Television host John Oliver used his signature style during the opening monologue for HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” to dismantle the arguments for regressive voter ID laws.
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was passed more than 50 years ago, but thanks to a right-wing push, the Supreme Court gutted it in 2013. Since that time individual states have implemented more restrictive voter ID laws that have effectively suppressed minority voting.
Oliver cited examples of how some lawmakers attempt to minimize the racial bias behind rules for voter registration and make them seem like standard procedure. He then gave some examples of absurd rules and schedule limitations for individuals to even obtain a photo ID. He also elaborated on how voter ID laws disproportionately affect minorities who are far more likely not to possess photo IDs.
“It’s just one of those things that white people seem to more likely to have,” said Oliver. “Like a sunburn or an Oscar nomination.”
Oliver played video clips of legislators in states like Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina and South Carolina attempting to justify their arguments for such laws as necessary to prevent fraud. He then succinctly cited the small number of actual cases of such crimes.
“Voter ID is a problem the way deadly knife play from crabs is a problem,” said Oliver. He followed the comment with a video clip of a crab with a kitchen knife.
The IAM has been a strong proponent for restoring the full protections of the VRA and supports Congressional Democrats in pushing for the Voting Rights Advancement Act to accomplish that goal.
Click here to watch the entire monologue on voter ID laws.