Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday bashed voting rights requirements – calling them “immoral, callous” – and warned of political consequences for those who try to impose barriers to casting a ballot. “To me it is the most immoral, callous thing that can be done, the idea of making it more difficult to vote,” Biden said at the annual gala dinner of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a minority-focused public policy organization. The vice president pointed to data indicating that in 2011 and 2012 at least 180 bills in 41 states were introduced that aimed to stiffen requirements for voting — voter identification measures, for example.
“If there’s one thing people who want to restrict the vote didn’t understand, they didn’t understand what it means when you tell someone, ‘I’m going to make it difficult for you to vote,’” Biden said, appearing to take a swipe at Republicans. “It means, and I was certain and Barack and I talked about it, you did too, that it guaranteed people would show. The more they attempt to restrict the right of minorities, the greater the determination and the stronger the will to turn out, and that’s exactly what everyone saw in 2012.”
Critics of measures like voter ID laws charge that such steps disproportionately target poor and minority voters — demographics that often vote Democratic.
“If they keep this up you can be assured, minorities of all stripes will never vote for anyone who makes it more difficult for them to exercise right to vote,” Biden said.
He said that his granddaughter has asked, “What are they afraid of?”
“They’re afraid of ‘how,’ quote, these folks will vote,” Biden said. “That’s what they’re afraid of.”