Hillary Clinton criticized Republican lawmakers in North Carolina for their “concerted effort to undermine the right to vote” during a Thursday visit to Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black college in Charlotte.
Calling out Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and the GOP-dominated legislature for trying to pass restrictive voter ID laws and cut early voting, Clinton told the crowd that such measures targeted Democratic-leaning populations like students, African Americans, Latinos and the disabled.
“That’s not just happening in North Carolina,” the Democratic nominee cautioned. “Unfortunately, it’s happening across America.”
In late August, the Supreme Court ordered that a series of stringent voting restrictions in the Tarheel State remain blocked ahead of Election Day. As Clinton told the crowd in Charlotte, the appeals court ruling that blocked the restrictions noted that they targeted “African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
Two North Carolina GOP officials were also caught sending emails to local election boards instructing them to limit early voting hours, which are disproportionately used by black voters.
“What’s the best way to repudiate that kind of underhanded, mean-spirited effort to deprive people of their votes?” Clinton asked. “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 they have no place in 21st century America.”
Clinton said that as president she would work to improve voting access by expanding early voting and enacting universal voter registration so that all U.S. citizens are automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthdays.