Tag Archive: voting rights

Dec 20 2017

The Power of One

Many people don’t vote because they believe that their vote doesn’t matter. They are wrong and the Commonwealth of Virginia has proven that the power of one vote can change the entire political picture. In Virginia, a 11,608-to-11,607 Lesson in the Power of a Single Vote The Democratic wave that rose on Election Day in …

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Dec 13 2017

Welcome Senator-Elect Douglas Jones (D-AL)

Last night the voters in the very red state of Alabama found there moral compass, went to the polls to reject bigotrty and pedophilia who was twice removed from the state bench for outrageous behavior and failure to enforce the law. They elected a real law and order prosecutor, Douglas Jones to replace another bigot, …

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Nov 28 2016

The Best Case For The Recount

It would seem that the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2 million votes and counting and the recount of votes in Wisconsin has gotten under the aging orange thin skin of the bad tempered liar-elect. Over the weekend after gorging himself on dishes named after himself at his resort in Florida, …

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Apr 04 2016

SCOTUS: One Person, One Vote Upheld

The US Supreme Court handed a conservative challenge to one person, one vote principle a unanimous defeat. In Evenwel v Abbott the court ruled (pdf) that states could count the total population, not just eligible voters, in drawing legislative districts. The plaintiffs claimed that redrawing electoral districts based on the population of citizens and non-citizens …

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Apr 29 2013

Sunday April 28, 2013: Up With Steve Kornacki Tweets

Today's topics were comprehension immigration reform, The SEC, money in politics, voting rights, Voter ID laws, and North Carolina politics. But most importantly, for me, Alexis Goldstein is back on #Uppers.

People loved the shit out of this one.

Thank you for reading.

Oct 16 2012

Ohio Voters Win

The Obama/ Biden campaign sued the state of Ohio  over changes in Ohio law that took away the three days of voting for most people, but made exceptions for military personnel and Ohioans living overseas. The 9th Circuit Cout of Appeals ruled that Ohio must make early voting available (pdf) to all Ohio voters and Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State, John Husted, made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court weighed in this afternoon declining to block early voting.

The Supreme Court is siding with Democrats in refusing to block early voting in the battleground state of Ohio.

The court on Tuesday refused a Republican request to get involved in a dispute over early voting in the state on the three days before Election Day.

This is not just a win for Democrats, it is a victory for democracy.

Oct 10 2012

Supressing the Vote: Ohio

As in the past, Ohio is a key state in the electoral politics of the 2012 general election and the Republican Party is doing their level best to suppress voter turnout. On Friday, 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Ohio must make early voting (pdf) during the three days before the election available to all voters if it’s available to military members and voters who live overseas. The ruling upheld a lower court decision. On Tuesday Ohio Secretary of State John Husted announced that he would appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court:

This is an unprecedented intrusion by the federal courts into how states run elections and because of its impact on all 50 states as to who and how elections will be run in America we are asking the Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections.

This ruling not only doesn’t make legal sense, it doesn’t make practical sense. The court is saying that all voters must be treated the same way under Ohio law, but also grants Ohio’s 88 elections boards the authority to establish 88 different sets of rules. That means that one county may close down voting for the final weekend while a neighboring county may remain open. How any court could consider this a remedy to an equal protection problem is stunning.

At FDL News Desk, David Dayen doesn’t think this will fly with the Supreme Court:

Remember that Husted’s original ruling for early voting would have allowed Republican districts to keep their voting hours open longer and for more days. And he sought to keep options for military voters open while closing them for, say, minorities in Cleveland. So his appeal to equal protection, in light of his previous decisions, is comical.

I doubt that the Supreme Court would choose to intervene here, though of course you never know. But that won’t stop Husted’s well-earned gold star as the hardest-working voter suppressor in America.

Who knows what this Supreme Court will do but here’s hoping that they let the lower court decision stand.

Oct 02 2012

PA Voter ID Law Blocked for Now

Pennsylvania Judge Robert Simpson, who had previously ruled that the state voter ID  law could go forward, has suspended the portion of the law that would required voters to have a state issued ID to vote on November 6. Voters can still be asked for ID but if don’t have it, they can still go ahead and vote:

Judge Simpson said in his Tuesday ruling that for the presidential election of Nov. 6, voters in Pennsylvania could be asked to produce the newly required photo IDs, but if they did not have them could still go ahead and vote. The decision could still be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

“While we’re happy that voters in Pennsylvania will not be turned away if they do not have an ID, we are concerned that the ruling will allow election workers to ask for ID at the polls and this could cause confusion,” said Penda D. Hair, co-director of Advancement Project, one of the groups that challenged the law. “This injunction serves as a mere Band-Aid for the law’s inherent problems, not an effective remedy.”

