April 23, 2024


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RFK Jr railing against ‘racially rancid’ voter ID laws in unearthed writings

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has been a longtime opponent of requiring voters to show proof of identification to cast a ballot, a number of his resurfaced writings and interviews show.

The material reviewed by Fox News Digital was published throughout 2008 in the run-up to that year’s presidential election, and included Kennedy referencing voter ID laws as ‘racially rancid,’ and claiming voter fraud was ‘non-existent.’

One of his past writings – a comic book co-authored with investigative journalist Greg Palast and sponsored by numerous liberal and left-wing organizations – specifically claimed voter ID requirements were discriminatory against Black people.

‘One out of every ten Americans don’t have a government-issued ID because they don’t travel abroad, so they don’t have passports, and they don’t drive a car[,] so they don’t have drivers[‘] licenses. The number rises to one in five when you’re dealing with the African American community. And, indeed, for those people to get a government-issued ID – it’s an obstacle,’ Kennedy wrote on page 16 of the comic.

On the same page, Kennedy described voter ID laws as ‘racially rancid,’ citing thousands of voters rejected at the polls for having an expired license – or no license at all – during an unnamed previous election being ‘disproportionately’ Black.

Kennedy wrote on another page that an Idaho requirement for newly registered voters in the state to show ID to have a mail-in ballot counted was ‘a new voter Block-the-Vote trick.’ He later described voter ID laws as ‘the newest scam to steal your vote,’ and specifically called those turned away from the polls for not being able to prove their identity as ‘stolen votes.’

‘Voter fraud is non-existent… everybody who has ever studied this – non-partisan, bi-partisan groups – [has] said that it is simply not a problem in this country,’ Kennedy also wrote in the comic.

Kennedy also claimed voter fraud ‘doesn’t exist’ during a 2008 HuffPost interview while comparing voter ID requirements to Jim Crow laws and accusing Republicans of using fear surrounding voter fraud as an excuse to make it harder for minorities to vote.

‘Republicans have seized on this in order to erect all kinds of obstacles and impediments that essentially mimic the old poll taxes that were used in the southern states during the Jim Crow period, to keep Black people from voting. Today, they’re directed toward suppressing the votes, not only Blacks, but Hispanics and American Indians, of young people of senior citizens,’ Kennedy said.

That same year, Kennedy admitted in a piece published by liberal outlet Rolling Stone that ‘the requirement to show a government-issued ID doesn’t seem unreasonable,’ but claimed again that traditional Democrat voters, which, at the time, he described as young voters, minorities and seniors, ‘often have no driver’s licenses or state ID cards.’

He repeated similar claims during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow just days ahead of the 2008 presidential election. ‘One in five Black voters does not have a driver’s license. That means if you require a driver’s license, you’re getting rid of 20% of the Black voters in this country,’ he said.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Kennedy’s campaign for comment.

Despite his past claims about them, voter ID laws remain popular across the country. Numerous polls taken in recent years have shown more than three-quarters of Americans support requiring proof of identification to cast a ballot.

Kennedy is running alongside wealthy entrepreneur and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan, a former Democrat who he announced would join his ticket during a rally in Oakland, California, last month.

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