On yesterday’s (February 14) episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” the host explored how some restrictive voter identification laws are making it nearly impossible for some citizens to vote.
“Studies have shown these restrictions tend to disproportionally impact African-American and Latino voters,” he said. “[ID is] just one of those things that White people seem to be more likely to have, like a sunburn or an Oscar nomination.”
Many legislators argue that requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls is necessary to prevent voter fraud. But Oliver cited a study that found that between 2000 and 2014—a period during which 1 billion+ ballots were cast—there were only 31 possible cases of fraud in the entire country. “These voter ID laws are the biggest overreaction to a manageable problem since Sleeping Beauty’s father ordered all the spinning wheels in the land to be burned,” he said.
The video also includes a clip of a Republican party official saying that he thinks voter ID laws bolstered his party in the 2012 elections. “Oh, no! You’re saying the thing that everyone knows, but you’re not supposed to say out loud,” Oliver said following the excerpt. “That’s like writing ‘I’m desperate to bone’ on an online dating profile, or a band calling their reunion tour, ‘We ran out of money.’”
The segment ends with footage of Texas legislators casting “ghost votes” for each other, which Oliver argued amounts to—wait for it—voter fraud.
Watch the full video above.