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Rep. James Clyburn, the third-highest ranking Democrat in House leadership, clarified where many in his party stand on the contentious matter of voter ID.
Most Democrats aren’t against voters presenting ID to vote, per se, according to the South Carolina Democrat. Rather, they’re against the very selective ways voter ID is written into many voting restriction bills across the country.
“When I first registered to vote as a 21-year-old — back then, 18-year-olds could not vote — I got a voter registration card. And I always present that voter registration card when I go to vote. And that is voter ID. We are always for voter ID. We are never for disproportionate voter I.D. When you tell me that you got to have a photo ID, and a photo for a student for an activity card is not good, but, for a hunting license, it is good, that’s where the rub is,” Clyburn said. ” I don’t know of a single person who is against ID-ing themselves when they go to vote. But we don’t want you to tell me my ID is no good.”
For instance, in its state legislation, Texas permits voters to use a handgun license to vote, but not a student ID from a state university. The problem? More than 80 percent of handgun licenses issued to Texans in 2018 went to white Texans, while more than half of the students in the University of Texas system are racial or ethnic minorities, according to the Brennan Center For Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute which regularly studies issues of voting and voter suppression.
Sen Joe Manchin of West Virginia, often seen as the most conservative Democrat in the Democrats’ slender Senate majority, has proposed a national voter ID requirement as part of his price for supporting Democratic voting rights legislation.
Clyburn is willing to embrace Manchin’s requirement, as long as it is “equitable,” as he described.
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