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

An initiative on voting rights in Ohio failed to get enough signatures: Advocates of an amendment to the Ohio constitution that would guarantee specific voting rights said Tuesday that they fell far short of the 385,000 signatures they needed to get the "Ohio Voters Bill of Rights" onto the November ballot. They only had obtained about 100,000 signatures. A spokeswoman said they had done well considering being constrained by a 90-day deadline and shortage of funds.

Opposing forces have been battling in the courts and legislature for more than two years over early voting and other rules. If passed, the amendment would have guaranteed expanded early voting times on weekends. A federal court recently reinstated early voting on the three days before the election for all voters because active military personnel have that option. But that ruling might fade away if the legislature changes the rules for military personnel.

According to the Associated Press, on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a motion requesting the judge to order the restoration of the state's "golden week" and to require that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted establish standard set early voting hours on weekday evenings and multiple Sundays.

Freepress:Shedding New Light on Dark Money. Timothy Karr writes:

On Tuesday, every major broadcast television station in the United States is required to post online information about the political ads that they air. These broadcasters were already required by law to keep a "political file" on site at their stations. Now this file will also be maintained at the Federal Communications Commission website with stations posting copies of contracts showing who these political advertisers are, how much they're spending on ads, and where and when their ads air. [...]

While its not likely to stifle the flood of money being spent on political ads, the FCC's online file will help shed light on the groups that are spending so much -- giving voters more clarity on who's trying to influence their choices at the ballot box.

This is critical in this age of rampant dark money. While the Federal Elections Commission has a limited ability to identify the shadowy political advertisers that have emerged in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the FCC has a clear legal path to transparency. Broadcasters are obliged by law to disclose who pays for political ads in exchange for using the airwaves. It’s a public interest bargain stretching back almost a century, and one that forms the foundation of U.S. communications law.

There's more about the war on voting below the orange butterfly ballot.

Same-day voter registration coming to Illinois, but... the legislation making this and other changes in voting only applies to the Nov. 4 election. Because of that, some Republicans are calling it a scam to improve Democrats' chances in already-blue Illinois come the autumn election:

Some advocates of loosening restrictions on voter registration have complained the measure doesn't go far enough by limiting same-day registration to selected sites within each election authority.

But many election authorities lobbied against opening same-day registration in every state election precinct, fearing that they would be technologically unable to make sure someone didn't register and vote in one precinct, and do the same later in another.

That was one factor in making same-day registration a one-time program for Nov. 4, said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. The city's election board is using electronic poll books.

New rules could make it harder to vote in 22 states: That's how many have passed new restrictions on voting since 2010 when a bunch of new, conservative state legislators took office. According to Erik Opsal and Myrna Pérez at the Brennan Center for Justice, race and partisanship played a big part in laws requiring specific kinds of photo I.D.s, cutting early voting hours and reducing opportunities to register.

Eighteen of those 22 states have GOP-controlled legislatures. Seven of the 11 states with the highest African-American turnout in 2008 passed new restrictions. Nine of the 12 states with the largest growth in the Latino population between 2000 and 2010 add restrictions.

Social science studies support these findings. A University of Massachusetts Boston study showed states with higher minority turnout and more GOP legislators were more likely to restrict voting. Another from the University of Southern California suggested racial bias motivated support for such laws. Research also shows the laws hurt minorities.
Norway gives up on e-voting for now:
Norway is ending trials of e-voting systems used in national and local elections.

Experiments with voting via the net were carried out during elections held in 2011 and 2013.

But the trials have ended because, said the government, voters' fears about their votes becoming public could undermine democratic processes.

Political controversy and the fact that the trials did not boost turnout also led to the experiment ending.

