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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Stay Classy, PA: Voter Suppression 2012, 2013, 2014... and so on.

Stay Classy, PA: Voter Suppression 2012, 2013, 2014... and so on. (Page 14)
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Posting Junkie
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Jun 11, 2014, 05:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I don't think it's proof positive of anything, but rather than trying to disprove the study, I'd simply cite that it's one study. Let's wait for some more to roll in.
Curious that this didn't occur to you before posting the single, highly inconclusive study, but yeah... we'll likely not have to wait long for more attempts at framing virtually anything we disagree with as racism.
ebuddy
     
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Jun 12, 2014, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Curious that this didn't occur to you before posting the single, highly inconclusive study, but yeah...
Still should be posted. It's still valid, just not conclusive.
     
OAW
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Jun 17, 2014, 12:59 PM
 
Missouri Republicans are pushing for a measure to expand early voting in the state. The move seems like a departure from the nationwide, GOP-led effort to shrink the window of time voters have access to the polls, but Democrats say it's more of the same. The measure from Missouri's Republicans, who in May failed to amend the state's constitution to implement stricter voter ID requirements, comes at the same time as a citizen-led ballot measure that would expand early voting significantly. State GOPers say their version, which expands early voting by a much smaller amount and includes restrictions, will combat voter fraud and help voters make up their minds. But critics say the Republican-backed measure excludes days when working families and African American voters are more likely to hit the polls.

The hullabaloo started after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when volunteers such as Greg Oelke, a retired pipefitter in Missouri, gathered signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that would give voters six extra weeks to get to the polls at multiple locations and provide time to vote on the weekends. Oelke, who often worked overtime on construction projects both in and out of Missouri, collected signatures around Springfield because he said it was hard for him to make it to the polls on Election Day. "Early voting is an issue that really means a lot to me," he told Missouri Jobs With Justice, a group that helped organize the petition drive.

In early May, after hundreds of volunteers collected signatures in church basements and break rooms, citizens delivered a petition with more than 300,000 signatures to Missouri's secretary of state, whose office has until August to verify the signatures and decide whether to place the measure on the November ballot. But Missouri Republicans won't let that happen without a fight.

On April 1, a couple months after the petition drive had begun, Rep. Tony Dugger (R-Hartville) sponsored a competing measure. In May, the GOP-led House passed a version of the bill that expands early voting by six days—excluding the weekend—to a limited number of polling places, while also prohibiting same-day voter registration. If the citizens' initiative is approved, both measures will appear on the ballot in November. "The testimony in the Legislature in favor of the sham early voting bill was actually testimony against early voting," says Lara Granich, the director of Missouri Jobs With Justice. "That makes the real motivation behind it clear. They want it to be more difficult for folks to vote."

GOP-led legislatures in other key swing states, including Ohio, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, have all recently advanced measures to cut down on early voting. Democrats contend that Republicans target early voting because people who utilize it—low-income voters and minority voters—tend to also vote Democrat, a perception fueled by President Obama success with early voters, the Associated Press notes.

Republicans have offered different theories as to why six days of early voting makes more sense than six weeks. Last week, state Rep. Paul Curtman (R-Pacific) told the Missourian that six weeks of early voting would give voters too much time to commit voter fraud. (Between 2000 and 2010, there were 13 credible cases of in-person voter impersonation nationwide.) State Sen. Brian Nieves (R-Washington) said that six weeks of early voting "invites and begs" voter fraud, because it's not uncommon for people to lie about their addresses, or to have people vote who are not registered. Mother Jones reached out to both Curtman and Nieves for information about documented voter fraud cases in Missouri, but did not receive a response.

Dugger, who introduced the measure, did not comment on the voter fraud allegations. He told Mother Jones that six weeks of early voting is too much because voters who cast a ballot early might end up changing their minds by Election Day. "I don't want anyone to feel as if they wasted their their vote," he says, noting that keeping the polls open for six weeks is a financial burden. "I think six days is a reasonable step."

Granich argues that "if you are juggling two jobs and a family, six more days of bankers' hours does nothing for you. This is really a cynical attempt to confuse voters." Denise Lieberman, senior attorney at the Advancement Project, says that other states have demonstrated that early voting makes voting significantly more accessible, and voters aren't required to vote early. As for the argument that early voting could promote voter fraud, she says, "I find it flabbergasting."
Missouri GOP: If Polls Are Open Too Long, Voters Will Commit Fraud | Mother Jones

Clearly GOP foolishness on this issue knows no bounds ...

OAW
     
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Jun 17, 2014, 01:03 PM
 
Very difficult not to just utter "Missouri" and walk away.

• expands early voting by six days—excluding the weekend
• to a limited number of polling place
• prohibiting same-day voter registration
Seems legit.
     
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Jul 11, 2014, 08:58 AM
 
Florida judge slaps GOP's redistricting plans: You 'made a mockery' of process - Washington Times
A judge in Florida told Republicans that no, this redistricting map you’ve created won’t fly — it’s an obvious “partisan attempt” to skew future elections, he said.
The districts were redrawn by the Republican-dominated state legislature in 2010. Mr. Lewis said Districts 5 and 10 were obviously redrawn to favor Republicans and create a GOP stronghold for future elections — and that several other districts seemed to stink of gerrymandering, too.

“I find the congressional redistricting plan adopted by the legislature to be constitutionally invalid,” he wrote, the Los Angeles Times reported. “[This case goes] to the very foundation of our representative democracy.”
     
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Jul 11, 2014, 08:06 PM
 
I'm sure it's been said. This needs to be algorithmed.
     
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Aug 7, 2014, 04:11 PM
 
Apparently, I've been slacking.

Divided court upholds Wisconsin's voter ID law
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in two cases, upholding the voter ID law 4-3 in one and 5-2 in the other.

In one case, the court majority crafted a "saving construction" of the voter ID law to keep it from being unconstitutional. That was aimed at preventing the state from requiring voters to pay any government fees to get a state-issued ID card.

