Congressman Says Voter Suppression Isn’t A Problem Because He Personally Never Had Trouble Voting

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Ron DeSantis, (R-FL), center

DAYTONA BEACH, FL — A member of Congress is not your average voter. But in order to make a point about how Florida’s voter ID laws are not a burden, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) cited his own experience at the polls.

“I’ve always done photo ID when I voted and never had a problem with it,” DeSantis told the audience at a town hall Tuesday in Daytona Beach.

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In response to another question at the event, the freshman Republican said it is condescending to argue that not all voters necessarily have the photo ID requirements easily accessible. “Sometimes when I hear that will be a burden I think that’s not thinking very much of our fellow citizenship,” he said. “I believe all of these folks have the competence to go get an ID and I think all of them do right now.”

DeSantis is fortunate that he has never run into the obstacles that young, low-income, and elderly voters face in states that require them to present a limited selection of photo IDs. Many have been denied ID or required to overcome administrative obstacles that impose particular burdens on those who work hourly wage jobs or have limited access to transportation. Others have been forced to vote via provisional ballot when the name or address did not exactly match that on their registration. In Florida, voter ID was one of a barrage of voter suppression measures in place during the 2012 presidential election. Others included halving the number of early voting days, purging voters, and adding lengthy and frivolous amendments to lengthy ballots, all of which contributed to marathon waits of more than six hours at the polls on election day. Nationwide, blacks and Hispanics waited twice as long vote on election day in 2012.