Republican Rep. Steve Scalise is facing backlash on social media after he fired off an inaccurate and incendiary tweet demanding that Americans should be angry with the new voting rights bill that passed the House. The reform bill known as HR1 would expand voting rights to underserved groups and remove intrusive and outdated barriers to participating in the democratic process. Naturally, allowing disenfranchised citizens easier access to voting doesn’t sit well with Scalise who once reportedly referred to himself as “David Duke without the baggage.”
“Every single American should be OUTRAGED by this,” Scalise tweeted. “Democrats just voted to ban voter ID nationwide and force every state to permanently expand mail-in voting.”
In a way, Scalise got what he wanted. Americans are outraged, but mostly with him.
A politician who told voters he was "David Duke without the baggage" is OUTRAGED by a new Voting Rights Act?
Wow, that's a shocker. https://t.co/HgJRYMvoOo
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) March 4, 2021
Steve Scalise is OUTRAGED by democracy. The GOP is literally trying to CANCEL our Democracy.#CancelCulture
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) March 4, 2021
Every American should be outraged that you're outraged over expanding voters rights. https://t.co/eaS8wao1Yv
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) March 4, 2021
I'm outraged that a minority party seems to think it's appropriate to require more ID and regulation to vote than to buy an assault rifle. pic.twitter.com/pTmbK2qZXe
— Danielle Ames (@DanielleAmes10) March 4, 2021
You voted to throw out the results of my state's election, you can have a seat.
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) March 4, 2021
“Banning voter ID” is a GOP talking point that former vice-president Mike Pence also used in an op-ed on the Daily Signal. However, that claim is not accurate and was fact-checked by Daniel Dale ahead of HR1 passing the House. Via CNN:
This is false. The bill does not prohibit states from having voter identification requirements. Rather, it requires states to allow voters who do not show ID to instead submit a signed statement under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and eligibility to vote.
As for the mail-in ballot claim in Scalise’s tweet, which Pence also referenced, here’s what’s really happening, according to Dale: “The Democrats’ bill does not require states to send out ballots that voters have not explicitly solicited. Rather, the bill requires states to give all voters the option of requesting a mail-in ballot without an excuse.” In short, yes, there will be greater access to mail-in voting, but it will not be forced on voters. Of course, if you think allowing more Americans to vote is a bad thing, as Scalise and Pence do, then obviously you won’t be a fan of this move.
(Via Steve Scalise on Twitter)