On the Thursday, January 23, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton characterized voter ID laws as a "poll tax" as he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the abolition of poll taxes with the 24th Amendment's passage.
Even while acknowledging that the IDs are generally issued by states for free, Sharpton cited Attorney General Eric Holder and Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis in complaining that simply having to travel to obtain the free ID amounts to a tax. Sharpton began:
Finally tonight, a milestone in the fight for justice. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment ended the poll tax in federal elections that was used in the Jim Crow South to suppress the African-American vote. Here's a receipt of a poll tax from Louisiana in 1917. Fifty years ago, they were eliminated. But today they are back in other forms, like voter ID laws.
Then came a clip of Attorney General Holder: "Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them. And some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes."
Then came a soundbite of Rep. Lewis: "Voter ID laws are becoming all too common. But make no mistake, voter ID laws are a poll tax."
The MSNBC host concluded:
They're those that say we need voter ID to fight fraud, but they have not been able to come up with any widespread fraud in any of the states that are passing these laws. Yes, we see efforts to suppress the votes.
Any number of studies clearly shows that they're stopping more voters than they're protecting from fraud since there's no fraud there. Yes, there will always be those that will try to stop segments of this country from voting, but thank God there will always be those of us that will fight them.