As partisan conflict over election laws intensifies in Texas and other GOP-controlled states, political comedian Tim Young is calling on lawmakers to support his plan to help Americans get valid ID cards.
Young, a SiriusXM radio personality, this week unveiled plans to launch “ID across America,” conceived as a volunteer organization that will help voters with the application process. The comedian said he was inspired to take action because politicians have done little to address the problem, which has emerged as a hot button in the nationwide debate over election-related legislation.
“I’m tired of the rhetoric that there are thousands of disadvantaged voters because they can’t get voter IDs,” Young said in an interview with LBL. “It seems like so many politicians and so many people are bucking that line, but no one is really doing anything to fix the problem, and it’s a very simple problem to fix.”
Democratic lawmakers have opposed Republican efforts to introduce voter ID requirements, arguing that the proposals limiting what types of identification are acceptable are too restrictive and effectively deprive voters. Republicans say stricter voter ID cards are necessary to protect electoral integrity.
Democrats have been particularly critical of election bills in Texas and Georgia, with President Biden referring to the latter state’s recently passed bill as an example of “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” This week, a group of Texas House Democratic lawmakers left the state and flew to Washington, D.C. to avoid attending a special session to consider a GOP-backed election bill.
“The narrative is that people can’t get ID,” Young said. “I’m not sure where the politicians were on this, why they were sleeping on it, why this kind of organization didn’t come up earlier, but it’s time to wake up, and if you want stricter election integrity laws, everyone should have one. Should be able to get the ID and have access to it and we’re just providing that.”
Democrats in Congress have supported the “For the People Act,” a sweeping federal bill that would overhaul election standards nationwide, as a check against bills passed by the GOP-controlled legislature. A version of the bill, in which Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. A voter ID requirement was included at the urging of a voter ID card, after a GOP filebuster last month failed in the Senate.
Young said that nearly 500 volunteers have signed up to aid the initiative since the idea was first announced earlier this week. The comedian said he is getting “closer” to volunteers in the lower 48 states.
Young plans to launch an official website for the organization by August 1 and is trying to garner a base of over 1,000 volunteers. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton supported Young’s proposal.
The comedian said he considers his idea to be a bipartisan effort, although criticism of the voter ID requirements has come largely from Democrats.
“I think every politician should support it. I don’t know why they wouldn’t,” Young said.