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This week in the war on voting is a joint project of Joan McCarter and Meteor Blades

Wisconsin lawmakers sparring over voter suppression laws: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wants to see a voter ID law in place “before the next election.” And if the state supreme court zaps the voter ID law that he signed in 2011, he says he will call a special legislative session to pass another.

Walker will also be a candidate for reelection in the next election, so he has a personal stake in whether such a law is in place this November. In 2012, numbers guru Nate Silver estimated that a strict voter ID law could “reduce President Obama’s margin against Mitt Romney by a net of 1.2 percentage points.”
But Republicans aren't happy with just the ID law. They have designed proposals that would limit in-person absentee voting solely to weekdays and 45 hours a week, eliminate voting on weekends and prohibit Milwaukee from expanding its absentee voting hours, which it has done previously. Those are the kind of restrictions that make it tougher for many workers and irregular voters to cast a ballot.

Democrats aren't sitting still. State Sen. Jennifer Shilling is introducing a Right to Vote constitutional amendment to protect the voting rights of “every qualified elector of the state.” But her proposal would need to be passed in two consecutive legislative sessions and a statewide referendum before it could be added to the state constitution.

Iowa Poll: Huge majority says voter access more a concern than voter fraud. In its latest Iowa Poll, The Des Moines Register found that 71 percent of respondents saying it’s more important for every eligible, registered voter to be able to cast a ballot, compared with 25 percent who say it’s more important that no ineligible person “slips through the cracks.”

In op-ed, Jon Husted says "It’s easy to vote in Ohio." The Ohio secretary of state was widely castigated for voter suppression efforts during the past two election seasons. In an opinion piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer, he fires back:

With absentee voting starting 28 days before the election, Ohio remains above the national average for access to voting. Many of our surrounding states – including Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York – don’t even provide an early voting option. In addition, with the exception of states that vote exclusively by mail, Ohio has been the only state to send absentee ballot applications to all voters ahead of the election. These steps meant that Ohioans did not experience long lines at the polls that other states did in 2012 when approximately one in three Ohio voters chose to vote prior to Election Day. In fact, independent studies said the wait time in Ohio was 11 minutes.

Ohio is the most important swing state in the nation, and I will continue to work to build the best system of elections in the nation where it will continue to be easy to vote and hard to cheat.

Project Vote's new report: Restoring Voting Rights for Former Felons.
In this updated policy paper, Project Vote Legislative Director Estelle Rogers looks at the relevant voting laws in all 50 states, discusses the arguments for felon re-enfranchisement, and makes recommendations for clear and uniform policies that benefit society as a whole.
Below the orange butterfly ballot, there are more about voter suppression.

Lani Guinier and James Blacksher say Supreme Court's overturning of Voting Rights Act has deep ties to Dred Scott decision. The two have posted their draft of a piece for the Harvard Law and Policy Review. Here is the first paragraph of the abstract:

The “equal sovereignty” principle the Supreme Court majority relied on in Shelby County v. Holder to strike down the coverage formula in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is rooted in the jurisprudence of slavery. In the infamous 1857 case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, Chief Justice Roger Taney held that black Americans, slave or free, were not members of the sovereign people and could never be “citizens” within the meaning of the Constitution. Otherwise, he said, blacks would be entitled to all the fundamental rights of citizenship guaranteed by the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, Section 2, including the right to vote, a result that would violate the equal sovereignty of the slave states. Black people, Chief Justice Taney wrote, could only enjoy those rights the sovereign people of each state chose to give them. [...]
South Dakota tests military voter program:
South Dakota is the first state in the nation to utilize the Department of Defense Common Access Card (CAC) for verification and authentication to allow voter registration, absentee request, receive a ballot, and finally mark a ballot in a program called the Innovative Overseas Absentee-Balloting System (iOASIS).

 Using a grant from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), South Dakota partnered with Everyone Counts to create the system that streamlines the process that used to take up to 60 days into a process that can now be as quick as five minutes.

