! 9,000 were turned away!

That's what the Washington Post is trumpeting today. If you look at the underlying data it's really questionable.

The first flaw in this is that 17,000 people didn't say the lack of voter ID deterred them from voting and 9,000 didn't say they were turned away. The researchers cherrypicked 2,300 people in the two lowest income counties in Wisconsin. Most surveys require people to be randomly selected. These weren't. They were picked because they expected certain results from them. They received only 293 surveys back in the mail. This should be a giant red flag. The people returning the questionnaire were self-selecting. They can't be proven to be representative of any larger group because of that. No serious survey would allow the respondents to be self-selecting. There's also the problem with the sample size being only 293. This is too small a sample to use.

African-Americans returned 35 surveys. Of these, 9 said they were deterred. Yes, you read that right. If only 35 people responded, the results are useless. The sample is so small that the results should be thrown out.

Of course people can say anything they want in a survey months later. The respondents could give any answer they wanted. It isn't verifiable. People can decide to vote or not vote for any number of reasons. Did a lack of voter ID come into play. Unless I'm missing something the researchers didn't verify these people lacked ID. They were only chosen because they didn't vote.

I'm actually surprised that only 11.2% of the respondents said they were deterred. Why return the survey if you aren't going to answer the key question yes?

About 6 percent of nonvoters said they tried to vote but weren’t allowed to. They claim that's 9,000 people in those two counties. This is a far easier number to verify. These people say they actually went to the voter table and were turned away. The state actually counted the number of people who showed up without proper ID and that number statewide was under 600. Of those, under 100 of their votes were disqualified. (There was an article earlier this year where the state gave out these numbers. I Googled and can't find it now) The Wisconsin Elections Commission could be lying, although that'd certainly be a huge scandal. This isn't a partisan entity but one that everyone trusts to count the vote.

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