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Op-ed Placement

If Voter ID Is Racist, Why Is the Left Pushing Vaccine Passports?

Originally Published in The Daily Caller on 4/7/21.

Bluecheck Twitter never sleeps. When there are bad takes to be had, you can be sure that the left will be ready to pounce. As of late, bluechecks have found a new way to expose themselves as hypocrites by condemning voter identification (ID) laws, yet coming out aggressively in support of proposed “vaccine passports.”

As Georgia was passing an expansive election reform bill, the conversation over voter ID headed in a predictably “woke” direction. Democrats brought up their hackneyed talking point of decrying voter ID laws as racist, nevermind the fact that recent polls show 69% of black voters and 82% of other minorities support voter ID laws. In fact, 75% of Americans believe that photo ID’s for voting are common sense.

At the same time, the debate over the need for so-called vaccine passports has also heated up, with folks once again falling into binary camps.

Many of the same people calling for vaccine passports are also adamant that voter ID laws are racist. Funny how both are supposed to fulfill a similar role in principle, which is to confirm one’s identity. So how is it that the left claims one is akin to “Jim Crow” and the other is a public safety necessity?

LA Times Legal Affairs Columnist Harry Litman tweeted back in February that Republicans are engaged in “a massive cycle of voter suppression efforts,” with Georgia being “ground zero” for those efforts. This week, when the idea of requiring proof of vaccination to travel made ripples across social media, Litman tweeted that “vaccine passports are a good idea” and effectively suggested that it would pressure more people into getting the vaccine.

Democratic Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz came in with a hot take of his own, denouncing the Georgia bill as authoritarian. But when it comes to requiring an ID that shows proof of vaccination to travel, naturally, he seems to be ok with that — in fact, he thinks that we already do this.

Of course, Sen. Schatz is entirely wrong. We don’t already have forms of ID that we carry around with us to prove whether we have received a vaccine or are in otherwise good health to travel. Current travel passports merely confirm our identity — they don’t reveal an individual’s private medical history, yet another issue with vaccine passports.

But confirmation of identity is not the root problem, nor should it be the focus of the voter ID law conversation. It’s no secret that commercial American society requires IDs for all sorts of activities: buying alcohol, boarding flights, and opening a bank account to name a few.

Photo ID is prevalent enough in society and has been for quite some time. What we need to talk about is why the left excludes voting from this list of things that need a simple photo ID.

The left would never admit it, but the reasoning behind the assumption that voter ID is the new Jim Crow is fundamentally flawed. That voter ID is “Jim Crow” rests on the assumption that minorities in America are somehow unable to procure photo IDs, and therefore must receive different treatment. This is infantilizing at best and a risk to voter integrity at worst. Such is the view of Bluecheck twitter.

Plus, if many Americans can’t even get a photo ID to vote, how do we expect them to get a vaccine passport? Based on their photo ID logic, folks calling for vaccine passports are advocating for the intentional exclusion of minorities from American society. They would be left unable to enter businesses, schools, and government buildings. That is, according to the left’s flawed logic.

It’s time then to call these folks out for what the pushback against voter ID really is: a movement to undermine American election integrity. Apparently the left is actually all for ID laws, just not at the polls.

Sarah Anderson is the Director of Policy at FreedomWorks, the nation’s largest small government grassroots community dedicated to lower taxes, individual liberty and the American rule of law.