Opinion

Rebecca Green at Election Law Blog:

For those watching what’s unfolding in Mississippi, there’s more going on than fiery partisan intrigue. What’s increasingly at stake is election transparency and specifically how far election officials should go in letting outside groups pore over election materials to satisfy themselves that outcomes are correct. On one hand, democracy will not function if elections are not fully transparent. Especially in a country in which partisan officials often preside over election administration, any attempt to hide how elections are run will certainly delegitimize outcomes. On the other hand, we may be deeply worried about outside groups accessing election information when they have strong political agendas of their own. When it comes to contesting election outcomes, such groups and individuals invariably populate the losing side and are therefore single-minded in their goal: delegitimizing the outcome. Since the point of transparency in the election context is to ensure legitimacy, this could be a problem.
Former NAACP head Benjamin Todd Jealous writes:
We proved it 50 years ago during Freedom Summer. We proved it again in Florida in 2012, when NAACP activists registered 115,000 people in a year when legislature effectively made traditional voter registration strategies illegal.

We have proven over time that we have the antidote to voter suppression: massive voter registration.

It’s time to prove it again this summer. As we prepare for November’s midterm elections our focus should be on the stretch of heavily Black-populated states and counties below the Mason-Dixon Line that make up the “Black Belt.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  I live in central Ohio and never heard of or saw (22+ / 0-)

    out and about anyone gathering signatures for the petition to restore voting rights.  I should be on Democratic mailing lists; I get mail for Dem fundraising.  Were these kinds of lists used to notify about the petition drive?  I didn't see anything.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 09:06:34 AM PDT

    •  NE Ohio and I Never Heard of It. (7+ / 0-)

      Never saw anything either. I've had a dozen robocalls for Ed Fitzgerald and some other Ohio issues.

      We must assume labor was not much involved in this, till proven otherwise. Whenever they've had their backs into an Ohio issue I was never able to avoid seeing it for long.

      I hope this wasn't some bone headed intellectuals' project that thinks the "world" now runs mostly cell phones and blogs.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 09:18:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This Is Unfortunate (9+ / 0-)

      The DNC and other groups should have stepped in and ponied up some money to get this on the ballot.  As a result, they have lost the ability to use the referendum to drive turnout.

      But it really hurts Senator Nine Turner's campaign for Ohio Secretary of State.  Lagging way behind in campaign dollars versus her incumbent opponent, who designed all of these laws in the first place, it robs her of generating turnout she doesn't have to pay for.

      "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

      by unapologeticliberal777 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 09:22:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cuyahoga county is where the votes are at. All ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unapologeticliberal777, kfunk937

        Cuyahoga county is where the votes are at. All is not lost. The county council can vote on changes to the county charter to be put up to a vote by the people. One of those changes is to guarantee the right to vote. With an 8-3 majority Dems will pass it. The blade and plain dealer have covered the amendment.

        •  It's my understanding... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Southard, kfunk937

          that Husted can require uniform poll hours throughout the state. Cuyahoga is where the lines are apt to be the longest. I live in a red county and in my 34 years living here I have never had to wait. Even in 2004 when people in Cuyahoga were standing in line for hours, I was able to walk in, get a ballot and vote without a single person in line in front of me.

          Alcohol preserves everything ... except secrets.

          by august88 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 12:55:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks for me letting me know that.

          "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

          by unapologeticliberal777 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 04:10:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Was Nina Turner in charge of this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glenn45

        Who paid for it? Who was in charge?

        There are more than a few crooked Dems in Columbus and elsewhere who are being paid by the GOP to undermine FitzGerald's campaign against Kasich. C Ellen Connally is one of them, as are a couple of other Dem state reps. Connally needs to be in jail and will surely end up there one day.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 11:09:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I dont think leaders of either party (3+ / 0-)

        Want a Dem win in Ohio in 2014. Not sure why, but FitzGerald and Dems in northern Ohio are being undermined. Not sure who is behind it, prob a combo of ConservaDems in DC and Columbus.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 11:13:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A lot depends on context... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mbayrob

    ...and what people are used to. When Governor LePage and his merry bunch of ALEC elves tried to eliminate same-day registration -- which Maine had had for 37 years at that point -- the people's veto referendum to repeal the law got the requisite number of signatures in record time.

    That was for a resumption of a long-familiar process, in a very homogeneous state where the partisan support -- outside the legislature --  for restricting voting was very narrow.

