Hillary Clinton called Thursday for sweeping changes to elections and voting laws, arguing that measures including universal voter registration and national early voting are necessary to counteract a tide of laws aimed at making it more difficult for some people to vote. Speaking at Houston’s Texas State University, at a ceremony honoring the late civil rights leader and Democratic Representative Barbara Jordan, Clinton set her sights squarely on some of her potential Republican opponents, who she said are “systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting.” In one of her most powerful and passionate appearances of her campaign thus far, the former secretary of state singled out four current and former governors, whose actions “have undercut [the] fundamental American principle” of the right to vote in their “crusade against voting rights.” Instead of continuing along the same path, she said, “they should stop fear-mongering about a phantom epidemic of election fraud” and work to make it easier for Americans who want to vote to go to the polls.
All U.S. citizens should be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18 unless they take active steps to opt out, Clinton said, and all 50 states should allow at least 20 days of early voting. She also said she hopes to see Congress take action to roll back the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling allowing nine southern states to change their voting laws without federal approval.
“We need a Supreme Court that cares more about the right to vote of a person than the right to buy an election of a corporation,” she said in an aside referencing that decision and her opposition to the high court’s rulings that have allowed unlimited and undisclosed money to pour into politics.