Rep. Swalwell on Requiring an ID to Vote: ‘IDs Can Be Discriminatory’

By Julia Johnson | July 1, 2021 | 10:21am EDT
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

( - When asked whether a person should be required to show an ID in order to vote, as is required to purchase alcohol, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said “IDs can be discriminatory,” because “some people don’t have access.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, asked, “Since we require an ID to buy alcohol, should we also require someone to show an ID to vote?”

“Look, I’m open to anything we can do to increase voter participation that does not suppress the vote,” Swalwell said.

“I think historically from poll taxes to other methods, IDs can be discriminatory if they don’t recognize that some people don’t have access to IDs,” he added.

The House of Representatives passed HR 1, the For the People Act, on March 3. The bill was then successfully filibustered in the Senate by Senate Republicans on June 22. 

At a press event ahead of the House vote on HR 1, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that by passing the bill “we fight foreign interference in our elections, foreign interference in our elections. We expand voting rights. We fight political gerrymandering and we crack down on corruption.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), a critic of the bill, said in a speech on the House floor on March 2, “Under H.R. 1, future voters could be dead or illegal immigrants or maybe even registered two to three times. Democrats don’t care.”

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