Rep. Keith Ellison: requiring voters to show IDs is malicious

Meagan Clark Contributor
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Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison from Minnesota tweeted a string of statistics May 30 in an attempt to stifle a non-profit’s push to require voters to show a government-issued ID before entering a voting booth.

The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council has been a strong proponent for the requirement, which the Minnesota legislature placed on the November ballot after bypassing Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in April.

Ellison (@keithellison) tweeted “ALEC movement to push gov’t issued ID bills was done w/ malice aforethought. Advocates KNOW ‘voter fraud’ is a myth; the point is POWER.”

He also tweeted “11% of all Americans lack gov’t issued Photo ID,” “18% of senior citizens don’t have a gov’t photo ID,” “25% of African Americans don’t have gov’t photo ID” and “78% of Black men between 18 and 24 in WI do not have state issued photo ID. Wonder why Gov. Scott Walker pushed photo ID in WI?”

Ellison’s statistics are from the Center for American Progress, from the article “Voter Suppression 101: How Conservatives Are Conspiring to Disenfranchise Millions of Americans.”

Government-issued IDs are required to open a bank account, use a debit card, set up direct deposits, board a plane and enter government buildings, among many other activities.

Attorney General Eric Holder expressed concerns similar to Ellison’s when South Carolina passed a voter ID law in 2011. The Department of Justice claimed 8.4 percent of whites and 10 percent of blacks in the state did not have government-issued IDs, but according to the Heritage Foundation, since blacks only made up 28 percent of the population, many more whites lacked IDs than blacks.

The Heritage Foundation also wrote that a revised report showed only 1.2 percent of registered voters in South Carolina did not have a government-issued ID.

Other Ellison tweets include, “Many student IDs are not valid forms of gov’t photo ID. Many woman don’t have gov’t IDs in their married name” and “600,000 voters in TEXAS do not have valid ID under recently passed statute.”

Four groups and five individuals petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court Wednesday to remove the November ballot initiative, including the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, Common Cause Minnesota, Jewish Community Action and the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, the AP reported.

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