DNC slams Republican lawmaker's voting rights remarks as 'abhorrent'

Rep. Ted Yoho's (R-Fla.) recently revealed comments about needing "to be a property owner to vote" have no place in modern America, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said Wednesday.

“Ted Yoho’s comments aren’t just from a different decade, they harken back to another century when Americans were denied their basic rights as citizens," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) wrote in a statement. "Yoho’s view is abhorrent and immoral and should be roundly condemned in the strongest possible terms."

A liberal watchdog, RigthWingWatch.com, on Tuesday posted a clip of Yoho during the 2012 campaign saying, "I've had some radical ideas about voting and I'm — probably not a good time to tell them. It used to be you'd have to be a property owner to vote."

Brian Kaveney, a spokesman for Yoho, said the congressman was only making a "historical reference." In no way was the congressman advocating for reverting back to system where only landowners could vote, Kaveney said. 

Wasserman Schultz said his comments stem from a larger problem in the Republican Party, which she claims is trying to make it harder for people to vote.  

“Unfortunately, Ted Yoho’s comments are just one example of what is wrong with today’s Republican Party that thinks the problem in our democracy is that there are too many people participating and is systematically trying to make it harder for eligible citizens to participate in the electoral process," she said.

In the freshman Republican's remarks, which the blog said he made at a church in Ocala, Fla., he said he supported paring back early voting days in Florida and described voting as a privilege and duty. 

“I can't remember which Founding Father said it, but he says the ability to vote, but vote uninformed, is as tragic or as dangerous as having a loaded gun and not knowing how to use it," Yoho said. 

In the short clip posted online, he goes on to say voting can be a chore, but offers: "We just need to get people informed." 

"Voting, yeah it is inconvenient; you know you've got to go shopping; you got to get your hair done; you've got to do something else — you've got to go fishing. Yet, it is our privilege, and it is our duty. Think about in other countries around the world where they are shooting at you to vote. We just got to get people informed," he said.

— Updated 4:25 p.m.

More in Presidential races

Trump calls Wasserman Schultz 'a terrible person'

Read more »