Home / Elections 2016 / Tea Party Activist Admits What Everybody Already Knows About Voter ID Laws: They Exist To Disenfranchise Minority Voters
Tea Party Activist Jim DeMint
Tea Party Activist Jim DeMint

Tea Party Activist Admits What Everybody Already Knows About Voter ID Laws: They Exist To Disenfranchise Minority Voters

Former Senator from South Carolina says “the left is trying to draw votes from illegals”

A voting rights rally in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2015. Travis Dove for The New York Times
A voting rights rally in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2015.
Travis Dove for The New York Times

Jim DeMint, the former Tea Party senator from South Carolina turned president of the Heritage Foundation – a neoconservative think tank that prominent political journalist Russ Bellant once described as having “an agenda of austerity for the poor, hostility to minorities and women, upward distribution of wealth for the rich, and bloodletting for those who rebel,” –  has become the latest to admit what is already abundantly clear about voter ID laws: they exist to disparage minority voters from exercising their constitutional right, clearing the path for conservative legislators into office nationwide.

As first reported by Right Wing Watch, DeMint made the admission during an appearance on Jamie Allman’s conservative talk radio program, where he loudly voiced displeasure about Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s historic move to restore voting rights to Virginians with felonies, lamenting that it would tip the election in that state to Democrats.

“It’s awfully suspicious coming into a big election in a state where it’s actually pretty close,” DeMint said. “I mean, states can decide who votes, but the governor themselves – without legislative action – that seems over the top to me. I haven’t seen a complete analysis here, but the left is trying to draw votes from illegals, from voter fraud, a lot of different things, so this kind of fits right into trying to find another group that they can basically count on to vote their way.”

DeMint then said what an increasing number of conservatives are willing to admit publicly.

“It’s really a bigger issue, and that’s why the left fights voter ID or any kind of picture ID,” DeMint said “It’s something we’re working on all over the country, because in the states where they do have voter ID laws you’ve seen, actually, elections begin to change towards more conservatives candidates.”

DeMint’s comments, while hardly unsurprising, come at a period in civil rights where voter ID laws are increasingly being introduced in state legislatures as a tool of suppressing votes that likely would support progressive platforms.

A Federal Judge Monday afternoon upheld systemic GOP-passed changes to voter eligibility in North Carolina elections, which included a voter identification provision unfairly targeting black Americans, minority populations, and economically disparaged demographics statewide.

Earlier in the month following Ted Cruz’s Wisconsin primary win, GOP Rep. Glenn Grothman echoed DeMint’s statements with little shame in response to a question posed about whether a Republican could carry the state in a general election, saying “Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up and now we have voter ID and I think voter ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.”   He previously claimed in 2012 that President Obama and Senator Tammy Baldin both won their elections due to fraud.

With the Voting Rights Act gutted, welcome to voting in America as a minority.

About Adam Ciminello

Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and the idea of Bono never performing again are all things that excite me. And yes, my grandma is cooler than yours. Say hi sometime on twitter @Aciminello

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