Voter Suppression ((Supreme Court Just . . .))

thoughtone

BGOL Supporter
Registered
Why are they so intent in preventing Black folk to vote?

source: News One

Opelousas Massacre Occurred On This Date In 1868, Hundreds Of Blacks Slain Over Voting Rights



The Opelousas Massacre in St. Landry Parish, La., has baffled historians over the years. From varying accounts, hundreds of Blacks were reportedly killed, because of their desire to join a local political group that included racist White Democrats. The Seymour Knights violently drove potential Black voters away from the Democratic Party, prompting White Republican reporter Emerson Bentley to write that Blacks should remain loyal to the Republican Party in local paper The Progress.

A school teacher by day, Bentley was beaten by a group of Whites as a result of his article, which some in the town saw as an affront to the powers that be. Black Republicans, looking to defend and find Bentley, gathered to confront the Knights and other Democrats with both sides armed for war.

It isn’t said who struck first, but it is known that the White Democrats had the numbers and weapons advantage. On this date in 1868, the groups squared off in town in the early morning.

As the battles raged on well in to the afternoon and evening hours, several Blacks were caught, shot, and some later executed for the uprising. The White militia forces drove the resistance in to neighboring swamps and captured or killed the opposition on sight, in most cases.

Twelve leaders of the Black Republicans who were seized were lynched the following day, which sparked a round of anti-Black violence and sentiment throughout the region. In the end, an estimated 150 to 300 Blacks were killed as a result of the race riot and an accurate number has yet to be determined even after years of research. Whites were also killed, with the numbers varying between 30 to 50 in most reports.

Although hard numbers cannot be confirmed, what is universally recognized is that Black lives were lost on that day as a result of voter and racial oppression.

As tensions rose in the South for decades after the massacre, the lack of justice and information about the standoff shows that care must be taken to preserve the African-American legacy for future generations.
 

Camille

Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid
Super Moderator
Dkos Diary...

Kris Kobach (Kansas) Plans for a Two-Tier voting System

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/07/1245084/-Kris-Kobach-Kansas-Plans-for-a-Two-Tier-voting-System?detail=facebook


Source: http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/04/3038825_kobach-laying-groundwork-for-two.html



You might want to read that headline again, because it should make you do more then one double take. That's right. Kansas is about to decide that universal voting is not a right, and that they can restrict which races you are allowed to vote in.

Kobach (R-KS, Secretary of State), is concerned about outside parties helping voters register to vote. Because they use the national voter registration form which states must accept, Kobach is working on a unique loophole: file that form, and you can only vote for Senate/House races, you must file a separate form if you want to vote for Governor, State Assembly, your city offices, etc.

Read more @ source links....
 

thoughtone

BGOL Supporter
Registered
Dkos Diary...

Kris Kobach (Kansas) Plans for a Two-Tier voting System

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/07/1245084/-Kris-Kobach-Kansas-Plans-for-a-Two-Tier-voting-System?detail=facebook


Source: http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/04/3038825_kobach-laying-groundwork-for-two.html



You might want to read that headline again, because it should make you do more then one double take. That's right. Kansas is about to decide that universal voting is not a right, and that they can restrict which races you are allowed to vote in.

Kobach (R-KS, Secretary of State), is concerned about outside parties helping voters register to vote. Because they use the national voter registration form which states must accept, Kobach is working on a unique loophole: file that form, and you can only vote for Senate/House races, you must file a separate form if you want to vote for Governor, State Assembly, your city offices, etc.

Read more @ source links....
Which goes back to...

The GOP will never get Black voters and they don't want us
 

Camille

Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid
Super Moderator
Texas...


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/18/1248705/-Texas-Has-Found-A-Way-To-Deny-Women-The-Vote-Voter-Suppression

Texas Has Found A Way To Deny Women The Vote. Voter Suppression?

You have got to give it to Republicans, they are efficient. Why should they spend their time trying to adopt women centric and women friendly policies, when they can simply reduce their impact on elections? They simply institute another form of voter suppression.

This year seem to be the year that America has taken several steps backward. The Supreme Court has started the rebirth of Jim Crow laws when it gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Immediately after that ruling Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott tweeted “Eric Holder can no longer deny #VoterID in #Texas after today's #SCOTUS decision. #txlege #tcot #txgop”

Yesterday the “The New Civil Rights Movement” reported the following.

Women are Wendy Davis’ natural base. Her eleven-hour filibuster of an abortion bill that closed family planning clinics in Texas is the reason she has the name recognition and the political capital to make a run for governor. Anti-choice groups who have never before had to spend money opposing a pro-choice candidate are scrambling to form political action groups to run ads against her. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the man who is most likely to be her opponent, has been touting himself as the real pro-woman candidate for his success at collecting back child support from deadbeat dads. Now, Republicans have found what they hope will be a more reliable plan than trying to persuade women that Republicans have their best interest at heart:

Don’t let women vote.

As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. It sounds like such a small thing, but according to the Brennan Center for Justice, only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because young women have not updated their documents with their married names, a circumstance that doesn’t affect male voters in any significant way. Suddenly 34% of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID, while 99% of men are home free.