How that would work is unclear. The ruling requires the state Division of Motor Vehicles to give out IDs to those who can't afford birth certificates and other documents, but provides no guidance to how officials could determine people are who they say they are without such documentation.
"The modest fees for documents necessary to prove identity would be a severe burden on the constitutional right to vote not because they would be difficult for some to pay. Rather, they would be a severe burden because the State of Wisconsin may not enact a law that requires any elector, rich or poor, to pay a fee of any amount to a government agency as a precondition to the elector's exercising his or her constitutional right to vote," Justice Patience Roggensack wrote for the majority in a case brought by the Milwaukee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

To keep the law intact, the majority rewrote the state's administrative code to require the DMV to issue photo ID without requiring a birth certificate or other documents that require fees.
---

A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast - The Washington Post

First, the court cited the idea that ID laws could enhance public confidence--that is, in theory, the laws might make us feel better about elections in that they might provide some security theater. It turns out, though, that this effect is hard to spot. People in states with more restrictive ID laws don’t generally feel better about their elections than people in more permissive states. People who think elections are being stolen, and people who think they’re not, each hold on to that opinion no matter what the governing ID rules in their area. The factor that really influences whether people think the elections are fair? Whether their preferred candidates win.
I'm shocked, shocked, I say.


Second, the court said that ID laws can help stop fraud. It then cited an example of recent fraud … that ID laws aren’t designed to stop. Specifically, it mentioned a case in which a supporter of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was charged with 13 counts of election fraud, including "registering to vote in more than one place, voting where he didn't live, voting more than once in the same election, and providing false information to election officials," according to an account by Talking Points Memo. Wisconsin's ID law would not likely have prevented any of the alleged violations.
Instead, requirements to show ID at the polls are designed for pretty much one thing: people showing up at the polls pretending to be somebody else in order to each cast one incremental fake ballot. This is a slow, clunky way to steal an election. Which is why it rarely happens.

I’ve been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up.

To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.

So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.

To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period
In just four states that have held just a few elections under the harshest ID laws, more than 3,000 votes (in general elections alone) have reportedly been affirmatively rejected for lack of ID. (That doesn’t include voters without ID who didn’t show up, or recordkeeping mistakes by officials.) Some of those 3,000 may have been fraudulent ballots. But how many legitimate voters have already been turned away?
     
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Aug 11, 2014, 10:20 AM
 
Still nothing about whether or not Voter ID laws have actually showed an increase in voter suppression and/or less favorable opinion of Voter ID laws from the allegedly disenfranchised blocs?

Well then there's still, really nothing to see here... and so on.
ebuddy
     
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Sep 10, 2014, 06:03 PM
 
Well lo and behold. We have a Republican who is actually willing to go on record and admit the real reason why the GOP has been opposing early voting ... especially on the Sunday before Election Day. And naturally he swears on a stack of bibles that his overtly racist statements are anything but.

A Republican lawmaker in Georgia has sparked outrage by suggesting he opposes new Sunday voting hours because they’ll primarily benefit African-Americans—then explaining that he simply “would prefer more educated voters.”

But take away the overt racism, and state Rep. Fran Millar was only giving the official Republican position on the issue.

After a visit to Atlanta by Michelle Obama to register black voters in advance of Georgia’s closely-fought U.S. Senate race, Millar took to Facebook to criticize a county official for green-lighting Sunday voting at a local mall.

“Michelle Obama comes to town and Chicago politics comes to DeKalb,” Millar wrote. “Per Jim Galloway of the [Atlanta Journal Constitution], this location is dominated by African American shoppers and it is near several large African American mega churches such as New Birth Missionary Baptist.”

He added: “Is it possible church buses will be used to transport people directly to the mall since the poll will open when the mall opens? If this happens, so much for the accepted principle of separation of church and state.”

After some angry responses, Millar tried to explain himself. “I never claimed to be non-partisan,” he wrote. “I would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters.”

In a phone interview, Millar told msnbc that his problem is with putting selective early voting sites in Democratic areas. “They’re trying to gin up the vote, get it out there for the Dem candidate,” he said. “It’s a political ploy.”

And he said he was “irritated” by comments on Facebook calling him a racist.

“I’m sitting here as a Republican who actually has an award from the NAACP, the Thurgood Marshall Award,” Millar said. “Trying to place the race card on me is ludicrous.”

As for the idea that it’s more important to have more educated voters rather than simply more voters, Millar said: “That’s just my opinion—that’s all that is. That doesn’t make it racist.”

In fact, it’s also something close to the official Republican line on early voting—which, as Millar and his party understand, is used disproportionately by minority voters.

Earlier this year, a bipartisan panel of experts appointed by President Obama in response to the massive lines on Election Day 2012 released a report on how to make the voting process more efficient. Among its recommendations: expanded early voting.


The idea was a non-starter for the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), the leading organization of GOP election lawyers—for reasons that Millar would agree with. “Part of the voting process requires a voter to educate himself or herself on the issues facing the community, state or country,” the group wrote in a report. “When a voter in an early voting state casts his or her ballot weeks before Election Day, they’re putting convenience over thoughtful deliberation.”
GOPer opposes early voting because it will boost black turnout | MSNBC

OAW
     
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Sep 24, 2014, 11:43 AM
 
Case of voter fraud found: State rep candidate voted in Illinois and Wisconsin - Chicago Sun-Times
In one case, she cast a vote in a primary election in Illinois. Then just three months later, records show she voted in Wisconsin to cast a ballot in the state’s recall election.
Would Voter ID have prevented it?
     
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Sep 24, 2014, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Case of voter fraud found: State rep candidate voted in Illinois and Wisconsin - Chicago Sun-Times

Would Voter ID have prevented it?
Absolutely not. The issue here is that she was registered to vote in two states. All voter ID would do is prove that she was in fact the person on the voter registration rolls.

OAW
     
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Sep 29, 2014, 04:38 PM
 
Early voting in Ohio blocked : SCOTUSblog
With just sixteen hours before polling stations were to open in Ohio, the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon blocked voters from beginning tomorrow to cast their ballots in this year’s general election. By a vote of five to four, the Justices put on hold a federal judge’s order providing new opportunities for voting before election day, beyond what state leaders wanted.
I wonder what the breakdown was…
Monday’s order had the support of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito,, Jr., Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.
Of course.


