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

Ohio Christian Alliance push for photo voter ID law. If Ohio state legislators don't pass a voter ID law, the conservative group says, it will seek to pass one by means of a state initiative in 2015.

The process would involve circulating petitions and collecting more than 100,000 signatures before the end of the year. The legislature would then have about four months to act before backers circulate more petitions and gather another 275,000-plus signatures to place the issue on the November ballot.

"With 29 days of open voting still available, there continues to exist an opportunity for those who intend to commit voter fraud to take advantage of Ohio's open-ended election season," said Chris Long, president of the Ohio Christian Alliance. "The post-election reports detail a story that voter fraud is a growing problem in Ohio. The only way to address this challenge to Ohio's election system is to adopt a photo ID requirement."

In fact, the post-election reports show voter fraud is scarcely a problem at all in Ohio. Moreover, Secretary of State Jon Husted says photo ID wouldn't solve the problem if there was one.

Project Vote reports on 2014 voter legislation. As part of its ongoing series, Project Vote last week released its Election Legislation 2014: Threats and Opportunities. Written by Communications Manager Erin Ferns Lee, the white paper provides state-by-state blurbs about new voting laws—the good and the bad—in a table format, taking note of which have passed, failed or remain pending. It also includes maps showing partisan control of legislatures and the governor's offices.

Here's a quiz to see if you can pick the gerrymandered redistricting plan.

You'll find more on the war on voting below the fold.


States, counties and advocacy groups provide apps to help voters:

Social media behemoth Facebook recently launched a global version of its “I’m a Voter” button. The button, originally launched in 2012, is designed to let your friends on Facebook know that you’ve cast a ballot.

According to a study in the journal Nature, in 2010, more than 300,000 people cast ballots in the mid-term elections after seeing a friend share the button on Facebook and in 2012 approximately 9 million people shared the button during the presidential elections.

The U.S. Vote Foundation recently launched a new widget that answers all sorts of absentee voting questions. The Can I Vote Absentee (CIVA) widget let’s voters quickly find what the absentee voting rules and regulations for their state and then allows voters, advocates, whoever to share the widget directly on their websites to help other voters.

NAACP calls out Alabama Jim Crow era "voucher" system:
In clear violation of the Voting Rights Act, the State of Alabama has proposed a set of rules that will require an otherwise eligible voter who lacks the required photo identification to prove his or her identity by the "voucher" of a class of mostly white poll officials.

"It is deeply problematic that Alabama's Secretary of State is trying to resurrect an unconstitutional and illegal relic of the Jim Crow South," said Ryan P. Haygood, Director of the Political Participation Group at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "Discriminatory voucher tests, which Congress explicitly banned along with literacy tests when it passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, have no place in modern day Alabama," Haygood added.

The Alabama Secretary of State's proposed rules would require a voter without photo identification to show that he or she is personally acquainted with an election official in order to vote.

Personally acquainted with mostly white election officials. Clever system.

88 religious organizations send letter to Congress on voting rights legislation. Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish action group, helped coordinate the drafting of a letter to Congress seeking quick action on Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3899/S.1945). The signators, national, state and local, represent more than a dozen denominations. Among other things, the letter states:

The teachings of our respective faiths may diverge on issues of theology and practice, but all speak clearly of the imperative to pursue justice and treat each and every human being with dignity and respect. We are united in standing up for those most at risk of having their voices silenced at the ballot box. We are inspired to do what we can to protect the right of each individual to play a role in shaping the future of our cities, towns, states and nation. What is at stake in this fight is the very nature of our society, whether we can truly call ourselves a democracy in which each citizen can cast a vote to choose our leaders and shape the direction of our country.  

Chief Justice Roberts called upon Congress to update the Voting Rights Act. Every day that passes without Congressional action brings new voting procedures unreported at best and outright discriminatory at worst. This bill is not perfect. We remain concerned that voter ID laws are treated differently from other potentially discriminatory policies and that a “known practices” formula, which would provide recourse against some of the most common discriminatory practices, is not included. Yet, we are united in the belief that now is the time to build on the critical tools in this legislation and stop discriminatory voting practices wherever they occur.

Stephen Lurie says Democrats should stop fighting voter ID laws. They're right that the strict new ID laws are a means of voter suppression. But being right doesn't make you a winner, he writes, and, because voter ID is popular in the polls, Democrats should throw in the towel and focus on other means of broadening the franchise.

