Study: Voter ID laws may have blocked 200,000 voters in one state from 2016 election

A new study by the liberal group Priorities USA has found that Wisconsin's tightened voter ID laws may have kept 200,000 mostly Democratic and African-American votes out of the 2016 presidential election.

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The report notes that "while states with no change to voter identification laws witnessed an average increased turnout of +1.3% from 2012 to 2016, Wisconsin's turnout (where voter ID laws changed to strict) dropped by -3.3%."

It goes on to say, "If turnout had instead increased by the national-no-change average, we estimate that over 200,000 more voters would have voted in Wisconsin in 2016. For context, [Hillary] Clinton lost to [Donald] Trump in Wisconsin by only 20,000 votes."

Click through images of what 'I Voted!' stickers look like around the country:

What 'I Voted!' stickers look like around the country
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What 'I Voted!' stickers look like around the country
"I voted" stickers are on display for voters in the U.S. presidential election at Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, Virginia, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Ohio voting stickers for early voters sit on a table at the Fairfield County Board of Elections Office in Lancaster, Ohio, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Democrats are battling in almost a dozen close races to pick up enough seats to take over the chamber that Republicans now govern with a four-seat majority, while Republicans argue they should be kept in control there as a check on Clinton should the Democrat be elected president. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: A voter is seen outside the polls after casting their ballot in the national election on November 8, 2016 in New York, United States. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
PROVO, UT - NOVEMBER 08: A couple shows off their 'I Voted' sticker as they leave Wasatch Elementary school after casting their ballot in the presidential election on November 8, 2016 in Provo, Utah. Americans across the nation make their choice for the next president of the United States today. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 26: A Las Vegas Strip-themed 'I Voted' sticker is displayed at an early voting site at the Meadows Mall on October 26, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Voters in Clark County are voting early at a record pace this year ahead of the November 8 general election. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
'I voted' stickers, given to those who vote, are seen November 8, 2016, at Colin Powwell Elementary School, in Centreville, Virginia. Polling stations opened Tuesday as the first ballots were cast in the long-awaited election pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. / AFP / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Ranelle Taylor points to her 'I Voted' sticker after voting in the US presidential election at Santa Monica City Hall on November 8, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. America's future hung in the balance Tuesday as millions of eager voters cast ballots to elect Democrat Hillary Clinton as their first woman president, or hand power to the billionaire populist Donald Trump. / AFP / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - November 8: 'I Voted' stickers wait to be handed to citizens at Loudon County High School after they cast their ballots in the 2016 Presidential Elections in Leesburg, Va., USA on November 8, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Precinct worker Carolyn Scott holds a voter sticker at the Bermuda precinct during the U.S presidential election in Dillon, South Carolina, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Randall Hill
A poll worker hands out an "I voted" sticker to a voter during the U.S. presidential election at Potomac Middle School in Dumfries, Virginia, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Though he managed to edge her out by a small margin, he still collected the state's 10 electoral votes.

As Priorities USA explains, "we identified high propensity voters registered in Wisconsin (who had voted in 2012 and 2014) who were still alive in 2016 but did not cast a vote. We then compared their demographic make-up to that of the Wisconsin electorate, and found that the lost voters skewed more African-American and more Democrat."

According to an Associated Press report, "Under the Wisconsin law, voters must present a driver's license, state ID, passport, military ID, naturalization papers or tribal ID to vote."

While advocates cite voter fraud as a reason to have the requirements in place, those opposed to the restrictions argue that they represent efforts to keep older and minority voters out of the voting process.

Before the study was released, there had been speculation that 300,000 Wisconsin voters were prevented from voting due to voter ID laws.

However, the watchdog site PolitiFact determined that while some may have been turned away for that reason, the number is likely not that high and it would be difficult to estimate since such figures are not tracked.

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