Obama: Reports of Voter Fraud Are ‘Fake News’ Restrictions Traced ‘Directly Back To Jim Crow’

Wednesday at the White House during his final news conference, President Barack Obama said he worries about continuing efforts to make it harder to vote through things like voter identification legislation because of America’s “ugly history” that “traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery,” and added that such allegations of voter fraud were “fake news.”

Obama said, “I worry about, as I said in response to a previous question, making sure that the basic machinery of our democracy works better. We are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote rather than easier. And that dates back—there’s an ugly history to that. That we should not be shy about talking about … I’m talking about voting rights. The reason we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is that it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery.”

“And it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise,” he continued. “And that’s not who we are. That shouldn’t be who we are. That’s not when America works best. So I hope that people pay a lot of attention to making sure that everybody has a chance to vote. Make it easier, not harder. This whole notion of voting fraud—this is something that is constantly has been disproved. This is fake news. The notion that there are a whole bunch of people out there who are going out there and not eligible to vote and want to vote. We have the opposite problem. We have a whole bunch of people who are eligible to vote who don’t vote. And so the idea we put in place the idea of a whole bunch of barriers to people voting doesn’t make sense.”

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