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Voter ID law kept registered Wisconsin voters from polls, study shows

A UW-Madison study shows there were 17,000 voters just in Dane and Milwaukee Counties that say the voter ID law kept them from casting ballots.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell says some lacked the right ID, but others were just confused.

McDonell says he was concerned as soon as courts allowed the law to stand.

"It was one of the strictist photo ID laws in the country. It had some provisions, where it was extremely complicated."

Republican Gov. Scott Walker says the goal of the law is simple.

"We want to make it easy to vote but hard to cheat."

McDonell says he worked with UW-Madison on the study that showed many of the voters that didn't turn out to the polls actually did have the right ID, they just didn't know it.

"Of that group, two-thirds of them did have the correct identification, something they could have used to vote, but they were confused by the law."

Gov. Walker says there was confusion, but it was caused by the legal challenges in court.

"I think part of it's the confusion you saw between the courts, at one point saying it was legal, at other points saying it wasn't legal...and as long as people know the rule well in advance, I think there was a fair amount of confusion because of the distinctions between the courts."

McDonell says the study showed the law is three times as likely to affect African-Americans. He estimates the law kept 30,000-40,000 from the polls statewide.

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