Liberal comedian Bill Maher shut down an attempt by Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder to argue that voter ID laws are designed to suppress the black vote.
Appearing on Maher’s weekly HBO program this Friday, Holder ranted about how Republicans have allegedly “gutted” the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by instituting commonsense voter integrity rules like a requirement for voter ID.
“A whole bunch of unnecessary things to keep African Americans, young people, Hispanics, people perceived as Democrats away from the polls have been put in place” by Republican lawmakers on the local and state level, he claimed.
— Tommy moderna-vaX-Topher (@tommyxtopher) June 4, 2022
Maher promptly pushed back.
“But photo IDs are popular even among African Americans. Something like three quarters of whites and I think 69 percent of black folks say, yeah, we should have photo ID. So why is that an issue?” the liberal TV host correctly noted.
Indeed, multiple polls have shown strong support for voter ID among the black community:
A new @Rasmussen_Poll shows the majority (69%) of likely Black voters support a requirement to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote.
Democrats are purposefully pushing a false narrative on voter ID laws and commonsense election reforms but it won’t work this time.
— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD) March 29, 2021
Holder responded by playing semantics.
“Well you see, I’m for voter ID as opposed to photo ID,” he said, as if there’s a difference.
“No, we’re talking about photo ID to prove you should vote,” Maher countered.
Holder responded by providing an example of what he meant.
“Here’s the deal. What they’ve done, like in Texas, they said you have to have photo ID. If you have a photo ID issued by the state of Texas that says that you can carry a concealed weapon, that’s cool. If you have a state-issued photo ID that says you’re a student at the University of Texas, not cool. And so you can see how they’re trying to fool around with it,” he said.
But there’s a reason voter ID laws sometimes require a state-level ID versus just a school ID: Because sometimes school IDs lack an expiration date.
Starting in 2019, for instance, Iowa stopped accepting student IDs from the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, and Iowa State University because of a lack of an expiration date.
“[B]ecause these schools’ student cards don’t have expiration dates, poll workers won’t accept them as IDs as required identification to cast ballots. That requirement will begin in 2019,” The Daily Iowan reported in late 2018.
Most students in Iowa won’t be able to use their student IDs to verify their identity at the polls during an election year in which groups are trying to encourage young voters to turn out in masses.https://t.co/AAUOk1fkjT
— The Daily Iowan (@TheDailyIowan) October 12, 2018
Plus, sometimes school register illegal aliens as students.
@EricHolder Don’t you think you just might have left a few important details out of the Texas voter id thing?? Like maybe having to be a citizen for one and not the other??
— Fly 4 Crypto (@0xB67) June 4, 2022
Later during the discussion between Holder and Maher, the host drew attention to Georgia’s controversial voting law passed earlier this year and noted how President Joe Biden had referred to it as “Jim Crow 2.0.”
However, he continued, despite so-called “Jim Crow 2.0” being in effect, black turnout wound up being through the roof during Georgia’s primary elections last month.
“But Georgia just had an election and the vote went up, including among African-Americans. How do you square that?” Maher said.
He was correct.
“Georgia held its first primary on Tuesday under its new election law — and saw record turnout. Far from suppressing the vote, early voting came in at nearly triple Georgia’s 2018 level,” The Washington Post reported on May 27th.
“Four years ago, just 299,347 cast early in-person ballots in the midterm primaries. This year, 857,401 Georgians cast in-person or absentee ballots during the state’s three-week early-voting period, according to the secretary of state’s office. That is 212 percent more than in 2020 — a presidential election year, which usually boosts turnout — when just 326,351 people cast early ballots.”
One 70-year-old black retiree, Patsy Reid, told the Post that she was surprised that, in contradiction to what Democrats had told her, she wound up encountering no problems while at the polling booth.
“I had heard that they were going to try to deter us in any way possible. To go in there and vote as easily as I did and to be treated with the respect that I knew I deserved as an American citizen — I was really thrown back,” she said.
“I had heard that they were going to try to deter us in any way possible . . .to go in there and vote as easily as I did and to be treated with the respect that I knew I deserved as an American citizen — I was really thrown back.” – Patsy Reid, a 70-year-old black Georgian pic.twitter.com/8wMJ7oudyK
— Honest Elections Project (@honestelections) May 23, 2022
Holder responded to Maher’s point by claiming that the black community overcame the alleged “Jim Crow 2.0.”
“That’s a testament to the fact that black folks have said no matter what impediments you put in front of us, we’re going to the polls. And that’s what they did,” he said.
“Throughout history, black Americans have risked life, limb, done everything they possibly can to get access to the ballot. And the fact that you had a turnout that was higher than perhaps what you’ve seen before is not an indication that those provisions that they put into law were necessarily good ones.”
Apparently, if black voters fail to turn out in droves, that proves GOP voter suppression, But if voters do turn out in droves, that too proves GOP voter suppression?
Make that make sense …
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