Depending upon the timing of the state’s filing of a petition for review and the Court’s action on it, Monday’s order may also mean that early voting will not be permitted on most Sundays between now and election day, November 4, and will not be permitted during evening hours — that is, after 5 p.m.

Early voting during “Golden Week,” on coming Sundays, and in evening hours are the opportunities that civil rights groups have said are most important to black and low-income voters and the homeless. State officials, however, contended that those arrangements would raise the risk of voter fraud, and would cost too much for county election boards to implement.
I'm sure I asked this whenever it came up the first time, but how does that increase risk of voter fraud? Purely because more people can attempt to vote?
     
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Sep 29, 2014, 07:51 PM
 
^^^

You and I both know that it doesn't have anything to do with "voter fraud". Which has been proven repeatedly to be a red herring. We also both know that increased voter participation tends to favor Dems ... and decreased voter participation tends to favor the GOP. And that is the true motivation for the GOP's concerted and systematic efforts to limit early voting. Which is quite telling in and of itself when you think about. Because it speaks volumes about the relative support for the policies of the respective political parties.

OAW
     
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Sep 30, 2014, 09:22 AM
 
This isn't suppression per se, but it does underscore how toxic the two-party system is to the idea of democracy.
Playing Politics Over the Kansas Senate Ballot? - Washington Wire - WSJ
The fight over removing a candidate’s name from the Kansas ballot for November has devolved into a partisan struggle over Senate control–underscoring why elections should be administered in a nonpartisan fashion.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the name of Democrat Chad Taylor, who withdrew from the contest this month, should be removed from the ballot. This puts in play a Senate seat that had long been considered safely Republican.
The perceived beneficiary of Thursday’s ruling is an independent candidate named Greg Orman. Mr. Taylor’s withdrawal from the race, reportedly at the request of national Democrats, came after a poll showed that Mr. Orman would be much stronger against Sen. Roberts in a head-to-head contest rather than a three-way race.
After Mr. Taylor filed a letter with the secretary of state’s office Sept. 3 asking that his name be removed from the ballot, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican supporter of Sen. Roberts, announced that the Democrat’s name would remain on the ballot. Mr. Taylor cited no reason for withdrawing from the race. Mr. Kobach said he had failed to comply with state law.
Also Thursday, a registered Democratic voter (whose son works as a field director for Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s reelection campaign, according to an Associated Press report) filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to require Democrats to put a name on the ballot.
Orel v. Kansas Democratic party lawsuit could scramble Senate race again | The Wichita Eagle
The court’s consideration of the case was complicated by Orel’s refusal to participate in Monday’s hearing. District Judge Franklin Theis said from the bench that Orel’s absence “turned this into political theater instead of a judicial proceeding.”



Kobach had sought to intervene in the case, but the judges concluded that his involvement wasn’t necessary.
     
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Oct 1, 2014, 02:53 PM
 
BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Halts Major Part Of North Carolina's Voter Suppression Law | ThinkProgress

A divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit halted two provisions of North Carolina’s comprehensive voter suppression law on Wednesday, although much of the law will still take effect. Judge James Wynn, an Obama appointee, begins his opinion with a simple declaration — “[t]he right to vote is fundamental.” He then holds that two provisions of the new voter suppression law, the provision eliminating same-day registration and the provision calling for a voter’s ballots to be tossed out if they vote in the wrong precinct, must be suspended pending a full trial of this case on the merits.
At oral argument in this case, he criticized the provision tossing out ballots cast in the wrong precinct (before the new law, voters who voted in the wrong precinct would still have their ballots counted in races that were not specific to that precinct, so long as they voted in the correct county). At one point, Wynn even asked an attorney defending the law “[w]hy does the state of North Carolina not want people to vote?”

In his opinion halting this provision, Wynn explains that, under the Voting Rights Act, “even one disenfranchised voter” who is denied the right to vote on account of race “is too many.”
The court applied a similar analysis to the provision cutting off same-day registration. As Wynn explains, “we cannot escape the district court’s repeated findings that Plaintiffs presented undisputed evidence showing that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting were enacted to increase voter participation, that African American voters disproportionately used those electoral mechanisms, and that House Bill 589 restricted those mechanisms and thus disproportionately impacts African American voters.”
     
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Oct 1, 2014, 02:57 PM
 
Kansas court says Democrats need not provide nominee for U.S. Senate race | The Kansas City Star
A three-judge panel in Topeka ruled Wednesday that Kansas Democrats need not nominate a candidate for the 2014 Senate race.
“When a candidate vacancy occurs after a primary, it is the judgment of the political party as to whether to challenge, or not, for the office by assessing both candidate availability and viability and, as well, its own party’s best interests,” the judges said in a unanimous ruling.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Orel would appeal. The court said he would have to pay the costs of the proceeding.

But the deadline for printing general election ballots is near. In court papers, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Wednesday was the deadline for printing the ballots.
WIll misprinted ballots occur? Make your bets here.
     
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Oct 8, 2014, 12:33 PM
 
     
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Oct 8, 2014, 12:38 PM
 
Sorry to bump you, OAW, this happened after I left work yesterday and I forgot to add it this morning.
Court declares Virginia’s congressional map unconstitutional - The Washington Post

A panel of federal judges on Tuesday declared Virginia’s congressional maps unconstitutional because they concentrate African American voters into a single district at the expense of their influence elsewhere.
The order delivered another victory for Democratic plaintiffs hoping to break up black-majority districts, which they say have been drawn by Republicans who have used the Voting Rights Act to dilute the influence of minority voters.
The judges who decided the Virginia case mentioned the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act in their opinion, but legal experts said it was largely irrelevant to what they ultimately found: that the state’s recent redistricting map was unconstitutional because race was the predominant factor in drawing the boundaries of the 3rd District.

Under the map, which was drawn in 2012, the district went from a voting-age population that was 53.1 percent African American to one that was 56.3 percent African American.
     
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Oct 8, 2014, 12:42 PM
 
In 2011, the legislature passed a bill that got rid of what's known as the "Golden Week," a period in which citizens could both register and vote early on the same day. Supporters of early voting and same-day registration successfully put a referendum on the ballot that could have overturned the restrictive law, but legislators, apparently chagrined, repealed the law before the referendum could pass. Then in 2012, the Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted, cut three days of early voting before the election for all non-military voters. The Obama campaign sued and forced the state to restore those voting days.

