Saturday night, the first lady told a gathering of black lawmakers and leaders that they owe it to those who fought and died for equal rights in the 1960s to make sure every voter can freely cast a ballot.
Her comments at an annual awards banquet for the Congressional Black Caucus come amidst a push in more than a dozen states to pass laws requiring voters to show ID at the polls. In Minnesota, where voters could pass a voter restriction constitutional amendment this November, polling on the issue has gotten much closer. After much public discussion and education on the issue, the percentage of voters supporting “voter ID” has dwindled from 80% to now just 52%. The Star Tribune poll shows Democrats are increasingly rejecting it after learning it involves much more than showing an ID and passed the legislature without a single Democrat supporting it.
Critics say the laws unfairly harm minorities, poor people and college students — all groups that tend to vote Democratic.
Comparing it to the civil rights movement, Obama calls voting rights “the march or our time” and “the sit in of our day.”