Former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis (of Alabama) argued for voter ID laws during a panel discussion I attended today at the Heritage Foundation.
Holding his driver’s license up for the audience to see, here’s some of what he said:
This is a Virginia driver’s license, also known as a state-issued photo ID. Very small. Pretty innocuous looking except for the ugly face on it. And it’s actually even sanded around the edges so unlike the notes I have in front of me or the notes maybe you have in front of you you can’t even cut your hand inadvertently. It’s a very tiny little thing that will fit in a breast pocket, fit in a wallet, you can carry it next to your pager or your Blackberry. It is not a billyclub, if you look at it that’s clear. It’s not a firehose. I live in Virginia now but I come from the state of Alabama and used to represent Birmingham, Alabama, and Selma, Alabama, in the United States Congress, I know a little something about firehoses. It’s not this. It’s not some kind of a weapon or club that southern sheriffs used to use to keep people from voting or participating. It’s a tiny little photo ID. But this tiny little thing that I’m holding up in my hand tends to do very weird things to people. It tends to create some very interesting political arguments.