Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said Thursday that Republican governors are engaging in voter suppression efforts that are trying to "bring us back to Jim Crow days."
Speaking at Al Sharpton's National Action Network the day after rival Hillary Clinton spoke, Sanders railed against what he portrayed as draconian GOP tactics to prevent people from voting. "Jim Crow" refers to the infamous laws in the southern United States after the Civil War that enforced racial segregation.
Democracy means one person, one vote, Sanders said. Liberals have consistently complained about voter ID laws across the U.S. as unfair, saying they're less about preventing voter fraud and more meant to stop Democratic voters from getting to the polls.
"You want to vote for me? Love to have it. You want to vote against me? That's called democracy," Sanders said.
He also called for the overturning of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision so loathed by progressives.
"We have a level of Republican voter suppression that is absolutely outrageous," Sanders said. "You would have thought that after all we have gone through as a country to make sure that people have the right to vote, regardless of the color of their skin, that these Republican governors would show some mercy and not try to bring us back to Jim Crow days."
Sanders charged Republicans were trying to make it harder for the old, poor and people of color to vote.
"That is moving in exactly the wrong way," Sanders said. "What we all agree on is at the end of the day, in America, if you're 18 years of age and you're an American citizen, you have the right to vote."
Sanders has struggled badly among minority voters against Clinton in the Democratic primary while he's thrived in states with large white majorities. He trails Clinton by double digits in New York polls with the primary five days away.