Obama says biggest harm to voting rights today is apathy

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama speaks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says all Americans owe a debt to the sharecroppers and maids and ordinary Americans who were brave enough to try time and again to register to vote in the face of violence and oppression. He says without them, the Voting Rights Act wouldn’t have been signed into law 50 years ago Thursday.

At a White House event marking the anniversary, Obama said those rights are being whittled away today by voter ID laws and other attempts to discourage voting. He called on Congress to update the law in response to court decisions.

But Obama says attacks on their voting rights aren’t the main reason Americans don’t vote — many just don’t bother.

He declared Sept. 22 National Voter Registration Day and urged everyone to get registered.

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