Hillary Clinton Calls for Expansion of Voting Rights: Attacks Republicans For Excluding Minorities From Vote

By @diplomatist10 on
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
IN PHOTO: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a roundtable of young Nevadans discussing immigration as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Nevada May 5, 2015. Reuters/Mike Blake

Democrats’ presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for sweeping changes in the U.S. national voter-access laws and attacked Republican ruled states and some of her rivals for seeking to suppress voting rights with laws to exclude young people and minorities from the election process. The former State Secretary’s partisan political statement sent out her readiness for a political collision with Republicans, who said the measures desired by Clinton would only invite widespread abuses in voting rights.

Automatic Registration

Clinton made her controversial speech at the black college in Texas and demanded a remedial federal legislation that can ensure automatic registration of all Americans for voting when they turn 18 with a provision for at least 20 days of early voting before Election Day in all states. “Today Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting,” Clinton said at Texas Southern University. And asked “What part of democracy are they afraid of ?”

Clinton also attacked Republicans for “calculated attempt to turn back the clock on voting rights” and slammed several 2016 rivals for backing voter restrictions when they were governors. She singled out New Jersey Gov Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former Texas Gov Rick Perry in her attack and said they were curbing voting rights and are guilty of undercutting the “fundamental American principle of a free vote.”

Republican Rejoinder

In a rejoinder, the Republican National Committee accused Clinton of “misleading” people on the issue and noted her own home state of New York has not provided provisions for early voting. “Her exploitation of this issue only underscores why voters find her dishonest and untrustworthy,” said RNC spokesman Orlando Watson in a statement. Since 2010, when a Republican wave was taking off, about 21 states implemented fresh laws seeking to restrict voting access and that included cutting back on early voting hours and limiting the number of documents required for obtaining valid identification to vote.

Meanwhile, Washington Post reported that a day before Clinton made the scathing attack on Republican Party, the Brennan’s Center for Justice came out with a report that cautioned the about the twists in the nation’s voting rights. According to the study, the most stringent Voter ID laws will disenfranchise 8 to 12 percent of the population in many states.

According to Myrna Pérez, its deputy director, the main losers will be people of colour, young voters, old, poor and women. These groups are less likely to have one of the forms made mandatory for voter ID, such as a proper birth certificate or passport.

(For feedback/comments, contact the writer at k.kumar@ibtimes.com.au)

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