David Norcross

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) may have admitted that "Jim Crow was the wrong analogy to use" for photo voter ID laws, but that didn’t stop Bill Clinton from making similar comments just one month later. Clinton made the outrageous statement that “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.”

Clinton continued to incite young listeners at a Washington conference this July by deriding what he called the “disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time."

Yes, photo voter ID laws have passed in Indiana, Georgia, Kansas, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas with Republican support, but the “passionate, determined effort” is coming from Democrats against such laws. Democratic governors in Minnesota, Montana, Missouri and North Carolina vetoed photo voter ID legislation passed by their state legislatures.

Sixteen Democratic Senators including Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Department of Justice investigate whether state voter ID legislation violates civil rights laws.

Democrats are trying to paint a picture of photo voter ID as a solely Republican measure aimed at keeping minorities, the elderly, the poor and college students from voting. But that’s simply not the case.

The Democratic controlled legislature of Rhode Island just recently passed a photo voter ID bill. Sponsor Harold Metts (D - District 6, Providence) said, “As a minority citizen and a senior citizen I would not support anything that I thought would present obstacles or limit protections.” Governor Lincoln Chafee said that it was actually minority communities who expressed concerns about voter fraud along with their support for photo voter ID.

Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), a Democratic member of the Texas legislature who vote for their photo voter ID bill said, "If I really, truly thought that this would disenfranchise somebody, I would've voted against it."

Clinton should heed the recommendations of former Democratic president’s book, instead of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Former President Jimmy Carter joined former Secretary of State James A. Baker III in support of photo voter ID when they co-chaired the Commission on Federal Election Reform.


David Norcross

David A. Norcross is chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA).


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