Politics

As Clinton Wins, Lewis Turns to Voting Rights

Lewis, center, and Cecile Richards, left, president of Planned Parenthood, watch election results Tuesday at a "Super Tuesday" watch party for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Paschal's Restaurant in Atlanta, Ga. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ATLANTA — Even in celebrating presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's resounding victories in deep South Democratic primaries, Rep. John Lewis had his eye on the battles ahead.  

The Georgia Democratic congressman and hero of the civil rights movement lamented that polling locations had been moved unexpectedly and it was difficult for some folks to cast ballots.  

"They came down to vote, and they were told they need to go someplace else. We need to fix it. It should be very easy and simple ... to vote," Lewis said. "People shouldn't be told you've gotta go there, you've gotta go there. It's just disgraceful."  

That was true on the campus of Georgia Tech University, where some voters arrived to find their precinct's voting location has moved to an Episcopal Church on the other side of the main interstate through the city.  

Voters indicated that they could cast provisional ballots in the student center at Georgia Tech or make the trip to the church.  

Speaking to supporters at the historic Pascal's restaurant, Lewis invoked his participation in the march on Selma, Ala.  

"Only thing I did? I gave a little blood on that bridge, and I'm not going to stand by and see people making it harder and difficult for people to vote," Lewis said.  

Lewis praised the work of Clinton staffers and volunteers in winning Georgia and other Southern states. After Lewis departed, the crowd continued to make noise each time the televisions in the bar area showed a new state being declared for Clinton.  

"We must continue to work, and never ever give up, never give in," Lewis said. "There are folks on the other side who are going to take us back."  

"We've come too far. We've made too much progress to stand still," he said.  

Contact lesniewski at nielslesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter at @nielslesniewski

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