A black Alabamian is tired of Democratic politicians calling photo voter ID laws “racist,” and has taken to Twitter to declare that “it is racist,” however,” to “assume minorities are too incompetent to get an ID.”
The latest Gallup survey caught some Democrats by surprise this week when it revealed that 80 percent of Americans support “requiring all voters to provide photo identification at their voting place in order to vote.”
“As partisan-fueled court battles over state voting laws are poised to shape the political landscape in 2016 and beyond,” explained Gallup’s Justin McCarthy, “new Gallup research shows four in five Americans support both early voting and voter ID laws.”
The 2016 Democratic Party platform declared the Party would collectively “fight against discriminatory voter identification laws, which disproportionately burden young voters, diverse communities, people of color, low income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and women.”
Prior to that, during an October 2015 visit to Hoover, Hillary Clinton slammed Alabama Republicans for requiring proof of citizenship to vote and for shuttering driver’s license offices in the wake of state budget cuts. The Democratic presidential nominee insisted that both issues were examples of Republicans trying to return Alabama to its Jim Crow past.
“We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” she said. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote.”
Vice President Joe Biden also chided supporters of voter ID laws.
“These guys never go away,” the vice president said. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”
“It’s not racist to require an ID to vote,” responded an exasperated Pam Besteder, a black Alabamian who identifies on her Twitter profile as an independent voter who “loves God and Country and the American flag.”
“It IS racist,” she continued, “to assume minorities are too incompetent to GET an ID.”
It's not racist to require an ID to vote… It IS racist to assume minorities are too incompetent to GET an ID.
— Pam Besteder (@pambesteder) August 22, 2016
The tweet has already been retweeted over 2,000 times and continues to spread around the internet.
Despite calls of racism, Alabama’s implementation of the voter ID law does not seem to have suppressed turnout.
To vote in Alabama, individuals must show a photo ID. This could include a drivers license, non-driver ID, State or Federal-issued ID, US Passport, government employee ID, student ID from a public or private Alabama college, military ID, tribal ID, or, if none of those are accessible, a free photo voter ID provided by the state.
To acquire a free ID, citizens can go to their local Board of Registrars office; there is one located in every one of Alabama’s 67 counties. Additionally, the Secretary of State’s office has visited every county with a mobile photo voter ID van in an effort to reach people right in their neighborhoods.
Alabamians go to the polls Tuesday for municipal elections and will return November 8 for the presidential election and other state-level races.