HOUSTON — The head of the NAACP says the group’s fight against conservative-backed voter ID laws that have been passed in several states is akin to the great civil rights battles of the 1960s.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, the CEO and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told delegates at the group’s annual convention on Monday in Houston that these are Selma and Montgomery times. He was referring to historic civil rights confrontations in Alabama.

Many conservatives say voter identification laws are needed to stem voter fraud. Critics say voter fraud is rare and such laws are meant to suppress turnout among groups that tend to vote Democratic, including minorities.

Jealous says the rising tide of vote suppression must be overwhelmed by registration and mobilization.