Democrats signal a shift toward accepting voter ID laws

The Democratic shifts are in part a strategic effort to win broader support for their voting rights push while seeking to put Republicans on the defensive. Voter ID laws have proved popular despite Democratic arguments that they amount to voter suppression, and some activists have concluded that they do less to suppress the vote than they initially feared...

There is little question that leading Democrats’ tone has shifted on the voter ID issue. Abrams and others have long assailed ID rules as a means of disenfranchising voters of color and other disadvantaged groups, since they are least likely to have photo IDs or other government-issued documents. They also argue that there is no evidence that ID requirements prevent election fraud.

The ACLU has called voter ID requirements part of an ongoing strategy to roll back decades of progress on voting rights. Activists have lumped the most onerous identification requirements with bills that make it a felony to give water to people in long voting lines or shuttle people from mostly Black churches to polling places.

But such arguments have rarely resonated with the larger public. Democrats have long struggled to rebut GOP arguments that if an ID is required to drive a car, drink alcohol or undertake other daily activities, doing the same for voting is hardly an egregious rights violation.