CINCINNATI, OHIO - Vice President Joe Biden said Republican-controlled states like Wisconsin were leading an “assault” on voting rights designed to “repress minority voting” through their passage of laws that require people to present a photo ID to vote.
“The fiction of widespread voter fraud continues to persist,” Biden told a crowd of several hundred at the annual conference of the National Urban League.
Republicans have defended these laws, arguing that Americans should have to present an ID to vote, just as they do to enter many public buildings or fly on an airline. Democrats say the laws, which have been adopted by 31 states, most of which have Republican governors or legislators, are an attempt to make it harder for liberal-leaning people to vote.
African-Americans disproportionately lack government-issued identification.
The vice president’s remarks continue a tense battle between the two parties on voting provisions, like voter ID but also limits on early voting that many Republican states have adopted.
Biden’s appearance here, and at a conference sponsored by the NAACP earlier this week, comes as Democrats are increasingly focused on making sure blacks turn out to vote this fall in states with close Senate races like Georgia and North Carolina.
First published July 24 2014, 7:45 AM
Perry Bacon Jr.
Perry Bacon Jr. is a senior political reporter for NBC News. Prior to joining the site in 2014, Bacon was political editor for theGrio.com, as well as a contributor to MSNBC. While at The Grio, Bacon led the site's coverage of the 2012 election and Obamaâ€™s second term, with a special focus on the Affordable Care Act and its impact.
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A Louisville native and graduate of Yale, Bacon is a longtime Washington political reporter. He covered the 2004 presidential campaign and Congress for TIME magazine, then moved on to a similar role at the Washington Post, where he served as a national political correspondent and White House reporter.