Sort of, anyway.
In this article Artur Davis, former Democratic Congressman from the 7th District of Alabama and an African-American, recognizes that voter ID laws can be good and are not inherently racist when well-drafted.
So, better late than never, Mr. Davis! He starts his piece with an unusually forthright declaration and admission, which fits right in with the theme of this blog:
I’ve changed my mind on voter ID laws — I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one — and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office.
You can see why I’m choosing to highlight Davis’s article. He goes on to write:
When I was a congressman, I took the path of least resistance on this subject for an African American politician. Without any evidence to back it up, I lapsed into the rhetoric of various partisans and activists who contend that requiring photo identification to vote is a suppression tactic aimed at thwarting black voter participation.
Davis then goes on to explain how the Alabama law has provisions that protect potential voters (such as the elderly, who don’t drive) from being unfairly shut out of the registration process. Davis adds that he’s been disappointed to hear Bill Clinton, a president he admires (Davis is still a Democrat, after all), “compare voter ID to Jim Crow, and it is chilling to see the intimidation tactics brought to bear on African American, Democratic legislators in Rhode Island who had the nerve to support a voter ID law in that very liberal state.”
If Davis keeps paying attention, he may discover a lot more out there that’s chilling—and a large proportion of his cold shudder will be engendered by the actions of his own party.