US states restricting the right to vote would disappoint Martin Luther King, says his daughter


Bernice King, daughter of MLK Jr., speaks during a rally against the state’s new voting restrictions outside the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., June 8, 2021. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage /File Photo

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Jan 12 (Reuters) – The daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. says she believes the slain civil rights leader would have been disappointed with efforts in parts of the United States to curb the right to vote.

“What’s happening right now wouldn’t surprise him, it would disappoint him,” said Bernice King, executive director of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.

Bernice King made the comments as President Joe Biden visited his father’s birthplace in Atlanta on Tuesday to revive stalled efforts to reform suffrage in the United States after new state laws that some activists say , will dissuade black voters from the ballot box.

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Biden’s speech comes as Democrats prepare for tough midterm contests in 2022 that could rob them of a majority in Congress and any chance of federal changes to election laws.

Former President Donald Trump continues to say the 2020 election was stolen by Biden Democrats through voter fraud, despite recounts and investigations that have found no evidence to support this claim. Since then, Republican lawmakers in 19 states have passed dozens of laws making it harder to vote.

Bernice King calls the recent court cases of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery “a turnaround,” adding that they wouldn’t have been possible without fair and just district attorneys in place.

“That’s why voting is essential, it’s all about our democracy, our voice, our vote,” she said.

The youngest daughter of the iconic civil rights leader said that despite the odds, she was hopeful and determined to be part of the solution.

“I know that ultimately we are going to see change and transformation. It may not be all at once, but we will see victories along the way.”

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Reporting by Temis Tormo in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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