This year, the GOP-controlled state legislature again passed a bill ending the "Golden Week," and Husted issued a rule severely restricting the early voting that remained.
I missed or forgot about this. That's some scummy shit. Wish the referendum got put back up.
     
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Oct 9, 2014, 01:15 PM
 
The SCOTUS does not agree with the lower court restrictions
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/us...-justices.html
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a brief, unsigned order reinstating provisions of a North Carolina voting law that bar same-day registration and counting votes cast in the wrong precinct. A federal appeals court had blocked the provisions, saying they disproportionately harmed black voters.

In a dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said she would have sustained the appeals court’s determination that the two provisions “risked significantly reducing opportunities for black voters to exercise the franchise.”
In urging the Supreme Court to intervene, North Carolina officials said the appeals court’s order was “extremely burdensome” and “represents a massive and unprecedented last-minute change in the election practices which North Carolina implemented in the May 2014 primary and which North Carolina has been preparing to implement in the 2014 general election.”
---

The Supreme Court is likely to act soon on a separate application concerning a Wisconsin voter identification law. Recent changes to such laws were the subject of a report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, which suggested that they were responsible for decreased turnout at the polls in some states in 2012.

The G.A.O., which is the investigative arm of Congress, made its findings public in a 206-page report that included an analysis of turnout statistics from six states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, Maine and Tennessee.

Each of those states posted lower rates of voter turnout in 2012 than in 2008, but the decreases were especially pronounced in Kansas and Tennessee, the states included in the study that had altered identification requirements between the elections. The G.A.O. said the steeper declines in Kansas and Tennessee might be “attributable to changes in those two states’ voter ID requirements,” and it noted that turnout had especially decreased among young and African-American voters.

The G.A.O. did not reach any landmark conclusions about whether voter identification laws help prevent election fraud. The report’s authors said the “challenges” of measuring the prevalence of misconduct “make any analysis of the effect of voter ID laws in preventing in-person voter fraud difficult.”
Correlation does not equal causation, but it certainly worth looking into since this was the expected effect. Was the decrease in % of African-American voters larger than other states? If not, one might conclude voter fatigue with the candidates, instead.
     
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Oct 10, 2014, 10:00 AM
 
More voter ID stuff
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/10/us...-law.html?_r=0
The Supreme Court on Thursday evening stopped officials in Wisconsin from requiring voters there to provide photo identification before casting their ballots in the coming election.

Three of the court’s more conservative members dissented, saying they would have allowed officials to require identification.
The Wisconsin requirement, one of the strictest in the nation, is part of a state law enacted in 2011 but mostly blocked by various courts in the interim. A federal trial judge had blocked it, saying it would “deter or prevent a substantial number of the 300,000-plus registered voters who lack ID from voting” and would disproportionately affect black and Hispanic voters.
Thursday’s ruling from Texas, issued after a two-week trial in Corpus Christi, found that the state’s voter ID law “creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose,” Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos wrote.
Ramos? Sounds like the judge should recuse themselves.
     
OAW
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Oct 10, 2014, 11:55 AM
 
I believe a judge blocked some or all of the Texas law as well in a strong rebuke. Likened it to a "poll tax".

OAW
     
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Oct 10, 2014, 12:01 PM
 
Yes. It may not be the future of this legislation, but I think we're headed towards free ID one day. National, likely.
     
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Oct 13, 2014, 03:23 PM
 
Judge rules App State must have early voting | abc11.com

Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens has sent an early-voting plan for Watauga County back to the State Board of Elections with an order that it include an early-voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University.

Students in Boone sued the State Board in September after it implemented an early-voting plan favored by Republicans on the Watauga County Board of Elections that included only one early-voting site in Boone that was not on the ASU campus.

There has been an on-campus early-voting site in past elections. The students argued the new plan unconstitutionally discriminated against young voters.

They pointed out that 30 percent of registered voters in Watauga County are between the ages of 18 and 25 and that ASU is the largest employer in the county, with 3,000 employees.
     
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Oct 15, 2014, 01:48 PM
 
Continued shenanigans in Texas ...

Texas’s strict voter ID law, struck down last week, is now back in place thanks to an appeals court ruling Tuesday. But while the state was pushing to get the law reinstated, it stopped issuing IDs. It said Wednesday morning that it has started again.


The on-again-off-again schedule could add to the hurdles and confusion that voters face in obtaining an ID. And it offers a window into the GOP-controlled state’s approach to voting: In a nutshell, critics say, Texas jumped at the chance to stop issuing IDs, even though it was far from clear that a halt was required by law.

From the start, voting rights advocates have noted in court and in the media that Texas’s efforts to make the special state IDs it created — known as Election Identification Certificates (EICs) — available to those who need them have been half-hearted at best. Among other things, they’ve charged that the mobile ID offices that the state created for distributing IDs were poorly publicized, and weren’t sent to nearly enough locations. Between June 2012 when the law went back into effect and the end of August, just 279 EICs were issued, the state has said.

Over 600,000 registered voters in Texas, disproportionately minorities, lack ID. About twice as many eligible voters are in the same boat.
And Texas appears to have seized on the ruling last week, striking down the law as an excuse to weaken their efforts at issuing IDs even further. Before the ruling late Tuesday afternoon reinstating the law, Texas argued that under Saturday’s injunction that blocked the measure, it was barred from issuing EICs.

“Under the current injunction, the state cannot issue Election Identification Certificates,” Alicia Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Texas Secretary of State, told msnbc via email Tuesday early afternoon.

But voting rights advocates and election experts — also speaking before the appeals court ruling that put the law back in effect — disagreed. Some charged Texas intentionally adopted the broadest possible interpretation of the injunction, in order to make it harder for voters who lack ID to get one.

“It’s a self-serving interpretation,” said Natasha Korgaonkar, a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which is among the organizations challenging the law. “If Texas wanted to keep issuing a free ID that people could use, they could do that.”

