Clinton to call for expanded early voting in all U.S. states

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2015 5:53 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton will call for at least 20 days of early voting in all U.S. states in a speech in Texas on Thursday, her campaign said.

Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, will criticize restrictive voting laws passed in some states, and argue that expanding the early voting period would make it easier for working Americans to cast their ballots, the campaign said.

Clinton will deliver remarks at Texas Southern University in Houston, where she will receive the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award.

The campaign said Clinton "will urge Congress to move quickly to pass legislation to repair the damage to the Voting Rights Act done by the Supreme Court in 2013."

The U.S. Supreme Court two years ago invalidated a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that required areas with a history of racial discrimination, mainly in the South, to get federal approval for changes to voting laws.

Since then, a number of states have approved or are considering laws that critics say make voting harder for lower-income and minority voters.

Clinton's campaign said she will criticize "Republicans who have fought to curb early voting" and denounce efforts to restrict voting in states including Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida.

Sponsors of the state laws targeted by Clinton and other Democrats say they are necessary to combat voter fraud.

Democrats and civil rights groups say there is little evidence of fraud, and that the measures are part of a Republican effort to suppress turnout by Democratic-leaning demographic groups such as the young, poor and minorities.

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Eric Walsh)