5:36 am - Saturday March 25, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s Bold Call to Expand Voting Rights Draws Wide Praise‏

Hillary Clinton’s Bold Call to Expand Voting Rights Draws Wide Praise

Yesterday in Houston, Hillary Clinton called for reforms to expand Americans’ voting rights, including universal, automatic voter registration and no fewer than 20 days of nationwide early voting, including evenings and weekends. Her remarks drew a sharp contrast with the records of top Republicans, including prospective candidates for president like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Rick Perry.

Take a look at some of the coverage…

New York Times Editorial: Hillary Clinton, Voting Rights and the 2016 Election

“In addition to pushing needed and long-overdue reforms, the speech highlighted the yawning gulf on voting rights between Mrs. Clinton and the Republican candidates for the White House, many of whom have been cynically committed to making voting harder for the most vulnerable citizens. ‘What part of democracy are they afraid of?’ Mrs. Clinton asked.”

Wade Henderson, CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, to MSNBC

“Finally, a presidential candidate is acknowledging the rampant voting discrimination that has surged since the Voting Rights Act was gutted in 2013. Voting is a cornerstone of our nation’s commitment to democracy, and Clinton’s acknowledgment of its importance is noteworthy.”

Heather McGhee, President of Demos

“Secretary Clinton rightly called for sweeping voting system reforms, including automatic voter registration, and the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most important tools to protect the right to vote and overcome racial discrimination in the voting process.”

Dr. James C. Perkins, President of Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

“The PNBC is in full support of former Secretary of State Clinton’s stance to create policy that will end the chance for continued racial discrimination at the polls.”


Jill June, Iowa Voting Rights Activist and Small Business Owner

“Hillary Clinton affirmed her commitment to the basic premise of American democracy: one person, one vote, no exceptions. Hillary rightly called out discriminatory voter ID laws and she stood up to Republicans who have acted to disenfranchise millions of working poor, senior citizens, students and veterans in a cynical ploy to win elections.”

Jamelle Bouie, Slate: Hillary Clinton Hits the GOP on Voter Suppression

“Invested in voter suppression—Walker touts his ID bill to GOP audiences—Republicans will push back, attacking Clinton’s plan for its size and wide federal role. But it’s clear she’s ready for the fight. With this issue, she’s in her element: Calm, comfortable with details, and eager to argue her vision. This, in a sense, was the real beginning of the Clinton campaign, and it was effective.”


Paul Waldman, Washington Post: Is Hillary Clinton becoming the candidate of big ideas?

“It’s starting to look that way. When yesterday she proposed national automatic voter registration — registering all Americans to vote when they turn 18 unless they opt out — it surprised everyone. While universal registration isn’t an idea no one had thought of before, Clinton took a Democratic priority (expanding voting rights and boosting turnout) and advanced it with an ambitious, national plan that went beyond what most prominent Democrats had advocated before.”


Cass Sunstein, Bloomberg View: Make Voting a Birthright

“The universal voter registration system that Hillary Clinton is calling for is a terrific idea…. [I]n the oldest democracy on the planet, the right to vote should not be something that you have to work to claim. It should be your birthright.”

Simon Rosenberg: NDN

“NDN endorses in the strong possible terms the speech and plan offered by Hillary Clinton yesterday to help renew our democracy and bring initial reforms to our political system…. Yesterday Hillary Clinton made it clear that she wasn’t going to accept the status quo and was making political reform and making it easier for every day Americans to participate in our democracy central to her campaign.”

Rick Hasen, Professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine and Election Law Blogger: @rickhasen

“Automatic Universal Voter Registration, Especially of 18-Year-Olds, is a GREAT Idea”


Ari Berman, The Nation: Hillary Clinton’s Bold Plan for Voting Rights

“These policy proposals would make it easier for millions of Americans to cast a ballot and participate in the political process…. Regardless of the motive, expanding voting rights is good for everybody. There’s no equivalence between policies that make it easier to vote and policies that make it harder to vote.”

Rachel Maddow: MSNBC

“One of the things we do get from the Democratic side in moments like this, which the Beltway otherwise would never get to in a million years, is taking policy ideas that are being innovated in the blue states… and thinking of them and talking about them and proposing them as models for the nation. It’s gonna be amazing to have all the Republicans try to explain why that’s such a terrible idea.”

Greg Sargent, Washington Post: Hillary leans hard into the battle over voting

“Hillary Clinton is already leaning into the ever-simmering battle over voting. Her Democratic allies are preparing to wage a national legal battle against GOP state-level voting restrictions, and she is calling for a national 20-day early voting period. But now, Clinton is rolling out another proposal in her push for an expansion of voting access: In a speech in Texas that is underway right now, she is calling for universal, automatic voter registration.”


Jim Newell, Salon: Hillary sets the perfect trap for GOP: Why her voting rights push is smart policy — and great politics

“We should not expect the Republican Party apparatus to embrace Hillary Clinton’s call for harmonized early voting standards. But it does at least put them in a position of having to explain, again, why they don’t support this, for which the best answer they have is, it’s a hassle.”


