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Cartoon of voters queued up to cast ballots
Let's start off with some good news in the War on Voting for a change, shall we?

California is poised to become the ninth and largest state in the Union to allow citizens to register to vote on election day. Both the state senate and assembly have passed election day registration (EDR) and, after different wordings between the two houses are worked out, it is certain Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the bill into law. It won't, however, take effect until 2016.

The current law cuts would-be voters off from registering two weeks before an election. Studies show that EDR "boosts voter turnout by seven percentage points," reports Scott Keyes at ThinkProgress. In California, that could mean another 700,000 voters.

Eight other states already have election day registration: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is unhappy with U.S. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder's investigation of the state's restrictive voter-ID law, calling it "unprecedented":
    In a letter to the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, Pennsylvania General Counsel James Schultz wrote that while the state had provided the Justice Department with tens of thousands of documents, the fishing expedition by Justice was going too far. "In light of the absence of authority for your request for information, I question whether your inquiry is truly motivated by a desire to assess compliance with federal voting rights laws, or rather is fueled by political motivation," he wrote.
    Kathleen Kane, the Democratic candidate for attorney general in Pennsylvania said it's not Holder but rather Corbett who is "playing" politics over the matter.

    Holder has said that restrictive voter-ID laws like the Keystone state's are akin to a modern-day "poll tax," which was one of the many ways the post-Reconstruction Jim Crow South kept African Americans away from the ballot box for eight decades.

    Unlike in 16 other states or parts of other states, changes in the voting laws in Pennsylvania do not require federal oversight under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Critics say the photo voter-ID law will make it harder for minorities, the youngest and oldest voters to cast ballots because they are the least likely to have the government-issued ID that the state now requires. Officials concede they are not set up to deal with the potential deluge of Pennsyvlanians who might seek an ID between now and election day.

    A state judge has nevertheless rejected a challenge to the law brought by the Pennsylvania ACLU and others. Officials are now seeking to delay until mid-October an appeal of the case to the state supreme court. How transparent can you get?

    “That’s way too late,” says Vic Walczak, Legal Director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

    He says a mid-October date would leave less than three weeks before the election.

    “That would make it difficult, if not impossible for county elections boards to adjust their procedures, if that’s necessary,” he says. “That would also mean there is no certainty for voters, until that time. And people won’t know whether they need to go to that extra mile to get the ID.”

    Supporters of the ID law said they have been vindicated by the fact that the lead plaintiff in the case, 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite, obtained a voter ID the day after the judge ruled against her lawyer's claims that the law will have a discriminatory impact. But foes of the law say the fact that one woman can get an ID after becoming a celebrity is scarcely proof that other citizens will also find the law isn't onerous.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

In other news:

  • In an unsurprising move, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen wants the state supreme court to reinstate a restrictive voter-ID law that two lower-court judges have independently ruled to be unconstitutional. The two lawsuits challenging the law were brought by the League of Women Voters and the NAACP. Up until now, it had appeared the law would not be in effect for this year's voting. Now nobody can sure if it will or not.
  • Team Obama officials think their on-the-ground efforts will overcome potential disadvantages from voter suppression:
    "I think that all these challenges are why you run a field operation and why, in a battleground state like Ohio, where we have four times as many offices as [the Mitt Romney campaign does] and many times more staffers, we have the advantage to do it," said one senior staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak frankly about campaign strategy. "I know everyone thinks it is just our side that suffers from these things, from ballot access challenges. But their senior voters are going to have challenges too. Both sides are going to have to adapt to this. And I think that is a place where we have an advantage on the ground."

    According to the campaign officials, the president's team has collected 147 percent more voter registration forms, made 234 percent more phone calls and knocks on doors, and had 171 percent more voter "conversations" than it had at this point in 2008.

