Vice President Kamala Harris was among the least popular of the large field of candidates in last year’s Democratic primary campaign for the presidency when she dropped out. She gave an interview to BET on July 10 that reminds us all of why she was at the bottom of that list.
Harris was asked about one of the hottest issues in the country currently, voter ID requirements and election integrity laws.
“I don’t think that we should underestimate what requiring voter ID could mean. Because in some people’s minds, that means, well, you’re going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove that you are 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,” she responded.
“People have to understand that when we’re talking about voter ID laws, be clear about who you have in mind and what would be required of them to prove who they are. Of course, people have to prove who they are, but not in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to prove who they are,” Harris continued.
The backlash against Harris’ comments came quickly. The Vice President seems to have had to come up with an explanation on the fly as to why voter ID should not be required. And the greatest thing she could do was argue that rural voters found photocopying their identity with a ballot almost impossible.
The implication was seen by many as dismissive of many in Harris’ voting base, belittling their ability to carry out the most simple tasks, even with help. To the extent that her comments were not criticizing rural Americans, they show how incredibly out of touch Harris is with ordinary people living outside the D.C. beltway.
Harris ignored many ways that people can photocopy their IDs, including publicly available copy machines at many public buildings and private businesses and in-home printers. Voter ID systems can also efficiently be designed to accept copies of ID provided by photos taken with smartphones.
Americans must provide ID proof for countless daily activities, including flying on planes, renting hotel rooms, driving, and making any purchases.
The Vice President’s remarks follow comments by Joe Biden in February about black and Latino Americans, claiming they didn’t know how to use the internet to obtain information about COVID vaccinations.