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In 1st NH Stop, O’Rourke Calls Voter ID Laws ‘Racist’

Beto O'Rourke is slated to visit all 10 of New Hampshire's counties this week

Kicking off a swing through New Hamsphire, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke called for an end to what he sees as "racist voter ID laws."

O'Rourke, 46, is scheduled to visit all 10 of New Hampshire's counties between Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

The campaign's first stop was a meet and greet at Keene State College Tuesday. It was scheduled at 6:30, but it was delayed more than an hour and a half as the candidate traveled by ground from an earlier event at State College, Pennsylvania.

During the event, the former Texas congressman also called for expanding same-day voter registration, as well as federal oversight of the voting system.

"We have kept too many people out for too long," he said.

Republicans have pursued voter ID laws aimed at preventing in-person voter fraud, including by people in the country illegally. Many experts say such voter fraud is extremely rare, and critics contend the efforts are meant to suppress turnout from groups who tend to back Democrats, including racial minorities and college students.

O'Rourke was introduced by 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee and former state Sen. Molly Kelly.

O'Rourke will continue traveling the state "to visit with and learn from Granite Staters from all walks of life," the campaign said.

Among some of the stops O'Rourke will make Wednesday include meet and greets at the Common Man Inn in Claremont and one at Plymouth State University. Thursday, meet and greets are scheduled at the Tuckerman Brewing Co. in Conway and the University of New Hampshire in Durham. The full list of campaign stops can be found here.

The former Texas congressman has had a rough start to his campaign, having to defend himself against criticism of the violent fiction he wrote as a teen and a campaign-trail joke he made about how his wife raised their three kids "sometimes with my help." 

O'Rourke entered the 2020 presidential race Thursday after months of speculation. He raised an eye-popping $80 million in grassroots donations last year in his failed U.S. Senate race in Texas against Republican Ted Cruz, all while largely avoiding money from political action committees.

His campaign announced that it raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after he announced his run for president. That topped Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had pulled in $6 million during his first day as a candidate.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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