Bill Clinton: New voting laws 'assault' on values

Former President Clinton said Wednesday the greatest “assault” on the United States’ values are new restrictive voting laws springing up across the country. 

In a five-minute video, Clinton announced a new initiative by the Democratic National Committee to defend voting rights at a time when, he said, opponents of progress want fewer people to vote. 

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"There is no greater assault on our core values than the rampant efforts to restrict the right to vote," Clinton said. 

He added: "Now all across the country, we are seeing a determined effort to turn the clock back, an effort taking many different forms."

Earlier this week, Vice President Biden went even further, calling laws in North Carolina, Texas and Alabama examples of hate. 

Clinton cited laws that have shortened voting hours and pared back early voting, as well as measures requiring increased identification. 

"They are all designed to make it harder for working people — especially people of color, the elderly, those with disabilities and young college students — to get to the polls," he said. 

Attorney General Eric Holder has launched lawsuits in Texas and North Carolina aimed at the new voting laws.

Clinton mentioned the governor's race in Virginia last year, in which he said Republicans predicted their only path to victory would be decreased turnout on Election Day. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, for whom Clinton campaigned, eventually won the race over Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

The DNC effort will aim to register more people, simplify the process and make sure all voters are counted. Clinton said it would take the form of legislation, education and advocacy. 

As an example of past reform, Clinton named the National Voter Registration Act, which he signed in 1993, that allowed people to register to vote when getting a driver's license or dealing with other state or local government agencies.