Sen. Raphael Warnock Claims He Has Never Opposed Voter ID

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
June 19, 2021Politics
Sen. Raphael Warnock Claims He Has Never Opposed Voter ID
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock speaks at a drive-in rally in Riverdale, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) claimed on Thursday that he has never been opposed to voter ID legal guidelines and also doesn’t know anyone who opposes them.

“I have never, never been opposed to voter ID,” Warnock told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“And in fact, I don’t know anybody who is—who believes people shouldn’t have to prove that they are who they say they are,” the Georgia Democrat continued. “But what has happened over the years is people have played with common sense identification and put into place restrictive measures intended not to preserve the integrity of the outcome, but to select, certain groups.”

However, Warnock’s comments contradict previous statements by the senator showing he has rejected voter ID for years.

About two years ago, he showed his thoughts in an op-ed article that was published in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution titled “attacks on voting hit at soul of our democracy,” referring to voter ID laws as “onerous.”

“More than a decade ago, Republican legislators in the state of Georgia, ironically the home state of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., led the way in turning the clock back on voting rights by passing unnecessary and discriminatory voter ID laws,” Warlock said.

“Others followed suit and there are, according to the Voting Rights Alliance, some 41 forms of voter suppression in America today,” he added. “But Secretary of State Kemp leads as a most adept architect and a ruthless practitioner of this work.”

In 2012, Warnock said laws on voter ID are “an affront to the memory of the civil rights leader,” Martin Luther King Jr, the Boston Globe reported.

“You cannot celebrate Dr. King on Monday, and undermine people’s ability to vote on Super Tuesday,” he added at the time.

Earlier this year, Georgia was embroiled in controversy over Republicans’ new election law requiring ID verification for absentee ballots and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has since also signed into law a number of election reforms that include photo ID requirements for absentee voting, the need for drop box security, and mandatory early voting dates, among other changes to how the state’s elections are run.

The new law, the Election Integrity Act of 2021, requires a Georgia driver’s license or a state-issued or state-approved ID in order to vote absentee by mail. This replaces the current signature match process that was in place, which Kemp called “time consuming, labor-intensive, and at times arbitrary.”

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