WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) — President Barack Obama urged a group of Democratic governors to allow citizens to participate in democracy “the way our Founders intended” by making voting as easy as possible.

While speaking at the Democratic Governors Association meeting on Friday, the president said he would focus this year on protecting the right to vote.

“The job of our democracy is to make it easier, not make it harder for our citizens to be able to vote,” he said. “And we need to be modernizing voting to reflect the way that people live today.

President Obama cited a law in his home state of Illinois that will go into effect this year and expand early voting, allowing voters to register and vote on election day.

“This is about more than just creating economic opportunity; it is about preserving the rights and opportunities of generations of Americans that have fought so hard to secure and broaden our democracy. It’s about making democracy as good as it can be,” he said.

He also praised the adoption of automatic voter registration in Oregon and California as examples of changing the voting process to reflect a modern way of life.

“In Oregon alone, they’re hoping to register 300,000 voters this year. And so I’d encourage your steps — to take a look at the proposals that they’ve put forward,” he said.

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