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Obama Holds Republicans to Account for Limiting Voting Rights

Addressing the National Action Network convention, President Barack Obama held Republicans to account for their ongoing national campaign to suppress voter turnout by making it harder for citizens to vote.

“If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that’s not a sign of strength. That’s a sign of weakness,” Obama said.

While Republicans claim that the new restrictive laws are meant to combat voter fraud, recent studies show little evidence of a problem. One analysis found that, out of 197 million votes cast in federal elections between 2002 and 2005, only 40 voters were indicted for voter fraud. Another 12-year study found only 10 cases of in-person fraud.

“Let’s be clear, the real voter fraud is people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud,” the president said.

Focusing on swing states, Republicans are pushing new laws designed to restrict voting by tightening voter ID requirements, limiting the time polls are open, and making it more difficult to register to vote.

Time to Make It Easier to Vote, Not Harder

In answer to the unprecedented assault against voting rights across the country, the Democratic Party and former President Bill Clinton have launched the Voter Expansion Project.

The project doesn’t want to only push back against the Republican campaign to limit voting rights and voter participation. It intends to empower voters by expanding rights and opportunities to vote.

The Democratic Party Voter Expansion Project will work to ensure that every eligible voter can register, that every registered voter can vote, and that every vote is accurately counted.

“Today, there is no greater assault on our core values than the rampant efforts to restrict the right to vote. When we restrict who can exercise a right so fundamental, it affects everyone,” said Clinton. “As Dr. King reminded us, injustice to one group is injustice for all.”

An Update and Thank You from NYC

We wanted to share this update with you from Mayor Bill de Blasio on the universal pre-K campaign in New York.

Statement from Mayor de Blasio on State Budget Agreement

“With the investment announced today, this state has made a powerful and historic decision that will change the lives of tens of thousands of children. We set out down this road nearly 18 months ago. Through ups and downs, we never wavered from our promise to the people of this city to expand full-day pre-K and afterschool for our children starting this September. Today that pledge became a reality. With this 5-year commitment, we can now move forward to deliver truly universal pre-K. We can add new high quality after-school programs and begin to address the challenges we face in our education system. These are foundational changes to our schools that will lift up every child.”

This budget also recognizes the unprecedented homelessness crisis facing this city and our shared commitment to lift up people facing crisis. It represents a new beginning in our approach to homelessness by clearing the way for a new rent subsidy program that would help families transition out of our shelter system. These new partnerships between the city and state will mean we can begin turning the tide and protecting our most vulnerable. And I’m heartened that the budget provides a rent cap for those diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.

“We applaud what Governor Cuomo and our state legislature have accomplished for the people of this city. I look forward to continuing to work together with the governor to move New York City forward. We owe a debt of gratitude to Speaker Sheldon Silver and the New York State Assembly, whose two decades of advocacy and leadership on early education brought us to this moment. Their unity and commitment to truly universal pre-K for every child have achieved something truly extraordinary today. I am grateful for Co-Leader Klein’s work in the Senate to put our youngest children first. We also thank Democratic Leader Stewart-Cousins, Co-Leader Skelos, the Senate Majority, Senate Democrats and the IDC for standing squarely behind New York City’s children.”

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