Source: Andrew Rafferty / NBC News
President Barack Obama on Friday vowed to fight back against Republican led efforts to implement restrictive voter identification measures in some states, capping off a week in which Democrats have attempted to bring the issue to the forefront of national attention.
“The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago,” Obama told the National Action Network conference in New York City. “Across the country, Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for people to vote.”
The administration has made a recent push to combat voting restriction laws being implemented in some states following last year’s Supreme Court decision that struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act which allowed previously covered states and jurisdictions to change voting procedures without federal approval.
Since then, Republicans in several states have enacted laws to limit early voting periods and require voters to have certain forms of identification. Proponents of the measures say they are meant to prevent fraud at the ballot box and streamline the voting process. But Democrats maintain the laws are a way to suppress voter turnout and disadvantage minority or low-income Americans who have never needed an ID.
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