The program was tested about 1,000 times by members of the South Dakota National Guard and recently [Secretary of State Jason] Gant traveled to four different military bases throughout Germany to test drive the program with service members not only from South Dakota, but across the country.

Cantor not delivering yet on new Voting Rights Act: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has made two trips to the Deep South together with Georgia Democrat and civil rights activist John Lewis, which seems to have given him some insight he didn't previously have. He's pledged to put together a new Voting Rights Act in the wake of the Supreme Court's gutting of a key provision of the old one. That personal investment, writes Roll Call's Emma Dumain, could make a difference for the Republican Party, which has a serious deficit among African Americans and other people of color
But translating participation in the Faith and Politics Institute’s annual pilgrimage into legislative text that can win support from the bulk of the Republican Conference isn’t an easy task.

And so far, Cantor hasn’t laid out a clear path for a bill nine months after declaring his support for a congressional response to the Supreme Court decision striking down the VRA’s core enforcement mechanisms.

Jesse Jackson says to put voting guarantee in the Constitution:
A text out of context is a pretext. What’s the context of America’s voting rights? The context is that we have a “states’ rights” voting system — 50 states (plus D.C.), 3,143 counties, 13,000 election jurisdictions that administer 186,000 precincts, all in “separate and unequal” local voting jurisdictions. But if the legal principle of “separate and unequal” was unacceptable for education in 1954, it’s also unacceptable for voting in 2014, since voting is the foundation of our democracy.

Congressional efforts to “fix” the damage done by Shelby to the Voting Rights Act are essential. But the remedy will inevitably will leave the Voting Rights Act in a weaker state than it was before Shelby. We should not have to protect the “right to vote” piecemeal—state-by-state, county-by-county, voting district-by-voting district, year-after-year.

So I argue that even as we mobilize to end the damage done to the Voting Rights Act, we should be fighting for a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote to all.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

    •  The GOP has admitted it, but remains relatively.. (4+ / 0-)

      ..untouched for it - in the MSM. The two sides do it slash "different opinions" BS

      Dems need to attack but it seems too many have chosen to go with the "reasonable" approach. still talking about bipartisanship or working with republicans to reach a consensus.

      To find a  compromise that is just not there:

      Why? When that time is long gone, years gone.

      And this:
      Mike Turzai, a republican,  tells the truth gaffes:  

      “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

      Source:  Pennsylvania state department  - 96,000 Pennsylvanians  do not have a valid photo I.D.
      Sources: republican lawyers association George Mason univ. united states elections project - Since 1999 only 13 cases  of mistaken voting out of 31 million votes cast  (none of them impersonation which is what the new laws addresses) = .00004%
      This is the republican “jobs” agenda they’ve spent 3 & ½ years working on:
      • government-issued photo ID
      • proof of citizenship
      • voter roll purges
      • shorter early voting time periods
      • eliminating election day registration
      • third-party registration restrictions
      Both governor Corbett and Turzai need prison time imo - June 26, 2012

      Joan McCarter had this covered - Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:55 PM PDT

      My comment @ Daily Kos:

      (short ad - sorry)

      transcript @ link:
      Chris Mathews, a Washington insider of sorts and often a loudmouth is asking the right question, and is advising Dems to attack:
      (short ad  - sorry)

      Tweety is asking 'why are Dems going along with the republican framing' that; "PPACA needs fixing". Dems must stand their ground what they have fought for, even if PPACA is not all that progressives sought.

      What is vital to do starting yesterday is for Dems to call out the republicans on everything. Attack falsehoods and make it known exactly what is at stake

      Attack the GOP, make it known that a vote for a republican means the End of Medicare an entitlement that workers spend their lives earning; the end of pensions, stolen by republicans, the end of public education that republicans are actively siphoning off funds for profit; the end.

      Womens health care - gone with a republicans vote. Women right to privacy and control of their own reproductive rights -  Gone with Roe v Wade revoked as a major decade long part the GOP agenda.