  • A Quinnipiac University/New York Times poll shows voters in three swing states support restrictive voter-IDs laws. In Florida, 78 percent of those polled support the laws; in Ohio, 75 percent do; in Wisconsin, 66 percent do. Only Wisconsin has such a law on the books and, as noted above, it has been struck down by two state judges and is being appealed to the state supreme court.

    The poll also found 65 percent of voters approved of efforts by Republican Gov. Rick Scott to purge voter rolls of people who may not be U.S. citizens. Critics have complained that the purge has come up with too many "false positives," which mostly affect Hispanics. In the first batch of names the governor wanted culled from the voter rolls, 98.4 percent turned out to be citizens.

  • Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic weighed in on the antics of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and made comparisons to efforts to maintain desegregation in Mississippi in the summer of 1962.

    Husted issued an edict last week setting uniform early voting hours across the state. The decision came as a consequence of pressure from critics inside and outside Ohio who decried the fact that election boards in heavily Democratic counties were, with Husted's help, establishing shorter early voter hours than boards in heavily Republican counties. Husted put into place shorter hours for all 88 counties, a decision whose impact would be felt most sharply by African Americans and lower-income voters in urban, Democratic areas.

    After the edict, the two Democrats on the four-member Montgomery County board voted to continue early voting hours on weekends to make it easier for such voters to cast their ballots. In 2008, tens of thousands of Ohioans voted during the hours that Husted has now removed from the early voting schedule. The two Republicans on the Montgomery County board voted for fewer hours and Husted broke the tie by voting with them.

    End of story, right? Nope. Husted went a step further and demanded the two rescind their vote or face suspension from the board:

    Husted now alleges insubordination. And what do his mutineers [Dennis} Lieberman and [Tom] Ritchie say? Ritchie says that the Republican limitations on early voting hours represent "a continued attempt to suppress Americans from exercising their right to vote." Lieberman says: "I believe that this is so critical to our freedom on America, and to individual rights to vote, that I am doing what I think is right... In 10 years, I've never received a threat that if I don't do what they want me to do, I could be fired."
    The efforts to curtail hours is, Cohen says, an effort to curtail the voting of the very same people whose rights were at issue 50 years ago in Mississippi and throughout the South. But, he wonders, where is the outrage? Why are no high-level public officials making an issue of voter suppression every day?
  • GOP platform committee has approved an amendment supporting states that have passed laws requiring restrictive voter-IDs and proof of citizenship. The amendment was proposed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Delegates in support said it's all about Democrats stealing elections:
    “I think we have to acknowledge and be bold that people on the progressive side are willing to cheat in ways we could never before fathom,” Tamara Hall from Montana said. Hall said she had a disabled daughter who cannot read, write, count or tell time who voted without her permission.

    “For cookies and milk they had her vote,” Hall said. “You have no idea the extreme these people will go to to steal an election.”

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania.

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Comment Preferences

  •   Kris Kobach is going places (23+ / 0-)

    Hopefully to hell

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:07:58 AM PDT

  •  End game (15+ / 0-)

    Apparently, buying off our elected representatives wasn't enough.
    To win, the corporate fascists need to marginalize the popular vote entirely.

    My favorite new blog

  •  Here is my thought, our approach should (5+ / 0-)

    be that if you have voted before anywhere in the country it is that proof that your are eligible to vote, if a state wants to make new laws regarding voting then the onus is on them to provide the appropriate I.D. free of charge and there needs to be a two year implementation timeframe.  I think a state needs to go door to door and make the I.D. available, we do it with the census so we know it is doable.

    •  I guess that would require saving every single (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      ballot stub and keeping it in a safe-deposit box...on the off-chance that you might move to another state

      but wait...do all 50 states give you a ballot-stub as proof that you did vote on Election Day?

      (In California a single Election Day, always a Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. til poll closing at 8:00 p.m. - unless you opt to vote absentee/by mail, which a lot of seniors do - it's been this way for as long as I can remember - one single day - except for a few rural counties which have opted for vote by mail. Trending.)

