LAS VEGAS (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden urged the NAACP on Wednesday to spread the word about what he called “a hailstorm” of measures to restrict citizens’ ability to vote, trying to rally the Democratic Party’s base before the midterm elections.
In a 31-minute speech to the civil rights group’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Biden said there have been 83 attempts this year alone in 29 states to restrict voting rights. The measures stiffen requirements on identification needed to vote, or limit or end early voting.
“These moves to limit the right to vote are nothing more than pure politics, masquerading as attempts to combat corruption where there is none,” Biden said.
Civil rights groups complain the measures make it harder for minorities to vote because they have less access to identification and depend more on early voting. Biden said if the laws had been in effect during the 2012 election and only six percent of black voters who cast their ballots had been unable to vote, President Obama would have lost Florida rather than narrowly winning the state.