DNC Chair Compares Voter ID To Jim Crow

Published Mon, Jun 6 2011 3:11 PM

Voter ID laws in the United States have been deemed necessary, and received constitutional approval by sources such as the United States Supreme Court and the bi-partisan Baker-Carter Commission. In Crawford vs. Marion County Board of Elections, the Supreme Court stated:

The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters.  Photo identification cards currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally as important.

Additionally, the bi-partisan Baker-Carter Commission said:

In the United States, where 40 million people move each year, and in urban areas where some people do not even know the people living in their own apartment building let alone in their precinct, some form of identification is needed.

But, this does not seem to be the view of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In an interview from the “Washington Watch” program, Ms. Wasserman Schultz said:

[N]ow you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally - and very transparently - block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. And it's nothing short of that blatant.

This is ironic coming from the Democratic National Committee’s chairwoman. When, in 2000, during the Florida recount, Democratic Presidential nominee Al Gore tried to exclude thousands of military votes due to hyper technicalities. Vice President Gore even received criticism from his Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Joseph Lieberman.

Now, Ms. Wasserman Schultz is accusing Republicans of disenfranchisement of minority voters, drawing a comparison to Jim Crow laws as strong rhetoric to back up her claims. However, RNC chairman Rence Priebus issued a response, saying:

At the end of the day, this common-sense reform is not partisan but practical. It would instill a simple means by which to further promote and preserve the integrity of our electoral system and the democratic foundation upon which this country was founded. And the act of doing so should not be demeaned or relegated to a Republican or Democratic issue; it should be a priority embraced by all Americans.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz has used inflammatory language for policies that have passed constitutional muster through the eyes of not only the Supreme Court in an opinion written by its then most liberal member, but a former Democrat and liberal President and many others on a nonpartisan basis. Voter ID laws are being passed in states to ensure voter integrity and prevent voter fraud. If Ms. Wasserman Schultz would drop the attacks and view this as a non-partisan issue, she would see that. 

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Comments

# Michael Thielen said on Monday, June 06, 2011 8:06 PM

The DNC Chair retracted the Jim Crow part of her comment but not the sentiment, nor did she apologize in reality.

"Jim Crow was the wrong analogy to use. But I don't regret calling attention to the efforts in a number of states with Republican dominated legislatures" to pass Voter ID.  

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