Ben Carson Defends Controversial Restrictive Voting Laws, Says They Are Not Racist

Ben Carson speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland

Ben Carson does not consider restrictive anti-voter laws to be racist and said on Oct. 21 that they ensure that the "appropriate people" vote.

"I've made it my personal project, every time I visit a country outside the U.S. to ask what do they do to ensure the integrity of voting?" the Republican presidential candidate told the Topeka Capital-Journal. "There’s not one single country anywhere -- first world, second world, it doesn't matter -- that doesn't have official requirements for voting," Carson said.

"My question to those people who say we’re racist because we apply those standards: Are all the other countries of the world racist?" the former neurosurgeon continued. "I don’t think so. Voting is an important thing. Obviously, you want to make sure that it's done by the appropriate people."

Carson, the second most popular GOP candidate in the polls behind Donald Trump, echoed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's support for controversial voting laws in the state which force residents to provide proof of citizenship upon registration and identification before voting, the Huffington Post reports. These restrictions kept at least 34,000 people from voting in 2012. Most of these voters were young and/or black, both of which are typically Democratic demographics.

Carson's support for Kobach's measures come shortly after Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton publicly criticized him for the strict voting requirements and his plan to delete incomplete voter registration after 90 days, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

"We should be doing everything we can to get young people more engaged in our democracy, not putting up obstacles," Clinton tweeted.

Kobach hit back against what Clinton called "a targeted attack on voting rights," saying that every non-citizen vote cancels out a citizen's.

"The Hillary Clinton campaign is unhappy with the fact that Kansas has the most secure election system in the country," Kobach said.

He added that people who call voter registration restrictions racist attack him personally and make assumptions about the motivations in his heart.

Sources:Topeka Capital-Journal, Huffington Post
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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