Voting Rights

J.D. Vance Attacks Kamala Harris After She Speaks About the Impact of Voter ID Laws on Rural Communities

Last updated on July 15th, 2021 at 05:35 am

J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy and a recent Republican Senate candidate, criticized Vice President Kamala Harris after she spoke out against voter identification laws.

Harris had said that voter identification laws would hurt people in rural areas.

“I don’t think that we should underestimate what that could mean, because, in some people’s mind, that means, well, you’re going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove that you are who you are,” she said Friday during an interview with BET-TV. “There are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities, who don’t — there’s no Kinko’s, there’s no Office Max near them.”

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Vance responded to the vice president’s claim earlier this morning during an interview with “Fox and Friends.”

“We have all kinds of crazy things in small towns in the state of Ohio and across the country. We’ve got electricity, we’ve got running water, we even have soap. And it’s amazing that the vice president of the United States thinks that people can’t make photocopies in rural communities,” he said. “I mean, it’s like she thinks that if you go to a small town in this country, you’ve got the tractor supply store, you’ve got the guys with the dueling banjos and there’s nothing else there. And of course, that’s ridiculous. And anybody who lives in these communities or spent time in them knows that.”

“I think that Kamala Harris, like a lot of folks who come from our elite class, they have this stereotype of small-town America that it’s all backwards, that people don’t have the basic things that they need. But look, if you talk to people, you talk to Ohioans or you just read a poll, you find out that rural Americans are actually strongly in favor of voter I.D.,” he added. “So I think the Kamala Harrises of the world should leave their condescension to their staffers and actually listen to what their constituents are saying, because those people are saying we actually want voter ID, we want safe and secure elections, let us figure out how to accomplish that.”

The American Civil Liberties Union opposes voter identification legislation .

“Voter ID laws deprive many voters of their right to vote, reduce participation, and stand in direct opposition to our country’s trend of including more Americans in the democratic process. Many Americans do not have one of the forms of identification states acceptable for voting,” the organization notes in a fact sheet. “These voters are disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities.  Such voters more frequently have difficulty obtaining ID, because they cannot afford or cannot obtain the underlying documents that are a prerequisite to obtaining government-issued photo ID card.”

The organization notes that “11% of U.S. citizens – or more than 21 million Americans – do not have government-issued photo identification” and that “Even if ID is offered for free, voters must incur numerous costs (such as paying for birth certificates) to apply for a government-issued ID.” Additionally, these laws reduce voter turnout and disproportionately impact minorities.

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