GOP defending voter ID laws in Texas ad campaign

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has launched an ad campaign aimed at pushing back on Texas Democrats’ opposition to recent GOP-backed efforts to expand voter ID requirements for those casting mail-in ballots in elections. 

The 30-second ad unveiled Tuesday features Georgia State Rep. Melvin Everson (R), whose state earlier this year sparked controversy by putting in place widely condemned election restrictions, including expanded voter ID requirements and other limits that Democrats and voting rights activists say would disproportionately harm voters of color and those in low-income communities. 

Everson started the ad by holding up his ID card and saying, “I’m Melvin Everson, says it right here.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

“I use my ID to drive, fly, even pick up tickets to a ballgame,” he continued. “It proves I am who I say I am.” 

“But Democrats say Black folks like me don’t know how to get one of these,” Everson argued. “They think this stops them from winning the election.” 

“That’s what Democrats really care about,” he added. 

The video is part of the RNC’s “Protect the Vote” campaign aimed at implementing “common-sense election reforms that make it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” according to the party’s website. 

“The RNC is working around the clock to fight for election integrity protections at every level of the democratic process,” the group added. 

The party cited several polls which it said show that Americans want reforms to boost the integrity of election systems, which was repeatedly called into question by former President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE and his allies through unsupported claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. 

ADVERTISEMENT

For example, the RNC included an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released earlier this month showing that 79 percent of respondents said they supported requiring government-issued photo identification to vote.

However, 56 percent of people in the same poll said they are more concerned about “making sure that everyone who wants to vote can do so,” rather than “making sure that no one votes who is not eligible.”

The ad campaign comes amid an ongoing partisan fight between Texas GOP and Democratic lawmakers over a series of measures Republicans have attempted to pass that would impose sweeping changes to elections in the state, including expanded voter ID requirements, as well as bans on drive-thru and 24-hour voting. 

Several Texas House Democrats have fled to Washington, D.C., to prevent a vote on the latest GOP proposal, arguing it would cause undue harm for minorities and low-income residents.