Already, the state was found last week by U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to have intentionally discriminated against minorities in passing the law. The judge also ruled that the ID measure is an unconstitutional “poll tax.”
Texas stopped issuing voter IDs while pushing to reinstate law | MSNBC

OAW
     
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Oct 15, 2014, 02:12 PM
 
Between June 2012 when the law went back into effect and the end of August, just 279 EICs were issued, the state has said.
Really? You guys are doing something wrong then.
     
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Oct 17, 2014, 03:56 PM
 
Mildly interesting.
Arkansas voter ID decision: Based on a Civil War case that protected Confederate soldiers.
the Arkansas Supreme Court of 2014 relied on an 1865 case called Rison v. Farr, also decided by the state Supreme Court. Rison was decided when the pro-Union legislature of Arkansas tried to disenfranchise former Confederate soldiers who, after the war, refused to swear an oath declaring that they had stopped fighting for the Confederacy on April 18, 1864—a year before the Civil War ended.…

The Rison court found that the plaintiff, Zachariah P.H. Farr, who had shown up to vote in 1865, was denied that right when he refused to take an oath swearing that “he has not voluntarily borne arms against the United States or this state, nor aided, directly or indirectly, the so-called confederate authorities since the 18th day of April, 1864.” The court found that the state constitution provided explicitly that “every free white male citizen of the United States who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who shall have been a citizen of the state six months next preceding the election, shall be deemed a qualified elector, and be entitled to vote in the county or district where he actually resides.” Modified versions of four of these qualifications (being a U.S. citizen, a resident of Arkansas, at least 18 years old, and lawfully registered to vote) are still the law in Arkansas.
ust to be perfectly clear as to what just happened here, the Arkansas Supreme Court relied on a post–Civil War case restoring the franchise to former Confederate soldiers, including some who had slaughtered former slaves, to strike down a new voter ID law that would have suppressed the vote of minorities.
     
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Oct 20, 2014, 10:47 AM
 
The Court won’t interrupt Texas voter ID law : SCOTUSblog
In a stinging defeat for the Obama administration and a number of civil rights groups in a major test case on voters’ rights, a divided Supreme Court told the state of Texas early Saturday morning that it may enforce its strict voter ID law for this year’s general election, with early voting starting next Monday. Three Justices dissented from the ruling, which was released a few minutes after 5 a.m. folllowing a seemingly lengthy study.

This apparently was the first time since 1982 that the Court has allowed a law restricting voters’ rights to be enforced after a federal court had ruled it to be unconstitutional because it intentionally discriminated against minorities. A U.S. District Court judge in Corpus Christi struck down the ID law last week after a nine-day trial, but it now awaits review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which temporarily blocked the trial judge’s ruling.
The Supreme Court’s action was the fourth it has taken in recent days as controversies over this year’s election procedures began reaching it as actual voting approached. The Court has taken varying positions, blocking a voter ID law in Wisconsin but allowing a reduction of early voting in Ohio and restrictions on registration and vote-counting in North Carolina, and, on Saturday, allowing Texas to require new voter identification.
     
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Oct 21, 2014, 02:45 PM
 
Everyone's favorite outspoken judge has words about voter ID
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/us...r-id.html?_r=0

But there was Richard A. Posner, one of the most distinguished judges in the land and a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, saying he was mistaken in one of the most contentious issues in American politics and jurisprudence: laws that require people to show identification before they can vote.
Judge Posner, a prolific author who also teaches at the University of Chicago Law School, said, “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion” in the case. He noted that the Indiana law in the Crawford case is “a type of law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.”
Asked whether the court had gotten its ruling wrong, Judge Posner responded: “Yes. Absolutely.” Back in 2007, he said, “there hadn’t been that much activity in the way of voter identification,” and “we weren’t really given strong indications that requiring additional voter identification would actually disenfranchise people entitled to vote.” The member of the three-judge panel who dissented from the majority decision, Terence T. Evans, “was right,” Judge Posner said.

The dissent by Judge Evans, who died in 2011, began, “Let’s not beat around the bush: The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic.”

In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Judge Posner noted that the primary opinion in the 2008 Supreme Court decision upholding the law had been written by Justice John Paul Stevens, “who is, of course, very liberal.” The outcome of the case goes to show, he said, that oftentimes, “judges aren’t given the facts that they need to make a sound decision.”

“We weren’t given the information that would enable that balance to be struck” between preventing fraud and protecting voters’ rights, he added.
Fascinating guy. Has some out there stances but I guess that's what it takes to give such tongue-lashings about everything.
     
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Oct 22, 2014, 10:20 AM
 
     
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Oct 22, 2014, 10:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
This isn't voter suppression, nor voter impersonation fraud. If you want to watchdog the election, start a new thread.
     
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Oct 29, 2014, 12:44 PM
 
Al jazeera released an article on potential voter suppression via program created to identify potential voter fraud. I don't blame anyone for rolling their eyes at the source – I have a few issues with how they frame the subject (The information is gleaned from 3 states but they project it onto the 27 participating in the program; The participants are more bi-partisan than previous entries in this thread) but there is a lot of troubling practices going on worth noting.

Jim Crow returns | Al Jazeera America
At the heart of this voter-roll scrub is the Interstate Crosscheck program, which has generated a master list of nearly 7 million names. Officials say that these names represent legions of fraudsters who are not only registered but have actually voted in two or more states in the same election — a felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.

Until now, state elections officials have refused to turn over their Crosscheck lists, some on grounds that these voters are subject to criminal investigation. Now, for the first time, three states — Georgia, Virginia and Washington — have released their lists to Al Jazeera America, providing a total of just over 2 million names.
The three states’ lists are heavily weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim — ones common among minorities, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, fully 1 in 7 African-Americans in those 27 states, plus the state of Washington (which enrolled in Crosscheck but has decided not to utilize the results), are listed as under suspicion of having voted twice. This also applies to 1 in 8 Asian-Americans and 1 in 8 Hispanic voters. White voters too — 1 in 11 — are at risk of having their names scrubbed from the voter rolls, though not as vulnerable as minorities.

