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Voting Rights Head Apologizes for Comments on Minorities

The Justice Department's voting rights chief apologized Tuesday for comments he made about minority voters, raising questions about civil rights and voting protections in the United States.

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  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    John Tanner sat before members of the House Judiciary Committee this morning once again caught in a swirl of controversy.

  • JOHN TANNER, Justice Department Official:

    Let me first note that I have apologized to the National Latino Congreso for comments I made about the impact of voter identification laws on the elderly and minority voters.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    Tanner, chief of the voting section within the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, was referring to an explanation he gave to a Los Angeles Latino group earlier this month on why voter identification laws, such as requiring a photo ID, were more likely to discriminate against elderly white people than minorities.

  • JOHN TANNER:

    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.

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