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Study reveals black voter turnout in Wisconsin plummets

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Turnout among black voters in Wisconsin dropped about 19 percent between 2012 and 2016, more than four times the national decline, according to a new study.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal nonprofit, studied census data, polls and state voter files, the Wisconsin State Journal reported .

The study estimated the turnout rate among black voters in Wisconsin fell from 74 percent in 2012 to about 55 percent in 2016. The study found that the national black voter turnout rate only fell about 4.5 percent during that period.

The study also found that voter turnout for Hispanics and Asians in Wisconsin dropped almost 6 percent in 2016. The turnout rate for those groups rose about 2 percent nationally.

State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, said the study confirms that requiring photo identification to vote disproportionately hurts minority voter turnout. Wisconsin's voter ID requirement took effect during the 2016 presidential election.

"It definitely had a significant impact on turnout in 2016," Bowen said.

Donald Trump was the first Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984 to carry Wisconsin. Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by about 23,000 votes.

Courts have found that minority voters are less likely to have a driver's license or another form of ID that meets the requirement.

A study published in September by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that nearly 17,000 registered voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties may have chosen not to vote because of the voter ID requirement.

Eligible voters who didn't have the required ID could have petitioned for a receipt that would have allowed them to vote. But Bowen said many voters were unaware of the petition process.

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