Now the real troubling part:
There are 6,951,484 names on the target list of the 28 states in the Crosscheck group; each of them represents a suspected double voter whose registration has now become subject to challenge and removal. According to a 2013 presentation by Kobach to the National Association of State Election Directors, the program is a highly sophisticated voter-fraud-detection system. The sample matches he showed his audience included the following criteria: first, last and middle name or initial; date of birth; suffixes; and Social Security number, or at least its last four digits.

That was the sales pitch. But the actual lists show that not only are middle names commonly mismatched and suffix discrepancies ignored, even birthdates don’t seem to have been taken into account. Moreover, Crosscheck deliberately ignores Social Security mismatches, in the few instances when the numbers are even collected. The Crosscheck instructions for county election officers state, “Social Security numbers are included for verification; the numbers might or might not match.”
If you're going to purge voter rolls and accuse people of fraud, one would hope you do due diligence. This however, is just scattershot firing into rolls of voters to hit a few frauds.

Typical “matches” identifying those who may have voted in both Georgia and Virginia include:

Kevin Antonio Hayes of Durham, North Carolina, is a match for a man who voted in Alexandria, Virginia, as Kevin Thomas Hayes.

John Paul Williams of Alexandria is supposedly the same man as John R. Williams of Atlanta, Georgia.

Robert Dewey Cox of Marietta, Georgia is matched with Robert Glen Cox of Springfield, Virginia.
Who in their right mind assumes those are the same people?

Twenty-three percent of the names — nearly 1.6 million of them — lack matching middle names. “Jr.” and “Sr.” are ignored, potentially disenfranchising two generations in the same family. And, notably, of those who may have voted twice in the 2012 presidential election, 27 percent were listed as “inactive” voters, meaning that almost 1.9 million may not even have voted once in that race, according to Crosscheck’s own records.
With millions of suspects, one question keeps arising: Why have there been no mass convictions? Kobach proudly proclaims that Kansas has “referred” 14 voters for prosecution for double voting. And none of them has been convicted.
Crosscheck instructs each participating state to send a postcard or letter to suspected double voters, requiring them to restate and verify their name and address, sign the card and return it. While this seems a benign way to save one’s voting rights, the problem, says voter advocate Butler, is that few people are likely to notice, fill out and return such a card. She reviewed the one being sent out in Georgia, which she says “looks like a piece of trashy mail that you get every day that you just throw away.”

...

“It looks as if they’ve broken every direct-marketing rule,” creating a card that seems guaranteed to not be returned, says Wychocki. He explains that marketers know people glance at unsolicited mail for no more than two seconds apiece, and this “single-touch” approach — no follow-up phone calls, emails, radio campaigns or other secondary-outreach methods — ensures a low response rate. Notably, neither Kansas nor other Crosscheck states will reveal how many cards are returned or how many people thereby lose their vote.

According to Crosscheck, close to a quarter of a million voters in Washington state are potential double-voting fraudsters. The Republican secretary of state, Kim Wyman, has no plans to use the Crosscheck list, preferring instead a far narrower matching program, the Electronic Registration Information Center, funded by the research and public-policy nonprofit the PEW Charitable Trusts. Notably, the ERIC lists require an exact match in several of these fields — among them, driver’s license number, Social Security number, email and phone — as opposed to just name and date of birth. Eleven states, plus the District of Columbia, are members of ERIC.Virginia agreed to supply Al Jazeera America with the state’s ERIC match list despite a contract requiring confidentiality. That list, with only 37,405 names, was a fraction the size of Crosscheck’s, which tagged over a third of a million Virginians.Al Jazeera America reached one of ERIC’s creators, the Pew Trusts’ David Becker, in Baltimore. He is dismissive of Crosscheck’s claim of finding legions of fraudulent double voters. Even of ERIC’s own lists, he says, “99.999 percent of those people would not be thinking of voting twice in two states.” He adds, “There’s no widespread evidence of voting in two states. There’s a real problem of millions of people registered in more than one state — though this is hardly an indication of fraud.”
     
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Oct 29, 2014, 01:38 PM
 
I saw that article this morning and was going to post it here but you beat me to the punch. A pretty exhaustive expose on more GOP shenanigans when it comes to voting rights.

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Oct 31, 2014, 06:53 AM
 
Its only REPUBLICAN shenanigans because Democrats don't care.
     
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Oct 31, 2014, 11:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Its only REPUBLICAN shenanigans because Democrats don't care.
It shenanigans because they admitted they do it to suppress democratic voter turnout. i.e., subverting democracy.

Cue, Democrats are slime balls to as justification of voter suppression tactics
     
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Oct 31, 2014, 01:19 PM
 
IOW, due to demographic changes in the country the GOP will face a tougher time of winning elections ... especially at the national level. So they've decided to rig the game in their favor. It's a shameful tactic that is about as "un-American" as it gets.

The GOP is passing legislation restricting early voting hours. All because minority groups that tend to vote Dem utilize them heavily. The GOP is passing legislation requiring voter ID for the virtually non-existent problem of voter impersonation fraud. An ID that many members of demographics that tend to vote Dem don't readily have. And these "free" Voter IDs require supporting documentation that typically cost 3-5 times as much as the poll taxes ruled unconstitutional in 1964. An example is a story I was listening to on the radio about a guy with a legitimate Drivers License. But years ago he lost a well-paying job so now he was a member of the working poor relying on public transportation. Dude had no reason to renew his now expired Drivers License because he never drove ... and because for the purposes of identification his expired DL was fine. Until now. Because the GOP passed legislation that said that for Voter ID purposes an expired DL wasn't acceptable. Even though he was obviously a US citizen and had voted in numerous elections previously. He tried to vote early on a weekend because he doesn't have a job that will allow him to take off the necessary amount of time to do so on Election Day. But given the new GOP voter suppression legislation he was turned away. And now on top of all that we have massive purges of primarily minorities from voter registration rolls?

The GOP is restricting the most sacrosanct right we all have in a democratic society. The right to vote. All the more reason for many demographics ... especially minority groups ... to give the to the GOP as a political party for years to come.

