“I don’t think that we should underestimate what that [compromise on voter ID laws] could mean,” Harris said in an interview with BET News. “Because in some people’s mind, that means you’re going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove who you are. Well, there are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities, who don’t – there’s no Kinkos, there’s no OfficeMax near them.”
“Of course people have to prove who they are,” Harris continued, but “not in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to prove who they are.”
The vice president’s comments came in the midst of a nationwide battle over voter ID laws, with states like Georgia and Texas taking center stage. Many progressives argue that voter ID laws are “racist,” while Republicans suggest changes in laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud.
Rural Americans took issue with the comments from the vice president – who spent two recent weekends at her Brentwood mansion in Los Angeles following a brief visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in late June — suggesting she is out of touch with the nation.
“We built this country. We can manage to photocopy our ID’s,” former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright tweeted.
Others questioned Harris’ comments that people had to prove who they were, but “not in ways that make it impossible to prove who they are.”
“No one is buying this ridiculous argument against Voter ID,” tweeted veteran and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Sean Parnell. “The vast majority of Americans support it. Let’s get it done.”
Last month, President Biden announced that he tapped Harris to lead the White House’s fight to expand access to the ballot box, an issue the vice president told BET News she specifically asked to lead. In the same interview, though, Harris noted that she may have not said “‘no’ enough” to the multiple assignments from Biden, but that she is used to “multitasking”
Polling data from The Associated Press shows that most Americans support laws requiring photo identification to access the ballot box, with a majority of both Republicans and Democrats backing the idea. Overall, 72% of American adults support requiring photo identification to vote.
Harris’ comments came during the BET special titled “State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris” that aired Friday. The interview also touched on coronavirus vaccine rates and police reform.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Houston Keene contributed to this report.