      I would be interested to know what it costs states who keep their polls open for "early voting". I suspect it would cost California a fortune to do it, given the population of this state. Also curious, from whence that idea sprung?

      It's time for a National VOTE Holiday. Maybe the prez would "execute" one in his next term?

      anyway, GOOD on CA for getting the new EDR legislation through both houses

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:55:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've Never Heard Of A "Ballot Stub", So.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        orlbucfan
        but wait...do all 50 states give you a ballot-stub as proof that you did vote on Election Day?
        ...no.  All I ever get here in central NC is my "I Voted" sticker.
        •  We are an all mail state (0+ / 0-)

          there is a "stub" on the ballot, a curious strip that's issued "for control purposes" that we're instructed to immediately remove and discard, but I don't think that's what the poster means.

        •  perforated stub on the end of the ballot... (0+ / 0-)

          after voting, I hand my ballot to the pollworker, she tears off the stub, hands it to me along with an "I Voted" sticker, and then I run my ballot into the scanner. So we do get a record, but most people I know don't keep them.

          How would you prove in your new "voter suppression state" that you had been a registered voter in your previous state ? That was really my question.  

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:45:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Aha! An outside Commie agitator (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TKO333

            The worst kind of voter fraud.

            My wife was unable to vote with a California driver's license after she moved back to Indiana. She is the daughter of a former County Clerk here, the one who put in the computerized registration system. I was OK because I got my license in good time.

            Whether you are registered to vote in another state has absolutely nothing to do with getting registered here. The only question is whether you have the documents specified for showing US citizenship and local residence.

            They do want you to mail a card back to your previous state to get deregistered, but it is not actually mandatory.

            Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare. http://www.healthcare.gov

            by Mokurai on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:07:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  they have a record you voted, you are registered (0+ / 0-)

            they check you off....they know who voted.  

      •  Re California early voting (0+ / 0-)

        I know that I voted early a few election cycles ago in California, so I am not sure your statement is accurate.  I don't think they've changed the rules since then.

        •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

          You can vote early at your district registrar's office, but to my knowledge CA still does not open local neighborhood polling places early, as some of these states do. Where I live in Northern California, getting to the registrar's office is problematical for most people unless they live in a metro area, so they vote at their neighborhood schools, etc. or by absentee.

          I didn't make myself very clear.

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:00:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  it is the time frame that worries me most (5+ / 0-)

      it just should not be legal to make these kinds of changes so close to an election!!!

      we need a new Voting Rights Act...

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:51:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Use the mail first. (0+ / 0-)

      That's what the census does. Then go door-to-door for those who don't respond.

      It could probably be done by the Internet too.

  •  If they are certain they are in the right (8+ / 0-)

    why delay? There's literally nothing gained from delaying, unless they're willing to drop enforcement of the ID provision until next election. They aren't even pretending that citizens deserve to feel confident in a fair elections process.

  •  My Fellow Americans... (6+ / 0-)

    "I'll get the black guy out of the white house in exchange for your right to vote. Thanks!" - Mitt Romney

  •  Fathom this, Ms. Tamara Hall of Montana: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rfall, Rube Goldberg, renzo capetti

    As a member of the Right-wing Idiocracy, you have no ideas at all-- let alone how far we progressives will go to prevent you boneheads from stealing this election.  

  •  Word. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    renzo capetti, shanikka, TKO333, rexxnyc

    "Why are no high-level public officials making an issue of voter suppression every day?"

    -- Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic

  •  I'm only mildly surprised PA Officials didn't... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, renzo capetti

    ...propose a delay in the PA appeal until mid-November.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:35:03 AM PDT

  •  Do you have an extra word (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, renzo capetti

    in your second graf?

    Maybe it's too early, but it doesn't make sense to me.