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( Last edited by OAW; Oct 31, 2014 at 02:20 PM. )
     
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Oct 31, 2014, 01:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
IOW, due to demographic changes in the country the GOP will face a tougher time of winning elections ... especially at the national level. So they've decided to rig the game in their favor.
It's an escalation that is decidedly in their favor, unlike in the past where both parties were/are rigging the game with redistricting.
     
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Oct 31, 2014, 02:19 PM
 
^^^

Exactly.

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Nov 12, 2014, 10:55 AM
 
Supreme Court Case Seeks Source Of Alabama Gerrymandering : NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday takes up the thorny question of what kind of gerrymandering is acceptable, and what kind is not. The court is being asked to decide whether a 2010 state legislative redistricting in Alabama overloaded some districts with black Democrats on the basis of race or party.
In the 1990s, the conservative Supreme Court majority, in a series of decisions, ruled that if a redistricting plan is motivated predominantly by racial considerations, it is unconstitutional. Those decisions came in cases brought by conservative Republicans who objected to the Justice Department's attempt to expand the number of majority black or Hispanic legislative districts under the Voting Rights Act in the South.

"Now, the tables are turned," says election-law expert Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. "It's the liberals and Democrats that are trying to use the racial gerrymandering claim to stop Republicans from packing reliable Democratic minority voters into a smaller number of districts."
In 2000, Democrats controlled the state Legislature, and the redistricting process. They used their power to create districts with black majorities under the Voting Rights Act, while at the same time putting enough reliably Democratic black voters into majority white districts so that white Democratic candidates could build black-white coalitions and have a chance of winning.

By 2010, Republicans controlled the Legislature, and they set about consolidating the black vote into existing majority-black districts. Under the plan, about one-sixth of all eligible black voters were moved from majority white state Senate districts to majority-black districts. The result was that in some of those districts, the black majority increased to over 70 percent. At the same time, the majority white districts got whiter, and more safely Republican.
That presents this question: Is the voting rights law still valid as applied to the 2010 redistricting, a plan that will be in place until 2020?

The state says it is entitled to rely on the provision even though it has been struck down. "The court for years and years held that the Voting Rights Act was constitutional, and there was no reason for the legislators engaged in this redistricting process to presuppose that five members of the court were going to hold that [this section of the law] was unconstitutional," argues Brasher.

On the other side, lawyer Pildes contends that even if the state can rely on the law as it was in 2010, the law did not then and does not now justify the "racial straightjacket [of] quotas" that Alabama imposed in this redistricting.
The question faced by Roberts and the court now is whether Alabama's redistricting plan is in fact based on racial quotas, or whether it's based on nothing more than partisanship, and thus may remain in place.
My head hurts.
     
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Jan 14, 2015, 03:55 PM
 
A top Republican has all but confirmed that Congress won’t move forward with legislation to strengthen the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which was badly weakened by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary committee, said Wednesday morning that the landmark civil rights legislation is still robust enough to stop racial discrimination in voting.

“There are still very, very strong protections in the Voting Rights Act in the area that the Supreme Court ruled on,” Goodlatte said at a breakfast event with reporters, hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “To this point, we have not seen a process forward that is necessary to protect people because we think the Voting Rights Act is providing substantial protection in this area right now.”

He added, according to an audio recording obtained by msnbc: “We’ll continue to examine this, we’ll continue to listen to the concerns of individuals, and we’ll certainly look at any instances of discrimination in people’s access to the ballot box, because it is a very, very important principle.”

Wade Henderson, the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which has led an aggressive effort urging lawmakers to strengthen the VRA, blasted Goodlatte’s comments.

“Chairman Goodlatte has paid no attention to the rampant voting discrimination still happening throughout the country, most recently seen in the 2014 midterm elections,” said Henderson in a statement. “If he were ‘listening’ as he claims, the chairman would recognize the clear need to restore the Voting Rights Act to ensure that all voters are allowed to cast a ballot.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers last January introduced legislation to strengthen the VRA. But despite an intense lobbying effort by civil rights groups, Goodlatte had declined even to hold a hearing on the measure. Wednesday’s comments go further still in confirming that Republicans see the bill as a nonstarter.


Still, congressional supporters of fixing the VRA haven’t given up. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the Wisconsin Republican who has helped lead the push to strengthen the law, plans to reintroduce a tweaked version of the VRA legislation this session, according to a person involved in the discussions.

In June 2013, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, neutered a key plank of the 1965 VRA known as Section 5, which had required certain states and jurisdictions, mostly in the South, to get federal approval before changing their voting laws. The court ruled that the formula used by Congress to determine which areas required federal approval was outdated, noting that the South has made progress on race relations since the 1960s.
Top GOPer confirms Congress won't strengthen Voting Rights Act | MSNBC

Is anyone evenremotely surprised by this development now that the GOP controls both houses of Congress?

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Jan 14, 2015, 04:13 PM
 
This is the status quo.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers last January introduced legislation to strengthen the VRA. But despite an intense lobbying effort by civil rights groups, Goodlatte had declined even to hold a hearing on the measure.
Nothing remotely liberal gets through the house, much as the opposite is true of the senate (til now).
     
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Mar 2, 2015, 09:21 AM
 
Court to hear dispute over redistricting power: In Plain English : SCOTUSblog

But voters weren’t happy with the results: in Arizona, as elsewhere, it was common for the political party that controlled the state legislature to use its power to its advantage in redistricting, by drawing districts to maximize the opportunities for its members to win election and to ensure that, once in office, those seats were safe. So in 2000, Arizona voters passed an amendment to the state constitution that would turn control of redistricting over to an independent commission. Three years ago, though, the state legislature filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging the voters’ transfer of redistricting power to the commission.
This is kind of amazing.


The Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides that the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for . . . Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” In Arizona, the legislature and members of the public can make recommendations to the redistricting commission, but the commission doesn’t have to do anything more than “consider” those recommendations. The heart of the lawsuit now before the Court, then, is the Arizona legislature’s complaint that, by depriving it of any substantive role in the redistricting process, the state’s creation of the independent commission violates the Constitution.

Only one other state uses a commission similar to Arizona’s for redistricting. But it’s a big one – California – and the commission there has been widely regarded as successful in increasing competition in elections and reducing partisanship. More generally, supporters of the commission warn the Court that, if voters aren’t allowed to hand responsibility for redistricting over to independent commissions like the ones in Arizona and California, there will be no real way to combat political gerrymandering, which results in “partisanship and dysfunction” in Congress.
     
