James Clyburn Claims to Have ‘Always’ Supported Voter ID Despite Likening Laws to Jim Crow

Rep. James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Democrat Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) on Sunday claimed to have “always” supported voter ID despite likening such election integrity measures to the era of Jim Crow.

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, discussing Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) compromise proposal to the radical left’s “For the People” Act, the 80-year-old lawmaker claimed to have always supported voter ID.

“When I first registered to vote as a 21-year-old – back then, 18-year-olds could not vote – I got a voter registration card and I always present that voter registration card to vote. And that’s voter ID,” Clyburn said.

“We are always for voter ID. We are never for disproportionate voter ID,” he continued.

“When you tell me that you got to have a photo ID and a photo for a student or activity card is not good but for a hunting license it is good, that’s where the rub is,” he added.

Clyburn’s past remarks indicate otherwise. In 2012, for example, Clyburn blasted South Carolina’s voter ID laws as “reminiscent of post-Reconstruction Jim Crow laws,” as UPI reported at the time. He used a similar comparison recently, calling Georgia’s recently enacted election safeguards the “new Jim Crow.”

Emphasis added:

I would say to anybody, just look at the history, and it’s there. What’s on anybody’s mind when you say, okay, we are going to deny voting places, we will get rid of drop boxes, we know we will create long lines? So now, let’s make it a crime if you brought a bottle of water standing in those long lines. It’s not what they intend is what the result is. So they can say anything they want to say about it. Just look through it and look throughout history, and you will know that what is taking place today is a new Jim Crow, just that simple.

Notably, Georgia’s voting law actually expanded ballot access — a point generally ignored by left-wing critics.

In October 2020, Clyburn categorized voter ID laws as a form of “voter suppression”:

Clyburn is far from the only Democrat to make such claims. Last month, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) claimed to have “never been opposed to voter ID,” despite bashing “unnecessary and discriminatory voter ID laws” as “secretive” and “subversive” in the past.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has also categorized basic election integrity safeguards as suppressive, and President Joe Biden deemed such efforts as “un-American” and “sick.”

Such election integrity efforts, Biden said, make “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey released last week found 79 percent supporting requiring an individual to present a government-issued ID to cast a ballot.

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