“Tomorrow, we mark the date on which hundreds of thousands of Americans marched on Washington on behalf of human rights. Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. uttered words now etched forever in our nation’s history:
‘I have a dream, that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’
“His call to action sparked the momentum needed to pass the Voting Rights Act – knocking down legal barriers that had stood for generations, and ensuring every American could exercise their constitutional right to vote.
“In 2016, we’ve come a long way since the days of Jim Crow. Yet too many Americans still face systemic racism and constant assaults on their franchise. Something is profoundly wrong when decades after Dr. King addressed the nation, so many Americans still feel that their country values them less, simply because of the color of their skin.
“That’s just one reason why the stakes in this election are unlike any we have faced before. Those brave men and women who marched, and sat, and bled for civil rights in America must not have done so in vain.
“As President, I’ll stand up to bluster and bigotry, and fight back against efforts to restrict access to the ballot. Let’s make it easier for people to vote, not harder. Let’s make sure every state has at least 20 days of in-person voting, and no one ever has to wait more than 30 minutes to cast their ballot. And let’s automatically register every American to vote on their 18th birthday.
“The power of American democracy comes from the fact that no one is left behind – no matter where they come from, what they look like, or who they love. That’s what I mean when I say that we’re stronger together.
“So today, let’s continue to be inspired by the self-evident truths that first united our nation, and live up to what a young minister dreamed and declared fifty-three years ago.”