FairVote highlights proposal for "ranked choice voting":

Opening primary elections to include all voters should not mean closing general elections to meaningful competition when most people vote. But that is exactly the impact of the top two primary systems that are used in California and Washington, as well as the two proposals being circulated as potential ballot measures in Oregon this year.

Fortunately, there is a better alternative: Colorado reformer Ryan Ross’s groundbreaking proposed ballot measure to open both primary elections and general elections by advancing more than two candidates and using ranked choice voting in November.

It is problematic that many taxpayers have to pay for primary elections in which they cannot participate due to their decision to remain unaffiliated or registered with a minor party – a number of people that is growing as more and more people decide not to register as members of a major party. In states like New Jersey, nearly half the electorate is denied the right to vote in primaries because those primaries are closed to independent voters.

This disenfranchisement, along with the increasingly exaggerated influence of primary elections in our winner-take-all elections (in which fewer and fewer general elections are meaningfully competitive), has led to a movement to open the primaries.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Barriers and Bridges.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The tea-publicans are evil (9+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:06:07 AM PDT

    •  those that shill are weak, lazy, and corrupt.. (0+ / 0-)

      ..hoping that by enabling corporations to take over and expand our peoples government into a "Big governmant" corporate run machine, their rewards will trickle down upon them. A few republicans living in corporate pockets will be tolerated as long as these shills make sure that it remains only a few. That is their job. Protecting a democracy is anathema to that end.

  •  Guess they figured out that voting isn't in the (5+ / 0-)

    Bible.  Christians. gad.

    "There are no safe words with me." -- The Perfect Wedding

    by Rikon Snow on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:09:34 AM PDT

    •  gad dumb is right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow, bluenick, Shawn87, Eric Nelson

      And they figure they can ignore all the Justice talk that IS in the Bible.    Meanwhile, there are other voices organizing in Ohio! I was so happy I followed the link

      88 religious organizations send letter to Congress on voting rights legislation.
      and found "Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, OH".  It was some Sisters of St. Francis who made a profound impact in my life more than 20 years ago.  What a treat to see them adding their voice to support the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3899/S.1945).  Warms my heart.
  •  With 29 days of open voting still available (5+ / 0-)
    "With 29 days of open voting still available, there continues to exist an opportunity for those who intend to commit voter fraud to take advantage of Ohio's open-ended election season those awful working brown people to be able to find time to vote and they too often vote not Republican,"...
    Yeah, Obma won Ohio twice in a row due to "voter fraud". No word I guess on whether Jon Husted is incompetent or a secret liberal for failing to prosecute allllllllll that voter fraud.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:17:34 AM PDT

  •  I have proposed in the past (5+ / 0-)

    Using IRV/ranked choice voting in an open primary to narrow the field down to two candidates.

    I disagree with FairVote over their desire to have more than two candidates in the final stage of the election.

  •  Predicting Ohio Christian Alliance (5+ / 0-)

    is going to receive a whole lot of dark money to help them turn out the vote.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:32:19 AM PDT

  •  My wild idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

       New Rule - folks 60yo or more get a free pass of Voter ID for a # of years (decade?)

        New Rule - each SuperPac filed with the FEC has to pay a fee that will be directed to League of Women Voters ( or other outreach program) for the purpose of helping folks assure that they have the money and access to obtain State Required document ( Birth Certificate, etc) AND assistance in obtaining a Voter ID card.    

         Despite all the pearl clutchers saying that 'everyone drives" so there is no obstacle - that is BS and these new rules will solve this by having access.   The independent group can request Fed / State database to reach out to these folks   ( similar to Navigators).

          The whine will be from SuperPacs - most of which are bragging about how much they are going to spend, so that will be hilarious.


  •  Sick and tired (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buddykat, Shawn87, Eric Nelson

    of the GOP's lying and manipulation with their continual attempts to destroy our Democracy.

  •  Ala (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Shawn87, Eric Nelson

    ...effectively exempt older white GOP voters from being denied a ballot if they don't bring proper id with them, while still effectively posing a barrier against voting for most blacks or white students likely to vote DEM.  DOUBTLESS many poll workers would also selectively exempt some long-time elderly black voters as well (and use this as the basis for claiming proof of nondiscrimination) but the proof would be in the substantially disproportionate effect.

