Obama said that Republicans had imitated Jim Crow-era restrictions on voting rights, which Lewis marched against, by passing state voter ID laws and other measures that conservatives argue prevent voter fraud. “You want to honor John? Let’s honor him by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for,” Obama said.
Democrats have pushed for a new version of the law renamed for Lewis, which restore federal supervision of state efforts to pass new election reforms. Obama said Democrats should also enact laws making voter registration automatic, granting the vote to ex-convicts, and making Election Day a national holiday, among other changes.
The former Divider-in-Chief likened the president to segregationist George Wallace and accused the government of “sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”