    California is poised to become the biggest ninth and largest state in the Union to allow citizens to register and vote on election day.
    What does that mean?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:35:07 AM PDT

  •  Pa Supreme Ct. Set Hearing Date in Mid Sept. (9+ / 0-)

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the GOP's arguments and set a hearing date in mid September.  This could be a good sign.

  •  gov corbett (4+ / 0-)

    nice job on letting the penn st coach continue to molest children so you wouldn't ruin your chance at political office, you sir are just another family values hypocrite that is void of morality or ethical values.

  •  ugh. in phila. don't like Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rexxnyc

    Locally, nationally, they are horrible selfish deceitful miser bigots.
    And I really despise the false fantasy that ronnie reagan was anything good. He was poison.
    Romney is also from their bottomless barrel of hateful scumbag unjustified narcissist sociopath zombies. And his toxic wife.

    You can hold an opinion, or a grudge, or a stock, or a picket sign. But the time really to be at your best Is when you hold the hand of a trusting child.

    by renzo capetti on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:19:20 AM PDT

  •  Racism behind voter ID laws (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, rexxnyc

    This NY Times poll linked in the article shows majority support for restrictive voter ID laws in three states. The reported results, however, do not include a breakdown by race of the percentage of voters who prefer the laws. Such a breakdown might be telling. In Florida, for example, 78% of the respondents support the voter ID laws, and 78% of the respondents happen to identify themselves as white. Statistically, it stands to reason that a whole lot of white people favor the voter ID laws, which disproportionately disenfranchise non-whites.

    The poll, IOW, doesn't report out support for voter ID laws by race, IMHO, because that would reveal the rather obvious racial component to this equation.

    •  Here is a set of crosstabs on voter ID (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HudsonValleyMark

      I'm sorry I can't get the columns to line up quite right, but you can get the original at the link below. It shows that Black voters in particular and Democrats overall believe in voter ID, even though at lower rates than Whites and Latinos. Blacks are the only subgroup of likely Democratic voters broken out here in which a majority believes that the FL voter purge is voter suppression, although Democrats overall are against it.

      We are not entirely succeeding with our messaging on this. Nor on health care.

      But we are winning anyway. On Bain and the tax returns, certainly, among many other factors. "GM is alive, and bin Laden is dead," for example. The multitudinous wars on women, Blacks and other minorities, unions, children, retirees, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTs...We shall see about rape, Medicare, and other emerging targets of opportunity.

      Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll

      38. As you may know, there have been efforts in some states to require voters to show a photo identification card to vote. Some people say this is needed to prevent people from voting who are not eligible to vote. Other people say such efforts are designed to suppress voting by low-income people and minorities. What do you think, do you support or oppose efforts to require voters to show a photo identification card to vote?

                      LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                      Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp

      Support    78%    97%    57%    80%    76%    79%    80%    60%    82%
      Oppose     20         3       40        17       22       19       18       38       13
      DK/NA         2        1         3          3         2         2         1          2          5

                      COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                      Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+

      Support     73%    80%    75%    78%    75%    81%    79%    78%    76%
      Oppose      25       18        22       20        23       19       18       20       22
      DK/NA         2         2         3         2          2         1         3          2         2

      38a. (Asked in Florida only) As you may know, there has been an effort by the state of Florida to remove people from the state's voter rolls who may not be U.S. citizens and, therefore, are not eligible to vote. Which comes closer to your view about this effort?  This is being done mostly to prevent people from voting who are not eligible to do so, or This is being done mostly to suppress voting by certain demographic groups who are eligible to vote?

                 LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                 Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp

      Prevent ineligible
                65%    90%    39%    70%    66%    65%    72%    46%    55%
      Suppress voting
                28         7        53        22       29       27       23       44        35
      DK/NA  7         3          8          8         5         8         5         9         10

                COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                 Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+

      Prevent ineligible
                 62%    67%    61%    67%    65%    67%    68%    61%    69%
      Suppress voting
                 34       26        27       30       30       30       27       32       24
      DK/NA   5         7        12         3         4         3         4         8          7

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare. http://www.healthcare.gov

      by Mokurai on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:02:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is there a provision for people who have a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark

    photo ID but have lost or misplaced it on Election Day? Can they submit an absentee or provisional ballot so their identity can be checked later?

