Under the proposed law, concealed handgun licenses would be acceptable forms of photo ID, but student IDs would not,” Holder said. “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them, and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes.”
Holder is a vocal opponent of voter ID bills but this may be the first time the Attorney General has drawn the specific and obvious comparison between Republican anti-voting campaigns and the Jim Crow-era effort to intentionally disenfranchise African-Americans.
The remarks also come a day before Mitt Romney is scheduled to address the NAACP in an effort to try and court any voters he can.
“We are living through the greatest wave of legislative assaults on voting rights in more than a century,” Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the NAACP said Monday in his opening speech at the convention. “In the past year, more states have passed more laws pushing more voters out of the ballot box than at any time since the rise of Jim Crow.”
Going on the offensive on the issue of voter ID and the Republican support of these restrictive bills is a smart move by Holder politically to keep the base riled, but for the conversation to really change this framing must be consistently maintained by Democrats general. That is a much trickier proposition, but Holder and Jealous deserve credit for tossing the coal in Romney’s lap.
Photo from ryanjreilly via flickr.