President Obama said Friday that his new voting-rights commission will help to prevent state officials from engaging in “new tricks” that discourage minorities from voting.
“It’s very important that we work together to make sure everybody gets a chance to vote, and we clear away a lot of this nonsense,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with SiriusXM radio. He added that the country needs more election rules “to make sure that people aren’t waiting in line for six, seven hours, that there aren’t new tricks that discourage people from voting.”
Although he did not single out Republicans by name, Mr. Obama’s comments came after the two major parties sparred continually during last election cycle over new voting requirements instituted in a string of GOP-controlled states. Backers of the new laws say they were needed to prevent polling fraud, while critics said they were a way to intimidate or curtail voting primarily by low-income and minority voters, who tended to back the president.
In his State of the Union address on Feb. 12, Mr. Obama announced the creation of a non-partisan commission to investigate problems with voting nationwide. The effort is being co-chaired by Bob Bauer, former top lawyer for the president’s re-election campaign, and Ben Ginsberg, who was the lead attorney for the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney.