DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — President Barack Obama says the Supreme Court "made a mistake" in its decision to throw out a crucial provision of the Voting Rights Act.

Obama says the law was a "cornerstone of democracy" and the high court failed to recognize the degree to which voter suppression is a problem around the nation.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court said it could not enforce a requirement that states or localities with a history of discrimination must get federal government approval before changing the way they hold elections.

It said Congress must come up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections.

Obama urged Congress to come up with ways to make it easier for people to vote.