Democrats in the House introduced legislation that would nullify voter ID laws by allowing voters to sign an affidavit certifying their identity instead of showing identification.
According to The Hill, Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) authored the legislation modeled after the way his home state runs elections. In Washington state, voters vote via mail-in ballots, and voters sign affidavits attesting to their identity.
Democrats have claimed voter ID laws are designed to prevent seniors and minorities from voting and alleged voter fraud does not exist even after people have been convicted for committing voter fraud in numerous states, most recently in Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
“These laws are designed, in my view, to intimidate and prevent U.S. citizens from casting legitimate ballots,” Larsen said. “The story of our country is one of extending the right to vote irrespective of race or gender. I don’t think we should allow the U.S. to move backward to our past history of voter intimidation and suppression.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) said voter ID laws “definitely have the potential to change the outcome of the presidential election by suppressing the votes of the elderly, poor young students and people of color” and said “intimidation is a major part of this.”
However, in May, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the third-ranking Democrat in the House, said “voter ID is not a problem” and “everybody that goes to vote shows some form of ID” when commenting on a bill Democrats introduced then that would allow universal online and same-day voter registration.
Both bills will not pass in the Republican-controlled House.
Voter ID has been a contentious issue this election cycle. On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said the state’s photo ID law cannot stand unless the lower court finds that Pennsylvania residents can access IDs without too many burdens. Texas will appeal a Federal court ruling that struck down its photo ID law. The Justice Department, though, did approve Virginia’s voter ID law, which allows voters to sign an affidavit in lieu of identification and expanded the forms of identification voters could use to vote to include bank statements, college ID cards, and utility bills.