Here's a refreshing change! A candidate on the campaign trail talking about issues.
Hillary Clinton just wrapped up a rally in North Carolina where she hit hard on voting rights restrictions in that state and across the country, likening it to the Jim Crow laws which suppressed African-Americans' voting rights.
Since I heard no pundits discussing her proposals below, and no mention of the book she and Tim Kaine just published with their detailed policy ideas, it seems appropriate to highlight it here.
This is something the media should be hammering on. The courts have invalidated much of North Carolina's draconian Voter ID law, but there's still much more work to be done. Clinton promised to restore the VRA, fight for universal voter registration, and expand early voting.
On the last point, it seems to me that a better approach to expanding voter participation would be to make Election Day a holiday and for workers to show proof of voting to be paid for that holiday, but any expansion of voting rights is a good thing, particularly in states so intent on suppressing voting rights, rather than strengthening them.
The full transcript is below.
This election has such high stakes for us, but the highest stakes are for young people, young people across America. This election is going to determine in so many ways what kind of futures you will have. I don't say that lightly. Everybody always says every election is important. I happen to believe that.
I think it's one of the great gifts of our democracy, that we have the opportunity to choose our leaders. And people -- brave people going back for so many years have fought to preserve that right.
That right is under attack right now now. And it is under attack in North Carolina of all places, a state that often set the standard for moving everybody into the future, and I admired that so much, emphasis on education for literally preschool through college, emphasis on research, on job creation and innovation. And now North Carolina under the current governor and legislature has been trying to restrict people's right to vote.↓ Story continues below ↓
Well, you know it. North Carolina voters won an important victory when a federal court just struck down this state's voter ID law. The federal court brought back more days of what's called one-stop early voting.
Here is what the court said. This is not me talking. This is what the federal court said. The court said the North Carolina law was designed to target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.
That's not just happening in North Carolina. unfortunately it's happening across America. and courts have been overturning restrictions that make it harder, not just for African-Americans, but Latino people, young people.
One of the provisions in the North Carolina law was to make it really hard to vote where you go to school. So this has been a concerted effort to undermine the right to vote, even to make it hard for people with disabilities to cast ballots.
Well, what's the best way to repudiate that kind of underhanded, mean spirited effort to deprive people of their votes?
Get out and vote and make it clear we're not putting up with that! .
These laws are a blast from the Jim Crow past and have no place in 21st century America. we should be doing everything we can to make it easier to vote, not harder. That's why, if I'm elected president, I will work to expand early voting. We will enact universal voter registration so every young person in every state is automatically registered to vote when you turn 18. And we will repair the damage done to the Voting Rights Act and take on discrimination in all forms.