Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) is generally known for two things: his Islamic faith, and his highly progressive worldview. And while no trace of Islamic theology has evinced itself recently in Ellison’s recent appearances, he certainly did an expert job blending religion and progressive politics in an interview where he likened supporters of Voter ID laws to followers of Satan.
“We gotta understand, when the devil comes back, he’s not gonna be red skinned and two horns and a tail,” Ellison told the host. “He’s gonna have a nice suit, he’s gonna talk real sweet, he’s gonna sound so reasonable, and just like this thing sounds reasonable, ‘Oh what’s wrong with having an ID?’ Well, nothing, but why should I lose my right to vote if I don’t have one?”
Of course, proponents of voter ID might justifiably counter that it’s Ellison himself who’s trying to sound reasonable even as he takes a toxic position on the issues. The ballot measure Ellison is denouncing, Minnesota Amendment 2, certainly doesn’t strip voters of their right to vote if they lack an ID. In fact, it includes a contingency for that situation, according to the website of the group supporting it:
It allows a voter without identification to cast a “provisional ballot” entitling the voter’s ballot to be counted once he or she can establish identification after the election. This will give voters without proper credentials a second chance to vote, when they would otherwise be turned away from the polls with no chance to vote under current laws.
Granted, it’s still possible to oppose the bill on the grounds that this promotes inefficiency. But the idea that this is a devil in a nice suit trying to cover up voter suppression would seem to require some qualifiers.