As South Carolina gears up for the third presidential primary, comedian and Last Week Tonight host John Oliver decided to break down exactly what "voting" is — and blasted voter ID laws, which are supposed to protect the rights of voters.
As Oliver pointed out in the segment, everyone in the U.S. deserves the right to vote — "even idiots" — and that the current restrictions regarding voter IDs (which are primarily supported by members of the GOP) instead create impositions for certain demographics to participate in U.S. elections.
"Studies have shown these restrictions tend to disproportionately impact African-American and Latino voters. In Texas, for instance, experts have found that African-American voters were almost twice as likely to lack voter ID, and Latinos were nearly two-and-a-half times as likely," Oliver extrapolated.
"It's just one of those things that white people are more likely to have. Like a sunburn. Or an Oscar nomination," he added, comparing the pitfalls of voter ID laws to the Academy's controversial all-white award nomination pool this year.
Oliver's backlash against the legislation also comes in the wake of the Voting Rights Act repeal in 2013; the current election marks the first since the Supreme Court's decision two years ago.
As for critics who counter that a lack of voter ID laws would lead to an uptick in voter fraud? Oliver dismissed the notion, stating that "it's a lot of trouble with low reward," all the while equating the act, which can land a guilty party five years in prison, to attempting to use a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon as a license.
Oliver's overall coverage is a unique take on the 2016 presidential primary — rather than focusing on outspoken GOP candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, or the lessening voter margin between Democrat hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the Last Week Tonight host vowed to cover aspects of the election that pertain to the actual "process," rather than the figures that are currently dominating it. If the third season premiere is any indication of the success of this ethic, one only needs to look at how viral this particular clip has gone.
In the end, Oliver's words ring undeniably true: "Voting is a right. If you take it away, you ruin democracy."
Watch HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on Friday at 11 p.m. EST.
Watch John Oliver explain how voting works — and decimate voter ID laws — in the video clip below.