Georgia Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock revealed on Thursday that he isn’t opposed to voter ID laws and added that he doesn’t know anyone who opposes them.
“I have never been opposed to voter ID. And in fact, I don’t know anybody who is,” Warnock said in an interview with NBC News.
Warnock’s comments are contradicted by previous statements the senator made on this topic. In a video from 2012, Warnock called voter ID laws “unnecessary and unjustifiable.”
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK FALSELY CLAIMS HE NEVER OPPOSED VOTER ID LAWS
Aside from his apparent change of attitude to voter ID laws, Warnock’s comment about not knowing anyone opposed to these laws is noteworthy, given widespread Democratic and media opposition to them.
For years, mainstream outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times have branded voter ID laws as suppressing the vote of minority citizens, while proponents of the law say IDs should be required to vote to safeguard election integrity.
Many reporters and news anchors often express skepticism on the need for voter ID laws and sometimes claim that the laws are outright racist.
On Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid called out Sen. Joe Manchin’s, D-W.Va., compromise on a voting rights bill, which includes national voter ID, as “racist.”
“Honestly, I can’t think of anything that’s more of a chefs kiss perfect explanation of the cynicism of American politics than pushing a bill federalizing racist voter ID schemes and ‘no absentee except for affluent vacationers and snowbirds’ and slapping John Lewis’ name on it,” Reid tweeted.
MSNBC political contributor Jason Jonson echoed Reid’s sentiment.
“Don’t forget Manchin wants to federalize Voter ID, which takes the most racist GOP state laws and makes them mandatory. No bill is better than the Bill he’s willing to vote for,” he tweeted.
Since Democrats took full control of the federal government, they have been pushing to pass a federal elections law that would create a federal standard on voting in addition to providing taxpayer funds for campaigns. While it has the support of most Democratic lawmakers, Manchin is currently opposed to the legislation, which prevents the bill from passing because the Senate is split evenly between the two parties.
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Manchin revealed an outline for a compromise on Wednesday which includes provisions like requiring voter identification and at least two weeks of early voting for federal elections.
Prominent Democrat activist Stacey Abrams said Thursday morning that she would “absolutely” support Manchin’s compromise. Similar to Warnock, Abrams previously denounced voter ID laws as being used to suppress voters.