POLITICS
01/21/2013 06:17 pm ET | Updated Jan 24, 2013

Obama Inauguration Speech Gives Voting Rights A Shout-Out

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said during his inauguration speech on Monday that it was up to this generation to carry on the work of previous civil rights icons in ensuring everyone had access to the polling place.

"Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote," Obama said in his speech. Obama had said on election night that the country had to "fix" the problem of long voting lines and the Justice Department is currently looking for ways to make voting easier.

Voting rights advocates saw the shout-out as an good sign.

"It's encouraging that President Obama used two major moments during the last couple of months to shine a light on the problems that too often plague our system of elections -- his election night speech and then his second inaugural address," Eric Marshall of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law told HuffPost.

"My hope is he uses his third opportunity, which is the upcoming State of the Union, where he's laying out his policy priorities for his second term to make a forceful statement to Congress that federal action is needed for uniform standards for elections in getting us to a place where we have a modern system of voter registration," Marshall told HuffPost.

Inauguration 2013

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