Rep. John Lewis says GOP is trampling voter rights he fought so hard for

Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) accused some state Republican legislatures of turning back the clock on voting rights for minorities.

“Today it is unbelievable that there are Republican officials still trying to stop some people from voting,” Lewis said in his speech Thursday night at the Democratic convention. “They are changing the rules, cutting polling hours and imposing requirements intended to suppress the vote.

“The Republican leader in the Pennsylvania House even bragged that his state's new voter ID law is ‘gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state.’ That's not right. That's not fair. That's not just.”

Lewis was one of 13 “Freedom Riders” who fought for equal rights for African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

“And similar efforts have been made in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina,” Lewis said. “I've seen this before. I've lived this before. Too many people struggled, suffered and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote.”

Lewis encouraged his fellow Democrats to stand up against the Republican changes to voter laws.

“We must stand up, speak up and speak out. We must march to the polls like never before,” Lewis said in Charlotte, N.C. “We must come together and exercise our sacred right. And together, on November 6, we will reelect the man who will lead America forward: President Barack Obama.”