    The superfluous goods of the rich are necessary to the poor, and when you possess the superfluous you possess what is not yours." St. Augustine

    by Davis X Machina on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 09:26:09 AM PDT

  •  Who was in charge of this effort? They screwed up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45, Citizenpower

    Never heard a word about it until the last week or so,

    Id really likeyo know who blew this opportunity and find out who screwed up. Something smells rotten here.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 11:01:40 AM PDT

    •  I don't think "rotten" is the problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      august88, kfunk937

      Here's the web page: http://ohiovrc.blogspot.com/...

      and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/...

      There's a reason events like Netroots Nation often do sessions on coalition building.  It's because these kinds of efforts often suffer from the lack of it.

      When your Facebook page has ~300 likes, it means the people running your media campaign probably weren't trained.  This is fixable, but not in 90 days.  It appears that the OVRC is a small local group that did the "dog chases car and catches it" thing.  And no, most dogs can't drive.  Or have the right license.

      I don't know what the voter reg ecosystem is like in Ohio.  But the first step going forward is to get the players in the same room and exchange contact info.  And start training activists so that if another window opens, you'll be ready.

      The dog may learn to drive yet.

      To be on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of history.

      by mbayrob on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 12:27:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Looks like it was run out of southern & central OH (0+ / 0-)

        Areas where there are few Democrats, none very motivated.

        This effort should have been managed in Cuyahoga County, where most Ohio Dems live and where people are experienced at this kind of thing.

        Still checking on the background and funding. Still looks like something is off.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 03:17:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I saw a short mention of it in City Beat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      which is a Cincinnati alternative newspaper. I was surprised no one else mentioned it. What is going on?

      Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

      by Citizenpower on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:07:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NE Ohio and I did hear about it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45, kfunk937, Citizenpower

    On NPR on the day it was announced. I called the state representative that afternoon and left a voice mail volunteering to circulate a petition in my county. Her assistant did call me back the following morning and she assured me she would keep me informed.

    Last month I learned that one of the leaders of the Democratic party had a petition and I arranged to meet her at the headquarters to sign it. It wasn't brought out during the meeting but afterwards, once many people had left, she finally got it out for me to sign. I would have gladly taken several and gone out on the weekend to get signatures, but I was told that she had it covered.

    Damn! Husted is probably gloating about how easily the ball was dropped and now he is free to try to restrict the vote again this year.

    As a result, they have lost the ability to use the referendum to drive turnout.
    Exactly! And Husted's actions would have been curtailed least he rile up our voters and get them out to the polls.

    Alcohol preserves everything ... except secrets.

    by august88 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 12:48:27 PM PDT

    •  Which leader had the petition? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937

      Just curious.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 03:22:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Betty, there is an article about this on MSNBC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson

        www.msnbc.com/ohio-peoples-movement-voting-rights

        I found mention of it on a website at Yahoo that I subscribe to.
        It was mentioned on CASE Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections. It was posted on June 26th.

        CASE also has a web site CASEOhio.org

        This doesn't appear to be well-publicized but summer is a time when folks are tuned-out politically.

        Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

        by Citizenpower on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:33:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never heard of any of these groups (0+ / 0-)

          Sounds like it was managed poorly.

          Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

          by Betty Pinson on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:42:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  CASE came into being after Ohio's 2004 election (0+ / 0-)

            Some its members were Democracy for America members who were concerned about the integrity of elections as we should be.

            They are a great site to key tabs on voting matters.
            I have served with some of their members doing poll observations and surveys. When Jennifer Brunner was the SOS some of CASE"s members served on a committee
            that focused on improving our election process.

            These are all volunteer folks that want to improve the
            election process.

            Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

            by Citizenpower on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 09:30:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  An exit poll is a type of survey poll. (0+ / 0-)

              Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

              by Citizenpower on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 09:48:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sounds like we need better collaboration (0+ / 0-)

                I know a lot of people around here who would have gladly helped out if they had known about it.

                Looking at the site for the Ohio petition campaign, it looks like outreach was focused solely on black communities. Had they reached out to all Dems in the greater metro areas, it probably would have succeeded. Lesson learned.

                Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

                by Betty Pinson on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:22:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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