In an interview with Milwaukee’s ABC affiliate, the Romney campaign’s Wisconsin co-chair, state Sen. Alberta Darling (R), suggested that her candidate would have won Wisconsin but for the fact that the state’s voter ID law was declared unconstitutional by a state court:
HOST: Do you think photo ID would have made any difference in the outcome of this election?
DARLING: Absolutely, I think so. We’re looking at all different kinds of precincts and all sorts of same-day registrations and I know people will go “oh, we don’t have fraud and abuse in our elections,” but what can’t we have voter ID when the majority of the people in Wisconsin wanted it. We passed it. The governor signed it. Why should one judge in Dane County be able to hold it up?
There is a simple answer to Darling’s question about why voter ID cannot exist in Wisconsin — the state constitution does not allow it. Under the Wisconsin Constitution, “[e]very United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district,” regardless of whether or not they have an ID.
But, more importantly, Darling’s suggestion that the only thing standing in between Romney and Wisconsin’s ten electoral votes was a law targeting the virtually non-existent problem of voter fraud at the polls is ridiculous. President Obama currently leads in Wisconsin by more than 200,000 votes. So Darling is suggesting that 200,000 people somehow managed to vote twice without anyone noticing — or perhaps that one person voted 200,001 times. Either one would require a conspiracy so massive it would make Fox Mulder blush.
In reality, a study of the 2004 election in Wisconsin found that of the approximately 3 million votes cast, “only seven were declared invalid—all of which were cast by felons who had finished their sentences and didn’t realize they were still barred from voting. As a result, Wisconsin’s overall fraud rate came in at a whopping 0.00023 percent.”