Byron York's Daily Memo: Democrats' voter ID debacle

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Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.

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DEMOCRATS VOTER ID DEBACLE. We've known for many years that most Americans favor laws requiring voters to produce identification in order to vote. Democrats who passionately claim that voter ID is discriminatory do not have the public on their side.

Sometimes a new poll comes along at just the right time. And now, as Democrats push a draconian "voting rights" bill that would federalize elections under rules favorable to Democratic candidates, a new poll shows just how unpopular voter ID is. The poll came as Democratic Senator Joe Manchin pushed changes to his party's bill, including a provision to add a voter ID requirement.

On Monday, Monmouth University released a survey covering a number of voting proposals. Among the questions, the pollsters asked was: "In general do you support or oppose requiring voters to show a photo ID in order to vote?"

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The headline is that 80 percent of those surveyed -- a huge majority -- favored photo ID. Just 18 percent said they opposed. That left just two percent who didn't know, which means that voter ID is an issue about which most Americans have a considered opinion.

Now look inside the numbers. Among Republicans, 91 percent supported photo ID. Among independents, 87 percent. And among Democrats, 62 percent. Democratic leaders in Washington know that a solid majority of their own voters support a measure some of them have been denouncing for years.

Looking at the results along racial lines, 77 percent of white voters supported photo ID -- and 84 percent of non-white voters supported it, too. Along educational lines, 69 percent of Americans with a four-year college degree favored ID, and 85 percent of those with no degree favored it. When divided by age, 78 percent of Americans age 18 to 34 supported it, 82 percent of those 35 to 54 supported it, and 79 percent of people 55 and older supported it. And on the income scale, 81 percent of people who make less than $50,000 a year supported ID, while 82 percent of people who make between $50,000 and $100,000 supported it, and 76 percent of people who make more than $100,000 supported it.

Bottom line: Americans support voter ID. They just do. And now, with Manchin's voter ID proposal and the Monmouth poll, Stacey Abrams, the failed Democratic candidate for governor Georgia who has become the party's voting-rights heroine, has flip-flopped on the issue and now says she not only supports voter ID but that she has never opposed it.

"That's one of the fallacies of Republican talking points that have been deeply disturbing," Abrams said on CNN recently. "No one has ever objected to having to prove who you are to vote. It's been part of our nation's history since the inception of voting."

Republicans were quick to point to Abrams has in fact long denounced voter ID. Look at this exchange on CNN from October 2018, when Abrams was running for governor:

QUESTION: Your opponent, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, says that those 53,000 voters can still vote on Election Day if they show an ID at the polls. Why is that not good enough?

ABRAMS: The problem is two-fold. One is that you have 53,000 who -- people who are being forced to go through unnecessary hurdles to prove their bona fides. But the second is that you have 159 counties, thousands of volunteer and paid poll workers who are going to be asked to substantially verify that these IDs are sufficient. And the challenges there is, this is a subjective standard...This is simply a redux of a failed system that is designed to both scare people out of voting and make it harder for those who are willing to push through, make it harder for them to vote.

As recently as this April, Abrams was making the same argument. Other Democrats, like Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, are also trying to move away from earlier statements.

It's actually a healthy process. What is happening is that some party leaders had gotten so carried away with fringe proposals, surfing on the support of activists and Twitter voices, that they lost touch with the opinions of their own voters. Now, with Manchin and the Monmouth poll, they are becoming reacquainted with their voters' views. That's a good thing.

For a deeper dive into many of the topics covered in the Daily Memo, please listen to my podcast, The Byron York Show -- available on the Ricochet Audio Network and everywhere else podcasts can be found. You can use this link to subscribe.

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Tags: Daily Memo, Byron York, Voter ID Laws, Joe Manchin

Original Author: Byron York

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