      The GOP 2012 playbook on women's rights says outright:

      " We firmly stand against it"
      And this isn't covering the fact that republicans will take us into war.

      And the environment? The republicans have stated many times in almost every way conceivable that they would end the EPA. Corporations are their only concern no matter what type or how much they pollute -

      So although Tweety is a bit too in love with the sound of his own oratory (imo)  - he's spot on with this advice.

      Dems must attack a direct lie, must refuse to take any conversation one word further than any GOP lie in that moment.

      Tell the awful truth about what a vote the the republicans really represents no matter if it breaks the "rules of comity"; in fact because it does - imo - it's way past time.

      For just one example when republicans preface their statements with" no one wants hungry children" or "no one wants end Medicare" .. or any number of provable lies, the conversation should top right there with the next words from Dems being:

      "That is a lie". You are lying". And have facts in hand to prove it. On every issue - since the GOP does lie on every single issue

      In fact every Dems should carry the prove/documentation with them just for this purpose

      So it is no mystery to me to now hear republicans spewing out with their latest accusations towards the President and Dems agenda including PPACA of being "Slavery" as part of their recent assault using this "equal sovereignty" argument, a transparently and massive display of projecting their own agenda of racism and hate; Not out of guilt, but sheer stupidity in their heads that pushing the country backwards with these reactionary Jim Crow agenda believing that it is possible to blame others for their own bigotry and get away with it. Or worse and probably just as likely (from the less bat-shit crazy GOP leadership) that they just-do-not-care if they can successfully re-up the "Sothern Strategy" in order to Divide and Conquer

      And they are wrong:..

      71 percent of respondents saying it’s more important for every eligible, registered voter to be able to cast a ballot, compared with 25 percent who say it’s more important that no ineligible person “slips through the cracks.”
      ..about everything

      So Kudos to those that are doing the good things needed.

      Thx MB

      and apologies for the long  rant. It's built up from lack of time to write a Diary on it for the past few days

  •  I registered voters on 2012 election day in WI (7+ / 0-)

    And despite the early voting (that has now been cut) there were still VERY long lines for voting most of the day and people were still in line hours after the official poll closing time. This was in a small city - not Milwaukee.

    This is a dismantling of the democratic process.

    They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

    by 1864 House on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:13:59 PM PDT

    •  They've been working hard to create lines (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, a2nite, 1864 House

      All that signing the poll book BS was another "stall tactic" designed to end the smooth process of getting the ballot.  Now, instead of just passing the voter down to get their ballot, the poll book needs to be moved upside down so the voter can sign it and a pen provided for the signature.

      It's ridiculous and doesn't "improve" the integrity of the vote.

      Voter ID is a two prong stalling process.  People don't show up if they can't afford to obtain the documents necessary to get one of a very small number of "approved" IDs (or they or the person who drives them to the DMV can't afford to take time off work to obtain those documents or ID).  It also helps to hold up a line as a voter with a non-approved ID tries to vote.

      They're all intended to create long lines to further discourage people from voting.  Urban (i.e. Democratic) areas are much more impacted.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 01:51:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would like to see EVERY journalist who (7+ / 0-)

    interviews any politician advocating for voter ID laws ask that politician "can you give me some statistics for the incidence of voter fraud in your state/district/city?".

    Not to ask this question is to abrogate your professionalism as a journalist.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:17:28 PM PDT

  •  Husted doesn't mention the absentee ballot change (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Eric Nelson, Meteor Blades

    The law he signed that gives the GOP controlled state government complete control over whether vote by mail ballot applications are mailed to registered voters.

    They're banking on hijacking the mail-in ballot process to lower Dem voter participation.   They've been beta-testing the strategy over the last couple of off year elections.  Having worked as a poll worker in a predominantly GOP area, GOP voters have been aggravated with not getting absentee ballot applications in time, or sometimes not at all.  But they end up showing up at the polls, cranky and complaining.

