Democrats support photo ID to dine out in D.C. but oppose it for voting absentee

The nation's capital under Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser is set to institute some of the nation's strictest COVID measures, effective Saturday.

Published: January 11, 2022 9:55pm

Updated: January 12, 2022 11:42pm

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser is set to require photo identification and a vaccine passport to dine out or work out in the nation's capital — even as her party vows parliamentary scorched earth to power through a national ban on requiring photo ID — or any documentary proof of identity — to vote absentee.

Effective Saturday, Washington, D.C. institutes one of the most restrictive COVID-19 mandates in the nation, requiring all patrons over the age of 18 to show photo identification, while ages 12 and up must show proof of vaccination before visiting most indoor establishments.

The D.C. photo ID requirement comes into effect just as President Biden has endorsed scrapping the Senate filibuster so that his party can force through on a party-line, 51-50 vote election overhaul legislation outlawing requirements "to submit any form of identifying document as a condition of obtaining or casting an absentee ballot."

Under the patchwork of new D.C. restrictions and preferences governing freedom of movement, people will not be required to show ID and a vax card to enter grocery stores, places of worship and government offices. They will, however, need to show their documents for indoor restaurants, gyms, theaters and other entertainment venues. Mask requirements are also still in place.

D.C. authorities refuse to accept a negative test to allow a person to enter an indoor venue unless that unvaccinated "patron has a religious or medical exemption" and can provide proof of their beliefs or condition as well as a negative PCR or antigen test from within the previous 24 hours.

The vaccine mandate could possibly expand to those younger than 12 in the future. "They are not covered by the order at this time," D.C. authorities state. 

Acceptable photo ID includes a passport, a state-issued driver's license or a student ID.

Unless a customer's vaccination status is linked to a membership, such as at a gym, facilities must check a customer's ID and vax record every single time they enter.

Businesses that do not comply may have their business license revoked or face a $1,000 fine, but employees are not required to show proof of vaccination at this time.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) tweeted a reminder of the requirement Tuesday, hours before President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about pending, Democrat-proposed voting legislation that would allow voters to cast their ballots without showing ID.

"Remember that starting Saturday you will need these three things before heading out: 1. Proof of Vaccination (12 years +) 2. Proof of Vaccination and Photo ID (18 years +) 3. Mask," Bowser tweeted.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) responded to Bowser: "Dems think it's racist to require voter ID but are happy to segregate the unvaxxed and require anyone leaving their home to have a photo ID, mask, and proof of vaccine. Big Brother Dems want to divide us. How will they enforce?"

"I thought showing a photo ID was akin to Jim Crow, oppressive and racist," Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren tweeted.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said: "Congress can and should step up and stop this vindictive abuse of children and other citizens in our nation's capital."

"So it's okay to require ID to buy a cheeseburger but it's 'racist' to require ID to vote in an election? This is disgusting," Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) tweeted.

D.C. residents do not need to show identification to vote. People who register by mail to vote need to provide the last four digits of their Social Security Number or their driver's license/DMV-issued ID number.

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