Earlier this week, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) absurdly claimed that no Democrat has ever been opposed to Voter ID laws. Considering how he and other Democrats have described Voter ID laws as Jim Crow, his statement is ridiculous on the face of it. And indeed it is as Glenn Kessler of the WaPo gave Clyburn four Pinocchios for his statement.
It would have been worse but they don’t have five Pinocchios.
Jim Clyburn claimed:
“I don’t know why you guys keep misrepresenting what I said. I have never said that you should not have a voter ID. When I got my voter registration cards, I keep them in my wallet. And when I go to vote, I presented that every time. And I said to them, I am Jim Clyburn, this is my ID, and I want to vote. I have always had voter ID. And that’s why the representative earlier who voted … no Democrat has never been against voter ID.”
Clyburn previously compared South Carolina’s voter I.D. law to Jim Crow laws, even though they do accept a driver’s license, an I.D. issued by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, a passport, or a federal military I.D. to vote.
It also allows voters without a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot as long as they give a reason why they can’t get a photo ID.
As Kessler noted, McClatchy News reported in 2012 that Clyburn compared South Carolina’s law with “post-Reconstruction Jim Crow laws that Southern states enacted, imposing poll taxes, literacy tests, and other hurdles to prevent blacks from voting.”
Clyburn has issued similar statements in the decade since. In 2019, for example, he posted a video on Twitter with the caption: “55 years ago, the 24th Amendment was ratified, eliminating poll taxes. Yet we are still seeing evidence of poll taxes today in the form of voter ID laws. In a democracy such as ours, we must not have any impediments to voting.”
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Clyburn in the video said requiring people to purchase an I.D. amounted to a poll tax, even though the South Carolina law – which Clyburn also said was a poll tax – provided free identification.
Kessler said that Clyburn is trying to have it both ways. He opposes every state’s voter ID law, but because the issue receives majority support even among Democrats, that Clyburn is trying to take the focus off hypocrites like him.
Just a week ago, the Democrats tried to pull the same stunt with defunding the police. No one believed them then either.