Martin Luther King Jr.’s Daughter Says U.S. Voter Suppression Is Alive and Well

The center that honors slain U.S. civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. will devote the holiday celebrating his legacy on Monday to voter education and registration, his youngest daughter said in a recent interview.

Bernice King, 56, said she believes her father would have been disappointed with efforts playing out in some U.S. states to purge voter rolls of people who have not recently cast ballots or to impose strict ID requirements.

“You can’t take away someone’s right to vote just because they haven’t decided to exercise it,” said King, who serves as chief executive of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. “When you take people off the voter rolls because they haven’t chosen to exercise their rights, to me, is suppression.”

Advocates of revoking the registration of inactive voters say that doing so reduces the risk of people fraudulently casting multiple ballots or voting in multiple places, though studies show that voter fraud is exceptionally rare in the United States.

Political observers note that purges disproportionately affect poor and minority voters, who are more likely to support Democratic candidates.

The King Center aims to register as many new voters as possible in a drive culminating on Monday at the Ebenezer Baptist church where King preached. Monday is the federal holiday celebrating King, who was shot dead by an assassin in 1968 at age 39.

“Change never happens just because,” Bernice King said. “There has to be a force behind that effort and people need to be involved.”

Last month, a federal judge allowed Georgia officials to purge voter rolls of about 300,000 voters who have not voted since 2012, have died or moved from the state. Opponents said that more than 120,000 people should have been left on the rolls, especially in a heavily contested presidential election year.

On Tuesday, a Wisconsin appeals court intervened to stop as many as 209,000 names from being scrubbed from the state’s voter registration rolls, in a case voting rights advocates say could impact also access to the polls in a key battleground 2020 election state.

In North Carolina, the question of new, stricter voter ID rules is still being fought in the courts. In early January, the state’s attorney general vowed to fight a recent court ruling that blocked that state’s new voter ID law.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Scott Malone and Cynthia Osterman)


  1. She, like all good communists, want to keep the voter rolls open to anyone and everyone including those who moved out of state, died, voting more than once, pets, illegals and everyone who does NOT have a right to vote in America. The only way they can have that happen is to outlaw voter ID at the polls or confirm it is actually the person voting even vote by mail. They communist party has no problem with it. Remember that lenin called his followers “useful idiots” and the same can be said for the demonrat/communist party. This is why they get the popular vote. Without those people they would not get even close to the popular vote.

  2. If someone is alive and still lives in the state, then yes they should be kept on the rolls regardless of whether or not they have voted. However that doesn’t mean a periodic review of the voter rolls shouldn’t happen. If a person has died or left the state, they should be purged from the voter rolls – it keeps the rolls “fresh” and less likelihood of fraud occurring which in itself is a form of voter suppression.

    1. Along with the RIGHT to vote, comes an obligation. To protect the rights of all, registration is necessary. It is your OBLIGATION to REGISTER and to VOTE REGULARLY.

  3. Exceptionally rare you must have your head up your but this is Reuters though. Last time we held elections there was video evidence of Democrats telling illegals how to vote and to vote. These were workers at the freaking voting locations saying they would ignore the fact they can’t legally vote as long as they voted Democrat. Why do you think California and New York gave drivers licenses to illegals maybe it’s just California for now. Voter fraud happens every single time we hold an election and it’s likely turned the tides in favor of several Democratic candidates.

  4. Interesting you have to have an ID to cash a check to get on a plane to buy liquor to buy cigarettes but they don’t want an ID To prove you are who you are when you’re casting a vote that involves the entire United States? It seems like a no brainer to require ID to vote in the United States and if they can give ID cards away to the illegals then they can do it to the poor people that can’t afford the 26 or $30 for an ID

  5. “Right On Bernice” like Richard J. Daley said “Vote Early and Often” and not letting the deceased vote is RACIST.

  6. Bernice King ,, with all due respect ,,, the DemonRats have consistently proven, time and time again, they will go to any lengths to taint the election process and have been caught many times. If someone has not voted in 3 years ,, their name must be removed. If they have passed away, their name must be removed. Voter Residency must be proved via ID/Tax Bill/Car Registration before they can vote. Is that so difficult to comprehend ??

    1. Your ID, Tax bill and Car registration are not tied to your citizenship.

  7. I’m going with Nelson Mandela on this one: he DEMANDED photo ID in South Africa because it was the ONLY legit way for every single citizen to cast their vote and have it counted equally with every one else’s… PERIOD!

    1. Spot on target, Greg. IF we have to show an ID to cash a check, take out a loan, buy liquor, cigarettes and (naturally) a gun, what’s so problematic about having to show an ID to prove your identity in order to exercise your Constitutional Right to vote?

  8. This woman’s comment is beyond stupid, reflects her lack of an education and dire need for a dictionary! IF any person – Black, White, Red, Brown, Yellow or any combination thereof – makes a PERSONAL CHOICE to NOT VOTE, how is that “voter suppression”? And what about the NVRA, the Federal Law REQUIRING the removal (purging) of inactive voters – like maybe those who have died and can’t make it to the polls (exception for Florida DemocRATs) – after two Federal elections (eight years)? Is she inferring it should be permissible for a “select group” to be allowed to vote every 16, 24 or 30 years – or longer?

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