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:26:13 AM PDT

  •  Polling results... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, orlbucfan

    ...should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Consider this:

    The poll also found 65 percent of voters approved of efforts by Republican Gov. Rick Scott to purge voter rolls of people who may not be U.S. citizens.
    Really, does anyone disagree with the idea that non-citizens should be purged from the voting rolls?  And I suspect that the average respondent to that poll hears "...are not U.S. citizens" instead of "...may not be U.S. citizens."

    The challenge that progressives face is getting people to understand this part of it:

    In the first batch of names the governor wanted culled from the voter rolls, 98.4 percent turned out to be citizens.
    Supply that bit of information to respondents and I bet that the level of support would go from 65% to less than 20%...

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:33:05 AM PDT

  •  What's the timeline for DOJ? (0+ / 0-)

    How long to investigate?  How soon can they go to court?

  •  Gee if its so much trouble then don't do it! (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder if it strikes these officials as odd when they whine and complain about the appeal attempting to be three weeks before the election. When that complaint of theirs makes it PROOF that an injunction is in order until all sides get this case resolved. If they cannot accommodate the appeals process properly and they cannot adequately assure the public that everyone that is registered will have a VOTER ID in their hot little hands by election day then by all means DELAY THE REQUIREMENT!

    Sheesh! Are these people stupid or just .. oh yeah right... corrupt.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:15:37 PM PDT

  •  May I just say a word about North Dakota here? (0+ / 0-)

    No voter registration.  None.  Show up at the polls with some evidence of residence in the precinct for at least 30 days, and you get to vote.  No questions asked.

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

    by Alice Olson on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:45:27 PM PDT

  •  Delay until October? Wow. they're not even a.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark

    ..pretense of fairness anymore.

    Plus this really strange polling stat - ID' requirement makes no difference?

     There is something very wrong with swing states (or any states or rational people) polling that shows a strong majority of voters approve of voter ID laws imo. Especially if you look at the question # 37 polled right before question # 38 (the voter Id requirement).

    37. Turning to another subject. Do you think changes in your state’s voting and registration rules might make it harder for you* to vote this year, easier for you to vote this year, or don’t you think changes in your state’s voting
    and registration rules will make a difference?
                    Harder  Easier   No difference   DK/NA
    FL 8/15-21/12 11     7                77              5
    OH 8/15-21/12 12    5                78              5
    WI 8/15-21/12 11    4                 82             3
    38. As you may know, there have been efforts in some states to require voters to show a photo identification card to vote. Some people say this is needed
    to prevent people from voting who are not eligible to vote. Other people say such efforts are designed to suppress voting by low-income people and minorities. What do you think -- do you support or oppose efforts to require
    voters to show a photo identification card to vote?
                           Support     Oppose      DK/NA
    FL 8/15-21/12       78          20              2
    OH 8/15-21/12      75          23              2
    WI 8/15-21/12       66         32              2
    Maybe since these are taken from likely voters* (question posed as "for you to vote") polled I don't know, but the question seems directed.
    But it is unbelievable that a huge majority of voters actually believe that voter ID (suppression tacics) sweeping the counttry wil make no difference at all.

    In pennsylvania for instance the sheer logisitics of trying to provide 750,00 - a million+ people with  ID's before November should have raised eyebrows even amongst republican voters who are honest enough to believe in the rights of all people to vote.

    •  not sure what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

      As you point out, the question is about how the changes will affect the respondents. Apparently most respondents think that they already meet the requirements. They weren't asked to express an opinion on how the requirements would affect other legitimate voters.

      Simply asking that question might have reduced support for photo ID.

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:50:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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