Jesse Jackson: Long Voting Lines a ‘Form of Suppression’

By Patrick Burke | November 12, 2012 | 12:13 PM EST

Rev. Jesse Jackson. (AP)

( -- Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said that long lines at Pennsylvania polling places on Election Day were a form of voter suppression.

He added that he has not seen lines like the ones at early polling places in Ohio since the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Speaking on Election Day at a press conference in Ohio, Jackson said, “But they don’t have the early voting. They only vote today in Pennsylvania, so those will be very long lines. And very long lines, while they show one sign of commitment and the legality, also [are] a form of suppression.”

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

He continued, “We were able to see in Cincinnati this past Sunday literally thousands of people. I have not seen such lines since Mandela’s first election in South Africa. And while it was good to see people that determined, it was also unfair for seniors to have to stand in the cold that long, or for those in wheelchairs who are rolled up front, by people who care to let them go up front. For those who are on crutches, for those who are blind, who have the dogs.”

“So we have reason to be vigilant because with such efforts to determine the outcome of the election through voter purging, and voter suppression is a great concern,” he said.

President Obama won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, which were added to his 332 total electoral votes that enabled him to win re-election.

For the 2012 election, there were 15 states that did not permit citizens to vote early, and required a reason to obtain an absentee ballot.