Vice President Biden said new voter ID laws in North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas were evidence of “hatred” and “zealotry” during a Black History Month event at the Naval Observatory on Tuesday.
The vice president said his votes to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act were among his proudest as a senator, and expressed frustration with a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a key provision of the law.
Some Southern states have subsequently moved aggressively in the interim to impose new, tougher voter I.D. requirements. Supporters of the legislation, including many Republicans, argue the new standards help prevent voter fraud. But civil rights groups and Democrats have blasted the legislation as an attempt to suppress the vote among poor and minority voters, who are less likely to have government-issued photo identification. They also argue that instances of voter fraud are exceedingly rare.
“These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away,” Biden said. “The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”
Biden said both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were committed to protecting voting rights, and said he was hopeful Congress would address the Voting Rights Act formula to stop “this kind of malarkey.”