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Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
"Time, Manner, and Place of elections" IMO does not = districting. They can simply set the date, method of voting, and locations. There's nothing in the Constitution that grants a state government the right to whole sale usurp a government and fix the game. Infact, it's very anti-constitution in its spirit and intent.

Not that state and the federal government(s) gives two flying ****s about the Constitution today any who.
     
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Mar 4, 2015, 10:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
"Time, Manner, and Place of elections" IMO does not = districting. They can simply set the date, method of voting, and locations. There's nothing in the Constitution that grants a state government the right to whole sale usurp a government and fix the game. Infact, it's very anti-constitution in its spirit and intent.

Not that state and the federal government(s) gives two flying ****s about the Constitution today any who.
I can certainly see an interpretation where manner and place means they designate how the areas are divided for voting purposes. It obviously legalistic, but so is the constitution.

It's the power grab of the legislature from the citizens that's so galling. I wonder if a referendum (amendment) explicitly stating they are stripping the legislature of the power would solve things. Probably.
     
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Mar 16, 2015, 07:06 PM
 
Dems trying to flood the voter rolls

New legislation signed into law today in Oregon paves the way for the state to one day have close to 100% voter registration. The new law takes the federal “motor voter” law to new levels and registers a person to vote when they obtain or renew a state driver’s license or ID – and it’s partially retroactive.

The law dictates that once residents interact with the state DMV – whether to get a license or ID for the first time, or renew an existing one – they’ll become registered to vote if they aren’t already. The registration will be provisional for 21 days, during which time applicants will be notified of their new status and be given a chance to become affiliated with a political party or to opt-out of the voting process altogether. In essence, Oregon will now be the first state to approach voting with an “opt-out” mindset, as opposed to “opt-in.”
“A couple of legislative sessions ago, we realized that thousands of Oregonians had registered to vote after the 21-day cutoff,” Brown said. “In the last general election 29,000 registration forms were submitted after the deadline and they weren’t able to get a ballot.”
The bill, HB 2177, passed the State House in February and was given final approval by the State Senate on March 5. It was approved along party lines without a single Republican vote in support of it. The only dissenting Democratic vote came from Sen. Betsy Johnson, who was the deciding vote against a similar bill that ultimately died in 2013.

Opponents argue two main points: Transferring this particular type of data between the DMV and secretary of state’s office makes the voting system prone to ID theft, and that it will make it easier for undocumented immigrants to become registered voters.

Democrats cite several firewalls in the law’s wording, including a provision aimed at preventing the transfer of information for citizens with special “protected status,” like law enforcement and domestic violence victims. When it comes to protecting voter rolls against non-U.S. citizens, experts said the new law will help assure that only U.S. citizens are registering. Since 2009, the Oregon DMV has collected citizenship data from applicants and the state requires proof of citizenship when applying for a driver’s license. Currently, prospective voters are asked on the registration form if they’re U.S. citizens, but don’t have to provide any tangible proof.


Sweeping 'New Motor Voter' bill clears Oregon Legislature on partisan vote | OregonLive.com
During the nearly two-hour debate, Republicans repeatedly sought to raise the specter of a massive invastion of privacy if information gathered by the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division is transferred to elections officials -- who maintain voter rolls open to the public.

"How would you like your 18-year-old daughter's information running around the world?" asked Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby
Doesn't that risk already exist under the motor voter bill?
     
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Mar 16, 2015, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I can certainly see an interpretation where manner and place means they designate how the areas are divided for voting purposes. It obviously legalistic, but so is the constitution.

It's the power grab of the legislature from the citizens that's so galling. I wonder if a referendum (amendment) explicitly stating they are stripping the legislature of the power would solve things. Probably.
Unfortunately, a referendum wouldn't do squat against the US constitution.
     
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Mar 17, 2015, 09:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Unfortunately, a referendum wouldn't do squat against the US constitution.
Hmmm. Each state has different voting provisions, so I imagine a constitutional amendment to the state constitution to reform districting procedure is worth exploring.
     
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Mar 23, 2015, 12:04 PM
 
Supreme Court lets Wisconsin voter ID law stand
The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a major challenge to Wisconsin's voter ID law, delivering a victory to Republicans who favor tougher election laws.
Wisconsin's law was passed in 2011 and used in low-turnout primaries before being blocked from further use by a state court. Last year, a federal district judge declared it unconstitutional because it disproportionately affected black and Hispanic residents.

A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision in September, in part because of last-minute changes made by state officials to ease the burden on those lacking proper ID. The full appeals court deadlocked 5-5 on the issue, leaving the panel's decision in place.
Really, SCOTUS, I think this was worthy of being ruled on it. It was all over the place.
     
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Mar 25, 2015, 04:10 PM
 
SCOTUS sends Alabama back to the drawing board, in a shocking 5-4 split.
Supreme Court rules against Alabama redistricting plan - The Washington Post
Breyer said a lower court panel should have looked at individual districts rather than statewide in order to decide whether there was racial gerrymandering. And he said the legislators and the reviewing court did not use the proper test in deciding whether the redistricting was in line with the Voting Rights Act.

The act forbids “retrogression” in districts that favor minority candidates. But that doesn’t mean that the districts must retain a previous percentage of minority voters to meet the standard, Breyer wrote.

What’s important instead is looking at what percentages are necessary to preserve the minority’s ability to elect the candidate of its choice, he said.

“Asking the wrong question may well have led to the wrong answer,” Breyer wrote.



The court’s four most consistent conservatives — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — said the decision could have implications far beyond the limited ruling the majority professed.

“The court issues a sweeping holding that will have profound implications for the constitutional ideal of one person, one vote, for the future of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and for the primacy of the state in managing its own elections,” Scalia wrote in a dissent that all joined.
Boo hoo, this will get used to bring more lawsuits against gerrymandering. Boo hoo, states rights.
     
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Mar 25, 2015, 06:09 PM
 
I was pretty surprised to see this ruling from this particular SCOTUS.

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