In a speech to a Latino group earlier this month in Los Angeles, Mr. Tanner said that a disproportionate share of elderly minority voters did not have identification, but added that it was not a widespread problem because of their life expectancy. “Creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance,” Mr. Tanner told the National Latino Congreso, according to a video posted on YouTube. “Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don’t become elderly the way white people do. They die first.”
Not surprisingly, Democrats have responded to this.
Senator Barack Obama said the leader of the civil rights division of the Justice Department should step down after suggesting that minority voters were not widely disenfranchised by laws requiring photo identification because many members of minorities died before reaching old age. “This administration has shown very little interest in making sure that all people have equal access to the ballot box,” Mr. Obama said in a telephone interview. “It’s important for all of us to embrace the basic notion that we should try to make voting easier, not harder.”