In talk to NAACP, Biden blasts voting restrictions

LAS VEGAS -- Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the national convention of the NAACP Wednesday morning at Mandalay Bay resort.

Biden told the nation's oldest civil rights organization their mission to protect the vote isn't done. He was here to show people how the voting rights issue affects Nevada.

The Nevada State Legislature did not pass voter identification bills last session nor did it reduce the time for early voting.

But the vice president came to Las Vegas to tell Nevadans and activists from around the country to go to other states and fight against new voting laws.

"Seven out of 10 states with the highest African American turnout in 2008 have since passed laws to restrict the vote. Nine out of the 12 states with the Hispanic populations in America have passed laws that restrict the vote. States have passed laws to make it harder to register to vote," Biden said.

He said the laws masquerade as anti-voter fraud measures, but are intended to make voting harder and lessen the number of people who cast ballots.

The vice president explained instances where states passed laws shortening the early voting days and eliminating the ability to register to vote on Election Day.

Biden said those laws rob more people of the right to vote than the number of people caught for voter fraud. NAACP President Cornell Brooks hopes his organization's members in Nevada will go to other states and protest those voting laws.

"There is no evidence of voter impersonation. That people here are casting their ballots for the candidates of their choice in free and fair elections and that the experience in Nevada should be the experience of states all across the country," Brooks said.

On Tuesday, Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller announced the arrest of one woman accused of voter fraud. She is the third person in two years to be arrested for registering twice under different names.

In comparison state records show one million votes were legally cast in Nevada during the last presidential election.

The vice president also spoke about the importance of honoring the 60th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Immediately after the speech, Biden went to a fundraiser for democratic congressional candidate Erin Bilbray. She is running against republican Congressman Joe Heck. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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