Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman said Tuesday that he thinks Wisconsin’s controversial new voter ID law will help the eventual GOP nominee win the state in the general election.
He made the comments to TMJ4’s Charles Benson, who asked Grothman about GOP losses in the Badger State during presidential election years and whether Ted Cruz or Donald Trump could reverse the trend. The last Republican to carry Wisconsin in a general election was President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Grothman responded that he thought Hillary Clinton was a weak Democratic candidate and that Wisconsin’s voter ID law could make a difference electorally.
“Now we have photo ID and I think photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference as well,” Grothman told Benson.
Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill requiring voters to to show photo identification at the polls ahead of a recall election in 2011. Backlash and legal battles have followed since its inception. In early 2015, the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the law, a move that allowed the provisions to stand.
The photo identification mandate is not the only source of controversy within the Wisconsin voting process. The state’s nonpartisan elections board, known as the Government Accountability Board, was abolished in December, and a series of laws has gradually made it harder to conduct voter registration drives. In addition, Wisconsin has seen the consequences of redistricting, long lines and cuts to early voting come to the forefront.
While Tuesday’s turnout was higher than expected, an estimated 300,000 Wisconsin residents still did not have one of the forms of ID state law requires to vote, prompting questions of whether turnout would have been even higher without the requirement and whether eligible voters were discounted from participating in the primary.
Grothman’s office did not return MSNBC’s request for a comment.