    Husted & Kasich probably determined GOP turnout won't be unduly harmed if they can override counties and stop the mailing of absentee ballots.

    Funny he didn't mention that.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:17:35 PM PDT

  •  will/way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Eric Nelson

    All these voter id laws are horrendous, but let's get real.  We have a job to do, with plenty of time and probably enough money, get everyone registered--set up groups that pay cab fare and/or registration fees.  Finally, it's our responsibility to gotv--we lost in Tampa because "we" didn't come out enough.  Some of the blame belongs on us.
    Now, not to get too obnoxious, but, many of the non voters, the targeted voters of the id laws, are minority.  Dem candidates have to embrace Obama, who in turn, has to go out there and campaign.  The Rs want us to believe the presidents a pariah--he isn't --especially not to the above mentioned targeted voters.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:19:36 PM PDT

  •  The government is too incompetant. (3+ / 0-)

    Make voting fast and efficient by privatizing it!

    Wisconsin voters will save a bundle if Walker just declares victory. Its called "Fast Track Voting", and will soon replace the old antiquated system of actually casting a useless ballot that needs to be counted.

    Restricting the access to polls is key to saving money on elections.

    When you have an election, you target the people that will vote for you, and block the others from voting. This is the "Play Hockey" method.

    And don't forget the disgusting gerrymandering.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:52:59 PM PDT

  •  Time To Throw Meet The Press An Anvil ! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, a2nite

    David Gregory is in trouble because of the suckage of his ratings.  

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 02:11:58 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, MB (0+ / 0-)

    Pretty impressive compilation for a bloke on the mend. Trusting you won't be overdoing it.

  •  Free ID's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I would have no problem with voter ID's if they were provided free by the city/state government. It would eliminate it being a 21st century poll tax concern, as well as eliminate this conservative myth of voter fraud.

    Free ID's seems like a solution that should please everyone.

    For Conservatives the cost of providing them should be worth the piece of mind it will bring them that no one illegal is voting, and for progressives they are provided free of cost to voters and won't be a financial burden. If anything it would make voting smoother as having your approved card would eliminate alot of the signature crap and such people are subjected to that make lines long.

    •  There's two problems with that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Nothing is free, so that money would have to come from somewhere.

      But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that even if the ID itself costs a person nothing up front, there are still other costs which are prohibitive for many Americans.

      To get a state-issued ID, documentation is required, and not everyone has that. Anyone who does not have it has to pay money to get a replacement. Plus, in the South there is an issue where some Americans, especially older black Americans, were not born in a hospital and never issued a birth certificate. What do they do?

      Then there's the price of actually getting to a DMV. If you don't have a car, or if you don't have money for the gas, suddenly getting to the DMV is cost-prohibitive. Plus, the GOP in many states deliberately shut down certain DMVs, making the distance many have to travel much further. Since the DMV is only open when most people are at work, this means many will have to miss a half day or even an entire day of work just to do this.

      So in the end, many Americans would still have to pay money just to vote.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 06:58:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It apparently doesn't occur (0+ / 0-)

    to Republicans, driven to distraction with their voter-suppression schemes, that they're confessing to their own cowardice and the odiousness of their own positions... in plain sight.

    What's the long-range game plan? Restrict voting until only their families have the privilege?

    No self-awareness, no shame.

  •  What if voting were mandatory, (0+ / 0-)

    that all citizens must either vote or officially pass on their right to vote.

    An amendment to the Constitution. I know many countries have done it (don't know how many are oppressive regimes).

    Could a state enact mandatory voting, which would accommodate any citizen's conscientious objection to voting, essentially (but officially) taking a pass?

    It would nullify this suppression epidemic in red states. Wouldn't it be difficult to run against Voting itself as an issue?

    Think of it: Vote for Hank! Hank believes in suppressing the vote. Just seems a difficult sell for Hank. Let's make the suppressors identify themselves and sell their case (voter suppression) to the voters.

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