WASHINGTON -- Michelle Obama says protecting the right to vote has become the nation's most important civil rights issue.
The first lady tells a gathering of black lawmakers and leaders that they owe it to those who fought and died for equal rights in the 1960s to make sure every voter can freely cast a ballot.
Her comments at an annual awards banquet for the Congressional Black Caucus come amidst a push in more than a dozen states to pass laws requiring voters to show ID at the polls. Critics say the laws unfairly harm minorities, poor people and college students - all groups that tend to vote Democratic.
Comparing it to the civil rights movement, Obama calls voting rights "the march or our time" and "the sit in of our day."
The Associated Press