Obama says voter ID laws can barrier to ballot box, urges revitalized Voting Rights Act

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President Barack Obama speaks near the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday," a landmark event of the civil rights movement, Saturday, March 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


President Barack Obama, center, walks as he holds hands with Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was beaten during "Bloody Sunday," as they and the first family and others including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga,, left of Obama, walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday," a landmark event of the civil rights movement, Saturday, March 7, 2015. From front left are Marian Robinson, Sasha Obama. first lady Michelle Obama. Obama, Boynton and Adelaide Sanford, also in wheelchair. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says voter ID laws can be a barrier to voting, and the government needs a revitalized Voting Rights Act to police ballot box discrimination.

Obama tells CBS' "Sunday Morning" that the Justice Department must have the right tools to go after a place that's discriminating against certain voters and fix the problem.

The president also is troubled by photo ID requirements. He says that in some places, getting a photo ID can cost up to $150 — and that can be a burden for someone who's on a fixed income and not driving anymore and doesn't have a license.

A Supreme Court ruling in 2013 eliminated the Justice Department's ability under the Voting Rights Act to identify and stop potentially discriminatory voting laws before they took effect.

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