Fox Business anchor David Asman repeated a defense of the new voter suppression law in Georgia — citing the supposed ease with which the state would provide people a “free” identification card they could use to vote — and continued to do so even after a guest pointed out exactly how it was false, because many people in poorer communities would still need to pay to obtain other documents.
To be clear, the bureaucratic processes and monetary fees to obtain a “free” ID continue to be impediments, especially for the elderly, low-income voters, and people of color. For example, a study released in 2014 by the Harvard Law School found:
This report finds that the expenses for documentation, travel, and waiting time are significant—especially for minority group and low-income voters—typically ranging from about $75 to $175. When legal fees are added to these numbers, the costs range as high as $1,500. Even when adjusted for inflation, these figures represent substantially greater costs than the $1.50 poll tax outlawed by the 24th amendment in 1964.
But while interviewing political strategist Tezlyn Figaro on Wednesday’s edition of Cavuto: Coast to Coast, guest anchor Asman said: “The Georgian politicians would tell you that in fact, if individuals are not able to get a photo ID — there are about 200,000 Georgians of voting age who don't have a driver's license, for example — but they could go to the state and get an ID for free, a photo ID. They could also use their bills as proof of residence, their gas and electric bill or other means.”
Figaro replied by explaining the real fees attached to obtaining other documents needed to then get the “free” state identification card, such as a birth certificate and Social Security card.
“So, it's not as easy as people think,” Figaro said. “Those of us like you and I that use our ID and have access to get an ID, it's certainly, you know, easy for us. But that does not apply when we talk about our elderly, who vote in substantial numbers, and those who are poor. So if it was, you know, not a big deal, then why is so much legislation being passed now to suppress those votes?”
Indeed, this information is readily available on Georgia’s own state website for obtaining a driver’s license or other identification card, in compliance with the federal Real ID Act. A person showing two examples of utility bills, thus demonstrating state residency, is only part of the process — while the other identity documents remain a strict requirement.
And yet Asman seemed not to be aware of it in preparing for this topic, instead only mentioning the use of a utility bill to show residence.
But it actually gets worse. Later on in the program, Asman interviewed religious-right activist and former Georgia state Rep. Alveda King, who had previously appeared on Fox News in the days after the 2020 election and falsely claimed that there was “shady business going on” in the vote counts. In the weeks to follow, she also continued on Twitter to spread conspiracy theories and a refusal to accept the results of the election.
Those conspiracy theories falsely alleging voter fraud have in turn inspired a coordinated effort by Republican legislatures across the country to enact a new series of restrictions on voting. This includes the new law in Georgia, which now makes the state election board dominated by appointees of the GOP-controlled legislature and empowers it to take over local election administration in Democratic strongholds.
Asman repeated the exact same talking point with King, even though Figaro had corrected him on it earlier in the show.
“But you have the president of the United States calling people who support this law that does require identification — but identification that you get for free from the government, or you could use your gas and electric bill or anything — he's calling that Jim Crow,” Asman declared. “He's calling people who support it racist. And yet he's a guy who came in saying he was going to be the great unifier. Does race-baiting equal anything close to unifying the nation?”