The Democratic presidential candidate’s remarks to the Alabama Democratic Conference, a group founded in the 1960s to encourage black Alabamans to vote Democrat, were previewed by CNN.
In her speech, Clinton railed against the Cotton State’s decision to shutter 31 DMV offices across the state soon after implementing stringent new voting laws, including a requirement to provide proof of citizenship. She reportedly called the strict laws “discriminatory and demeaning” and asked Gov. Robert Bentley (R) and other state lawmakers to “listen to their constituents” and keep the offices open.
The satellite DMV locations allowed residents in rural areas to obtain or renew their licenses. As TPM previously reported, all of the offices in counties where African Americans make up over 75 percent of the registered voters would be closed.
When news of the closures first broke in early October, Clinton said it was “a blast from the Jim Crow past.”
The Republican-led legislature denied that the closures disenfranchised black voters and said they were made strictly because of budget cuts. The state faced a budget shortfall of $200 million this year.
Gov. Bentley dismissed Democrats’ outcry over the issue as “race politics at its worst” in a recent closed-door meeting with state Republican leaders.
Saturday’s visit marked Clinton’s first trip to Alabama as a 2016 presidential candidate.