Bond Says Republican Voting Laws Roll Back Rights Gains

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Julian Bond and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. cast their ballots to fill Bond’s vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 23, 1966. Bond was refused his seat in congress because of his endorsement of a statement which charged the U.S. with committing aggression in Vietnam.

Civil rights leader Julian Bond stood at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago and heard the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaim, “I have a dream.”

Now, Bond says, that dream is becoming harder to accomplish because Republican governors and legislatures are trying to make it harder for blacks and other minorities to vote.

“A lot of states have passed these voting laws which are just outlandish, and they suspect that there’s a level of fraud going on in the country which no one can see, no one knows anything about,” Bond said on “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend on Bloomberg Television.

Republicans in North Carolina acted shortly after the Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the requirement that states with a history of discrmination receive federal government approval before changing their voting rules. Besides imposing a new voter-ID requirement, the North Carolina law also curbs early voting before Election Day.

“North Carolina has become the new Mississippi,” Bond said. “They’ve just taken an enormous step backward in voting rights.”

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