Shoddy voter ID study, shoddy reporting

The very recent Journal Sentinel headline read:

Wisconsin voter ID law deterred nearly 17,000 from voting, UW study says

The story opened:

A study released Monday estimates 16,800 or more people in Dane and Milwaukee counties were deterred from casting ballots in November because of Wisconsin’s voter ID law. The study by University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Ken Mayer concluded 16,800 to 23,250 voters in the two counties — the Democratic strongholds of Wisconsin — did not vote because of the voter ID law.

Hasn’t happened yet, but I fully expect the newspaper to publish an editorial screaming that the photo ID law is disgustingly unfair and racist.

Meanwhile, as Paul Harvey said countless times, you need to know “the rest of the story.”

Committing a flagrant act of non-lazy journalism: The MacIver Institute:

Perhaps the study’s most troubling number is its minuscule response rate, according to nationally renowned elections expert Hans von Spakovsky.

University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Ken Mayer’s analysis, released this week, asserts at least 16,800 voting-age residents in the two counties did not vote because of the law.

What’s buried at the bottom of the mainstream media’s screaming voter disenfranchisement stories is the extrapolation game Mayer plays with the numbers.

The political science professor sent out 2,400 surveys to residents registered to vote but identified as not having cast ballots in November. Mayer received 293 responses. A total of nine respondents claimed voter ID exclusively kept them from voting.

“That’s not sufficient for a ballot poll. That’s too small a sample to give you any validity,” said von Spakovsky.

MediaTrackers also found flaws, reporting “looking at the study closer shows that there are too many holes for it to concretely say that the Voter ID law was at fault, and even less about how this could have changed the outcome of the 2016 election.”

One thought on “Shoddy voter ID study, shoddy reporting

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (10/02/17) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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