Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will announce June 4 changes she wants to see happen with U.S. voting rights, including an early voting period of at least 20 days in every state.
Clinton will speak at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, where, according to her campaign, she will denounce voting restrictions in North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Wisconsin, while encouraging states to appoint a new national standard of no fewer than 20 days of early in-person voting, including evening and weekend opportunities, reports The Huffington Post.
Currently, only one-third of states offer any form of early voting.
Democrats argue that banning early voting, as well as requiring an ID to vote, are restrictive measures that disproportionately affect poor and working class voters.
Clinton wants to see “swift action” taken to remove voting laws that keep people from casting their vote.
Clinton will "draw a sharp contrast with Republicans who have fought to curb early voting,” a Clinton campaign aide said.
South Carolina Democratic Rep. Bakari Sellers has referred to the voting rights fight as “the greatest challenge of our generation.”
Clinton also plans to address the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that concluded portions of the Voting Rights Act, established in 1965, were no longer constitutional.
In the Supreme Court ruling, nine states — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia — were given the right to change their election laws without advance federal approval, The New York Times reported. This includes the ability to not allow early voting, redistrict without federal approval and institute voter identification laws of their own choosing.
When the Supreme Court decision was made, Clinton said the court had “struck at the heart” of the landmark law. She also expressed how she believes the decision would make it difficult for poor, elderly, minorities and working people to vote.
Clinton’s call for voting rights at Texas Southern University will be given following her acceptance of an award named after Barbara Jordan, a groundbreaking African-American lawmaker and civil rights leader.
"Secretary Clinton is addressing the right issue in the right place at the right time," Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, the nation's oldest civil rights organization, said. "It is our hope that she and presidential contenders on both sides of the aisle will not only address the issue but support fixing the badly broken Voting Rights Act.”
Photo Source: Keith Kissel, Flickr Creative Commons