Top Democrats are describing voter identification requirements as as return to "Jim Crow" discrimination. But it wasn't that long ago when voter photo IDs enjoyed a bipartisan embrace and Congress' main investigative arm concluded the vasty majority of registered voters already had the necessary identification.
"Depending upon the study, estimated ownership rates among registered voters ranged from 84 to 95 percent," a 2012 Government Accountability Office report concluded, adding that white and black Americans have roughly similar access to photo IDs to use for voting.
The photo ID debate is back in full bloom as Congress and some battleground states appear on a collision course.
Congressional Democrats are pushing the For the People Act of 2021 — passed by the House and pending in the Senate. It would empower voters to avoid photo identification requirements in certain states.