Voter ID Sponsor: If Blacks “Are Not Paid To Vote, They Don’t Go To The Polls”

Tom Daschle blogged on ThinkProgress yesterday about the problems with a Voter ID bill proposed in Georgia. He called it a “modern day poll-tax” that would make it harder for people to exercise their right to vote.

Apparently, that was the intent. In a memo released today, the bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Sue Burmeister (R-Augusta), explained the rationale of her bill:

The chief sponsor of Georgia’s voter identification law told the Justice Department that if black people in her district “are not paid to vote, they don’t go to the polls,” and that if fewer blacks vote as a result of the new law, it is only because it would end such voting fraud.

The newly released Justice Department memo quoting state Rep. Sue Burmeister (R-Augusta) was prepared by department lawyers as the federal government considered whether to approve the new law.


As Daschle noted yesterday, the Washington Post reported “A team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters,” but were overruled by political appointees.

(HT: War and Piece)