    The GOP figures that if they can consistently shave even low-to-middle single digits off the democratic vote via voting restrictions, that will be enough to postpone the gradual, but inexorable demographic trends toward a bluer electorate long enough for the GOP to engineer sufficiently permanent structural advantages to gain lasting control over federal and most state governments.  The GOP WILL gladly welcome some blacks and other minorities prominently into their coalition - so long as they're the likes of Tim Scott, Bobby Jindall, Alan West, Clarence Thomas.  Even back in the days of segregation in the south, the white power structure always welcomed a few Uncle Toms into their power structure, but most blacks recognized them for exactly what they were.

  •  I looked at one of their "Citizen Audit" PDFs and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Shawn87, Eric Nelson

    most of the things I see are poll workers who won't know what's going on.

    Also too, this "Christian" outfit is the burn-off of the former Ohio branch of Pat Robertson's "Christian Coalition".

    So you just know their intentions are only good.


    The NRA: "Never Responsible for Anything."

    by here4tehbeer on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:56:54 AM PDT

  •  We need to begin a nationwide huge effort to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shawn87, Eric Nelson

    get anyone and everyone an ID who needs one.  This will just continue and has been going on for years.  We need to begin now before 2016.  Boots on the ground, in every state and make it happen.

  •  The scary thing is how easy it will be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    to get those 375,000 signatures on their ballot initiative.
    I have no doubt that the Ohio contingent from Operation American Spring (or the 'Putz putsch' as I like to call it) are still pumped from overthrowing the federal government last week (or was it the week before?).
    Just have a bunch of those patriotic truckers drive around the state with copies of the petition and before you can say 'Benghazi' they'll be ready to roll!

    No one has a higher regard for the GOTP than I do, and I consider them a pack of scoundrels and fools at best, traitors at worst.

    by UncleKirk on Sat May 31, 2014 at 02:28:08 PM PDT

  •  Closed parties aren't disenfranchisement (0+ / 0-)

    It's freedom of association. Any voluntarily self-identified group of people should be able to choose a candidate.

    But ranked-choice voting is good—no spoiler effect, and saves time and expense.

    If we're going to keep single-member districts, let's do closed primaries and ranked-choice voting.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sat May 31, 2014 at 02:35:01 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure if Steven Lurie is correct or not.. (0+ / 0-) his advice for Dems to: Democrats, stop fighting voter ID laws..because..

    voter ID is popular (leaving courts to strike it down where possible)
    ..but I'm sure is he wrong that..
    Democrats may be right on the merits, but — wish fulfillment aside — they’re just not going to win this fight. all people had a free, easy-to-get, state-issued ID card that allowed them to vote.
    ..but that ignores the difficulty of many voters who may not have or can afford the documents needed to receive this "free" ID.

    So we should fight it with evidence that republicans, who love to use the phrase "slippery slope" are in the process of taking away everyone's vote (not just brown peoples or Dems), repealing the 17th amendment to the constitution for instance is in the works. Getting rid of direct election of our senators altogether.

    Exposing the republican party as powned by ALEC (corporations are people too) ALEC who, unlike incompetent no-nothing corporate shills called republican legislators, has written up a new law: “Equal State’s Enfranchisement Act”

    Dante Atkins covered it here: ALEC's assault on the 17th Amendment

    So we should fight any voter suppression, including new requirements of any kind. I find it very disappointing that instead of aggressively exposing the truth, politicking gets in the mix, even if it sounds plausible as a strategy, it is still ceding what should be completely rejected at every level

     - and now that I've thought about it Steven Lurie is wrong. I am sure. His advice is the "third way" "No Labels" kind of thinking that always ends up coddling the right and their f'cked up agenda - Just so tired of it and the so-called  smart "framing" when it comes to this assault .  

    Say NO The corporate bought republicans, but don't stop there. Call them out, and what they're up to. Taking away all peoples voice and their right to vote it

    And Steven calling it "wish fulfillment" - > sounds exactly like "third Way" talk I've heard

    While stringently opposing voter ID might be ideal, it’s not practical nor as productive as these other suggestions. Accepting...
    - Accepting huh? the giveaway - cave

    Corporations and their republican "conservative" shills are taking away minorities right to vote - Do you republican voters really think that you aren't next to be purged?

    That's what I would say anyway

     - rant over

    Thx MB

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