Obama to focus civil rights message on voting

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is using another civil rights forum to issue an election-year warning against erosion of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 law that helped pave Obama's path in politics.

On Friday, Obama will address Al Sharpton's National Action Network conference in New York. The White House says the president will take issue with Republican measures in some states that make it more difficult for Americans to vote.

The president's speech is part of the administration's effort to mobilize voters and push back against state voting restrictions prompted by last year's Supreme Court invalidation of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

Obama's speech Friday comes a day after he marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas.

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