Rep. Aguilar Dodges Question of Whether Someone Should Need an ID to Vote

By Elisabeth Nieshalla | July 1, 2021 | 2:32pm EDT
Then-Vice President Joe Biden with congressional candidate Pete Aquilar, Nov. 1, 2014. (Photo by Terry Pierson/MediaNews Group/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images)
Then-Vice President Joe Biden with congressional candidate Pete Aquilar, Nov. 1, 2014. (Photo by Terry Pierson/MediaNews Group/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) on Wednesday evaded giving a direct answer to the question of whether someone should have to show an identification to vote in the United States.

At the U.S. Capitol, CNS News asked Aguilar: “Do you believe that someone should have to show their ID in order to buy alcohol?”

He responded: “Well, these are all, you know, important questions, and I know you have a job to do, so we’ll get carried on with the work of our day here today. But I appreciate that you have an opportunity to ask these things.”

CNSNews.com then asked: “And what about to vote?”

Aguilar said: “Voting’s a sacred right, and so we need to make sure that everybody who has an opportunity—um, everybody who’s eligible has an opportunity to vote, and in this country we don’t do enough of that.”

CNS News then asked again: “So, do you believe that someone should have to show their ID in order to vote?”

Aguilar said: “I think everybody should have an opportunity to vote, everyone who legally can cast a ballot should be able to.”

H.R. 1, the For the People Act, passed the House on March 3 by a vote of 220 to 210. Aguilar voted for it. But on June 22, the Senate split 50 to 50 on a motion to proceed with the bill. A vote of 60 senators was needed to do so.

A provision in H.R. 1 would prohibit states from requiring people to show an ID to be able to vote. The provision is entitled, “Permitting use of sworn written statement to meet identification requirement for voting.”

That provision states that “if a State has in effect a requirement that an individual present identification as a condition of receiving and casting a ballot in an election for Federal office, the State shall permit the individual to meet the requirement—(A) in the case of an individual who desires to vote in person, by presenting the appropriate State or local election official with a sworn written statement, signed by the individual under penalty of perjury, attesting to the individual’s identity and attesting that the individual is eligible to vote in the elections; or (B) in the case of an individual who desire to vote by mail, by submitting with the ballot the statement described in subparagraph (A).”

“Congress will continue the fight to pass H.R. 1, which would secure the ballot for voters now,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said on June 25, after the bill had been blocked in the Senate.

The Republican National Committee has denounced the Democrats’ efforts, saying, “Democrats are currently attempting a partisan power grab with their radical H.R. 1/S. 1 ‘For The Politicians; Act.” This bill, filibustered for the time-being, said the RNC, “is a federal takeover of state elections that would eviscerate commonsense state voter ID laws currently in place in many states, force states to allow ballot harvesting, and make taxpayers fund the campaigns of career politicians.” 

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