Barack Obama said today that the “head of the Justice Department’s voting rights division should be fired for saying voter ID laws hurt the elderly but aren’t a problem for minorities because they often die before old age.”
John Tanner’s remarks came during an Oct. 5 panel discussion on minority voters before the National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles. Tanner addressed state laws that require photo identification for voting, saying that elderly voters disproportionately don’t have the proper IDs.
“That’s a shame, you know, creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance,” Tanner said, according to video posted on YouTube. “Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don’t become elderly the way white people do. They die first.
“There are inequities in health care. There are a variety of inequities in this country, and so anything that disproportionately impacts the elderly has the opposite impact on minorities. Just the math is such as that,” Tanner said.
Tanner declined to comment today on his remarks. Barack Obama “also criticized Tanner for clearing a Georgia law that requires voters to show government-issued photo IDs at the polls. It was upheld by a federal judge last month.”
Brad Friedman has more on Brad Blog.