There has been a decided shift in how Democrats talk about voter ID over the past few weeks, and new comments from former Attorney General Eric Holder illustrate the change.
Holder, who served under President Barack Obama, said Thursday he could support voter ID laws if they were administered fairly.
“What I oppose is the overly prescriptive way in which states — generally Republican states — have indicated that which is acceptable [as a form of ID],” Holder said in testimony before the House Administration Committee. “If you expand the number of things somebody can use to prove they are who they claim to be, I could support voter ID.”
Holder reiterated that if the required IDs were made widely available, he “could see supporting voter ID measures.”
“But when you have that problem in Texas,” he said, “I’ve got problems with that.”
He was referring to Texas’s partisan use of its voter ID law, in which state Republicans made it illegal for college students to use their IDs to vote but allowed gun owners to use their gun permits to do so. This uneven application of voter ID has drawn the ire of Democrats who have then included voter ID laws more generally in the list of things that count as voter suppression.