Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday he opposes a new photo ID requirement in Texas elections because it would be harmful to minority voters.
In remarks to the NAACP in Houston, the attorney general said the Justice Department “will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
Under the law passed in Texas, Holder said that “many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them – and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.”
“We call those poll taxes,” Holder added spontaneously, drawing applause as he moved away from the original text of his speech with a reference to a fee used in some Southern states after slavery’s abolition to disenfranchise black people.
The 24th amendment to the constitution made that type of tax illegal.
Holder spoke a day after a trial started in federal court in Washington over the 2011 law passed by Texas’ GOP-dominated Legislature that requires voters to show photo identification when they get to the polls.
Under Texas’ law, Holder noted, a concealed handgun license would serve as acceptable ID to vote, but a student ID would not. He went on to say that while only 8 percent of white people do not have government-issued photo IDs, about 25 percent of black people lack such identification.
Ironically, you needed a government issued identification to get into the NAACP Convention to hear Eric Holder say that voter ID laws are racist. Seriously, you can’t make that shit up.
You can’t get into a federal building without ID. You can’t get a job, open a bank account, cash a check or get disability without proper identification. All of us need to show ID sometimes. That’s just the way it is.
Is there a big problem with voter fraud? Probably not. But in order to be able to legally vote you must be a citizen and a resident of the place where you want to vote. What is so bad about requiring someone to prove they are who they say they are and that are qualified to vote?
Obtaining an identification card for the first time can be inconvenient but so are lots of other things. The cost is nominal and most states will even wave the fee if you fill out a pauper’s declaration.
Who are all these people that can’t get an ID? What is stopping them from getting one? ID cards are a necessity these days. Why aren’t the people opposed to voter ID laws concerned about helping everyone get one?
If 25 percent of black people lack government-issued identification why isn’t the NAACP screaming bloody murder about it?