Donna Brazile, CNN: Hillary Clinton gets it on voting rights, Republican contenders don’t

“Listen, at the end of the day, the right to vote is sacred in this country, especially for the people who have fought so hard over the years to have their voices heard. When Republican lawmakers play politics and take that away, they silence the voices of so many across the country. I’m glad Clinton is speaking out on this issue and, who knows, we might get a chance to hear from others before the end of the summer.”

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire: What Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Is Getting Right

“Perhaps it’s been overlooked by the inside baseball press corps but, so far, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign has hit all the right buttons about what’s really going on in the country.”

MSNBC: Hillary Clinton lays out sweeping voting rights vision

“Clinton sought to move the voting rights debate for 2016 toward more advantageous terrain for Democrats and voting rights supporters: expanding access to voting and voter registration, to make it easier to cast a ballot and bring more Americans into the process…. Clinton has long had a strong record on voting issues. As a volunteer for the 1972 George McGovern presidential campaign, Clinton worked to register Latino voters in Texas. And in 2005 as a senator, she introduced an expansive voting bill that would have made Election Day a national holiday and set standards for early voting.”

Washington Post: Hillary Clinton declares war on Voter ID

“No one was expecting fire. But Clinton’s speech – focusing on some of what Clinton presented as the ugliest truths about voting in the United States – was no boilerplate stump speech. Clinton went big. She called for universal and automatic voter registration and a 20-day (or more) period of early voting in every state, before every election. Clinton’s speech identified the work of protecting and expanding voting rights as a critical part of her campaign.”

NPR: Returning To Roots, Clinton Lays Out Proposal To Expand Voting

“For Clinton, focusing on voting rights was something of a return to her roots. Her campaign points out that in 1972 she went to Texas to help register Latino voters. But Clinton has been interested in voting rules since her earliest involvement in politics.”


New York Magazine: Hillary Clinton Calls the Republican Bluff on Voting Rights

“And so Clinton’s embrace of voting rights may not have any plausible near-term prospects for enactment. But it serves to demonstrate to the party’s core constituents something elemental, and true: At the current moment, there is only one party that respects their rights as citizens.”

AP: Clinton: GOP trying to make it difficult for people to vote

“Clinton said the U.S. should take dramatic steps to expand the right to vote, with universal, automatic voter registration for young people, and a new national standard of no fewer than 20 days of early, in-person voting, including weekend and evening voting. In the home state of President Lyndon Johnson, architect of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Clinton said the Supreme Court ruling had ‘eviscerated’ the law, making it more likely that minority voters, the elderly and others would face consequences.”

NBC News: Hillary Clinton’s Call to Ease Voting Impacts Growing Latino Vote

“Although the setting for her voting rights speech was a historically black college, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s call for making it easier for Americans to vote has implications for the political involvement of Latinos. Every year, at least 50,000 Latino youth turn 18. Pew Research Center has projected that Latinos would account for 40 percent of the growth in America’s eligible to vote through 2030 and in that year, some 40 million Latinos would be able to vote.”

NYT: Hillary Clinton Says G.O.P. Rivals Try to Stop Young and Minority Voters

“Speaking at Texas Southern University here in front of her largest crowd yet as a candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Clinton accused Republicans generally of enacting state voting laws based on what she called ‘a phantom epidemic of election fraud’ because they are ‘scared of letting citizens have their say.’”

Los Angeles Times: Hillary Clinton attacks Republicans over voting restrictions

“Hillary Rodham Clinton positioned herself as a crusader for voting rights Thursday, calling for an overhaul of election laws so that every citizen would automatically be registered to vote on their 18th birthday.”

MSNBC: Clinton goes bold on voting rights

“You could almost hear voting-rights advocates nationwide applauding in unison. Automatic, universal registration, for example, is seen as one of the most consequential of all possible reforms – and voting-rights opponents on the right have yet to come up with an argument against it.”

Talking Points Memo: Clinton Rips GOP On Voting Rights While Calling For Universal Voter Registration

“Receiving an award in honor of the late Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX), a champion of voting rights, Hillary Clinton gave an impassioned speech on the topic Thursday, ripping into Republicans for passing laws that restrict citizens’ ability to vote while proposing her own ideas for broadening the franchise.”

The Guardian: Hillary Clinton: GOP candidates ‘afraid of democracy’ with voting rights stances

“Her comments were well-received with the thousand-strong crowd, who afforded her a half-dozen standing ovations.”

AMERICAblog: Hillary Clinton comes out swinging on voting rights, calling for universal automatic voter registration

“Yesterday, Hillary Clinton planted a very large flag on the side of voting rights, calling her Republican opponents out — by name — for actively working against the basic democratic principles that voting is a good thing, and that elections are more representative when more people show up.”

Paul Waldman, The Week: Hillary Clinton wants to make voting easier. I can’t wait to see Republicans try to poohpooh it.

“In a speech in Texas on Thursday, not only did Hillary Clinton advocate for extending early voting, but she also proposed automatically registering every citizen over the age of 18 to vote. And she didn’t dress her language in non-partisan terms either; she called Republican-led voter ID laws ‘a sweeping effort to disenfranchise and disempower people of color, poor people, and young people.’ She’s exactly right.”



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