Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did more than call out Republicans for trying to suppress the vote. She offered a proposal that would terrify Republicans to their very core. Hillary Clinton wants every American to be automatically registered to vote at age 18.
Clinton stood up for students who have to wait for hours for their right to vote, grandmothers who get turned away from the polls due to voter ID laws, and people who are being disenfranchised by laws that take away their right to vote due to felony convictions.
Former Sec. Clinton specifically called out North Carolina for passing a law that went after anything that made voting more accessible. She said, “We should be doing everything we can to get our young people more engaged in democracy, not less.”
Clinton hit Texas Republicans for allowed a concealed weapons permit for voting identification, but not a student ID. Clinton said most offenses against voting rights occur below the radar, like changing polling place locations and stripping polling places of language assistance.
The Democratic frontrunner cited studies that showed that minorities voters are more likely to wait in line and have to vote in places with an inadequate number of voting machines. Clinton said, “This kind of disparity does not happen by accident.” She said that it is just wrong to try to prevent, prohibit and undermine Americans right to vote, “We should be clearing the way for more people to vote, not putting up every roadblock that anyone can imagine.”
Clinton called out Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush for each taking action in their states that tried to stop citizens from voting. She asked Republicans why they were afraid of people voting, and said that she believes every citizen should have the right to vote, and it should be made easier to vote.
Hillary Clinton called on Congress to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, the implementation of the recommendations of the bipartisan presidential commission on voting including online absentee voting and no one should have to wait more than thirty minutes to cast a vote, 20 days of early voting, including weekend and evening early voting.
Clinton went beyond any other proposal by calling for universal automatic voter registration. She called for every young man and woman to be automatically registered to vote, unless they opt out. Clinton also wants people’s voter registration to move with them.
She was realistic by stating that none of these reforms will come easily. Clinton stressed the need for more citizens voting, and activists, and grassroots mobilization efforts, more justices on the Supreme Court, who will protect voting rights. She said, “We need a Supreme Court that cares more about protecting the right to vote of a person that protecting the right of a corporation to buy an election.”
Clinton’s speech revealed why millennials are overwhelmingly supporting Democrats. Hillary Clinton didn’t just fight back against Republican efforts to suppress the vote. She proposed a game-changing idea that should terrify Republicans, who are doing everything in their power to shrink the size of the electorate.
If Clinton’s proposal became a reality, Republican voter suppression efforts would instantly vanish. Every American should be automatically registered to vote. Whether or not they vote is their choice, but the idea that voting should be made more difficult is un-American.
Be afraid Republicans. Be very afraid, because Hillary Clinton is not only the most experienced candidate in either party, she is also demonstrating a forward thinking vision that is completely absent on the Republican side.