House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland is leading a group of Democrats in opposition to voter-ID laws that require individuals to present photo identification at the polls.
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The Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to every state’s Secretary of State urging them to oppose laws that they argue make it more difficult for Americans to register and vote.
“Whether it is an elderly woman unable to locate her birth certificate for purposes of establishing her U.S. citizenship on election day or a college student whose school-issued identification is not among the IDs deemed acceptable for voting or a disabled veteran whose local polling place has not yet been made accessible, public officials on all levels of government should be striving to facilitate their right to vote, not make it more difficult,” says the letter.
During a Nov. 3 press conference at the Capitol, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia said voter ID laws and proof of citizenship requirements are “stealing away access to the ballot.”
Rep. Robert Brady of Pennsylvania, the Ranking Member of the House Administration Committee, said requiring everyone to obtain a picture ID to be able to vote in his state is an “unfunded mandate and a poll tax.”
When expressing his disapproval of photo ID requirements, Hoyer referenced his own experience voting in Maryland.
“I go into the voter booth, I give them my name — now they probably happen to know me, I understand that — but I give them my name, address and they check my birth date and then I vote. I don’t have to show them anything other than that. I’m on the rolls,” Hoyer told reporters.
Videography by Sean Rainey