The ruling does not stop the law from being enforced in future elections and there are some serious concerns. Poll workers can still ask for ID and that creates confusion about provisional ballots, as David Dayen at FDL News points out:

Just think of the scenarios. A voter is asked for ID, and producing none, instructed to write a provisional ballot. Technically that ballot must be counted, but the voter might leave, suspecting their vote won’t count. Or they may not follow the provisional ballot instructions closely enough. Or poll worker error could easily lead to a voter being asked to leave without voting. [..]

So this all relies on poll workers knowing that the provisional ballot process is not in effect for voter ID, but that they have to ask for a voter ID anyway. I’m not necessarily confident in that approach, but it’s better than how it initially looked.

What Atrios said

I tried to read the ruling, but it’s written in gibberish. The smart lawyer people on the internet seem to agree that the judge has decreed that poll workers will ask for IDs, but if people don’t have them they should let them vote anyway. In other words, better than nothing but untrained poll workers are not going to have any idea what they’re supposed to do so this election in PA will be a complete mess.

Sep 21 2012

They See Dead Voters

A North Carolina anti-election fraud group delivered a list of nearly 30,000 names to the state board of elections insisting that the names be removed from eligible voters list because, the group claims, these voters are dead. The facts are not all of these people are dead and the group, the Voter Integrity Project, had no evidence that any voted were cast by anyone using a dead person’s name.

The board began reviewing the list last Tuesday and determined that it had almost 20,000 of the names from a 10-year audit of data from the state Department of Health and Human Services, said Veronica Degraffenreid, the board’s director of voter registration and absentee voting.

More than one third of those 20,000 names were already listed as inactive, meaning they were on track for removal from the voting rolls, Degraffenreid said. Of the remaining names provided by the Voter Integrity Project, 4,946 had a match on first and last names and date of birth, Degraffenreid said, and county election boards will investigate to see if they should be removed.

She said that of all the records submitted by the organization, 196 showed voting activity after their date of death, though many of them died within days of the election and had submitted absentee ballots. [..]

Meanwhile, cases of fraud remain rare. In 2009, the board referred 29 cases of double voting to county district attorneys, according to a board report. Since 2000, the board has referred one case of voter impersonation, the report states.

Some voters were pretty upset when they received letters from their local board of elections informing them that they were no longer eligible to vote because they were dead.

Carolyn Perry remembers voting in her first election. It was 1967 in Ohio, a municipal election, and she was 21 years old.

“The people at the polls introduced me and said, ‘This is Carolyn and this is her first time to vote,'” recalled the retired special education teacher.

Perry, who has been registered to vote in North Carolina since at least 1975, according to election records, was dismayed to receive a letter this month from the Wake County Board of Elections suggesting she may no longer be qualified to vote because she might be dead.

“My initial reaction? I was mad as hell,” Perry said Monday morning. [..]

“I’ve had some people call who have been enraged,” said Gary Sims, deputy director of the Wake County Board of Elections. Others, he says, have laughed off the errant letters. That range of reactions has been seen in other states where either official actions or similar nonprofit-driven efforts have sought to purge dead voters. [..]

Gary Bartlett, director of the State Board of Elections, said state officials discovered that the Department of Health and Human Services wasn’t reporting some deaths that occurred out of state to elections officials. Those voters are now being investigated, he said.

But Bartlett adds that neither the state nor any of the county boards have yet discovered someone who voted when they should not have as a result of the Voter Integrity Project’s submission. Bartlett says he doesn’t rule out the possibility it could happen, but he points out that election officials have access to Social Security numbers, birthdays and drivers license numbers that citizen groups cannot legally get. All of those pieces of information have been used to differentiate between those who are really dead and those who are expected to show up at the polls this November, he said.

Sep 20 2012

Fighting for the Right to Vote

Voting rights have come under attack in the last few years based mostly on the false premise of voter fraud. Civil liberties and private citizen groups have been fighting back with some help from the Federal Government in states that are governed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act that ended “Jim Crow” laws. Recent federal court rulings threw out the voter ID laws in Texas, South Carolina and the District of Columbia.

In Pennsylvania this week, the State Supreme Court handed down a 4 – 2 ruling that returned that state’s controversial voter ID law (pdf) back to the Commonwealth Court for review with these instructions:

Thus, we will return the matter to the Commonwealth Court to make a present assessment of the actual availability of the alternate identification cards on a developed record in light of the experience since the time the cards became available. In this regard, the court is to consider whether the procedures being used for deployment of the cards comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards. If they do not, or if the Commonwealth Court is not still convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the Commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election, that court is obliged to enter a preliminary injunction.

In other words, the state must show that they can get a valid ID in the hands of any eligible voter who wants one between now and the election. If they can’t and , the court believes that voters will be disenfranchised, then the court must issue an injunction enjoining the law.

After all this country went through in the 1960’s to ensure the voting rights of minorities, it seems surreal that we are having a similar battle to protect not only those same minorities but the elderly, the poor, and students.

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