Several House Democrats argued on the floor Tuesday morning that the rise of voter-identification laws across many states is a coordinated attempt by Republicans to suppress minority and elderly votes.
“These new policies are a clear attempt to prevent certain pre-determined segments of the population from exercising their right to vote,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio). “To be frank, Mr. Speaker, these efforts have an all-too familiar stench of the Jim Crow era.”
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said the voter-ID laws are a Republican response to President Obama’s election.
“Is this a serious voter problem? No,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is a cynical and malicious Republican attempt to suppress minority and elderly voters who turned out in historical numbers for the ’08 elections.”
Others said the laws are akin to a poll tax, something used more than 100 years ago in an effort to discourage minority voters. The lawmakers said the requirement of an official government identification is a cost that many cannot afford, and which interferes with their right to vote.