Texas Republicans Find A Way To Disenfranchise Women Voters

Voter suppression ultimately fails.

Voter suppression schemes may be temporarily successful. What President Obama’s 2012 popular win in Ohio proves is that these types of voter suppression ultimately backfire. When you threaten someone's inalienable rights, they generally respond.

Everyone knows they have the right to vote. Everyone knows they have the right to not exercise their vote. If they believe that right that they have may be threatened, they are likely to use it to confirm that they in fact have that right.
 

QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator
Texas...


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/18/1248705/-Texas-Has-Found-A-Way-To-Deny-Women-The-Vote-Voter-Suppression

Texas Has Found A Way To Deny Women The Vote. Voter Suppression?

You have got to give it to Republicans, they are efficient. Why should they spend their time trying to adopt women centric and women friendly policies, when they can simply reduce their impact on elections? They simply institute another form of voter suppression.

This year seem to be the year that America has taken several steps backward. The Supreme Court has started the rebirth of Jim Crow laws when it gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Immediately after that ruling Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott tweeted “Eric Holder can no longer deny #VoterID in #Texas after today's #SCOTUS decision. #txlege #tcot #txgop”

Yesterday the “The New Civil Rights Movement” reported the following.




Voter suppression ultimately fails.

Voter suppression schemes may be temporarily successful. What President Obama’s 2012 popular win in Ohio proves is that these types of voter suppression ultimately backfire. When you threaten someone's inalienable rights, they generally respond.

Everyone knows they have the right to vote. Everyone knows they have the right to not exercise their vote. If they believe that right that they have may be threatened, they are likely to use it to confirm that they in fact have that right.


Camille, if I might add a lil


to the
you started above:



A female Texas district judge who has been voting for the past five decades was almost barred from the polls Tuesday, thanks to the state’s newly implemented, stricter voter ID law. The law kicked in on Tuesday as early voting in Texas’ November 5 election began.


117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts


As she told local channel Kiii News, 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts was flagged for possible voter fraud because her driver’s license lists her maiden name as her middle name, while her voter registration form has her real middle name. This was the first time she has ever had a problem voting in 49 years. “What I have used for voter registration and for identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when I went to vote,” she said.

Watts worried that women who use maiden names or hyphenated names may be surprised at the polls. “I don’t think most women know that this is going to create a problem,” the judge said. “That their maiden name is on their driver’s license, which was mandated in 1964 when I got married, and this. And so why would I want to use a provisional ballot when I’ve been voting regular ballot for the last 49 years?”

Many married women do not update their IDs after taking their spouse’s surnames, as the process is arduous and costly. Women must present original documents verifying their name change, such as a marriage license, or pay $20 to obtain new copies. Under the new voter ID law, these women are potential voter fraud risks.

Watts is hardly the only woman who has encountered problems. ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes interviewed 84-year-old Dorothy Card, who was denied a voter ID three times even though she has voted for more than 60 years and provided extensive proof of identity.

While Watts, as an experienced judge, is familiar with the intricacies of election law, the people most likely to be stopped at the polls will be less informed about their rights. Low-income voters, minorities, students and seniors disproportionately lack the required identification — a fact that prompted the Justice Department and several federal judges to block the law under now-defunct provisions in the Voting Rights Act. After public outcry, Texas officials said they would distribute a free voter ID to eligible recipients who applied for one. As of this week, however, just 41 people received free IDs, out of the 1.4 million Texas voters who lack the required documents.


SOURCE


 

QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator



Texas vs. Women Voters




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QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator



Texas vs. Women Voters




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QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator



Voter Identification





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“The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt,” Yelton
said. “If it hurts a bunch of college kids [that are] too lazy
to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it.
If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it.”

“If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government
to give them everything,
so be it,”

“I’ve been called a bigot before,” Yelton said. “[And]
as a matter of fact, one of my best friends is black.”


Yelton stood by his comments on Thursday: “The comments
that were made, that I said, I stand behind them. I believe
them,” he told Mountain Xpress, a local alternative paper.




Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/nc-gop-official-resigns-after-interview-98822.html#ixzz2im4hp2Jj


 

Camille

Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid
Super Moderator
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/goper-its-already-too-easy-vote


Wisconsin GOP aims to scrap weekend voting


Wisconsin Republicans are pushing a bill to end early voting on the weekend. The measure would make it harder for people in the state’s most populous areas to cast a ballot—and it would hit blacks especially hard.

But state Sen. Glenn Grothman, a Republican who is sponsoring a Senate version of the bill, told msnbc it’s already easy enough to vote.

“Between [early voting], mail absentee, and voting the day of election, you know, I mean anybody who can’t vote with all those options, they’ve really got a problem,” he said. “I really don’t think they care that much about voting in the first place, right?”

The measure, which passed the state assembly Thursday, would give municipalities two choices for early voting, known in the state as in-person absentee voting: they could offer it either from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays in the two weeks before an election; or at any time on a weekday, but not to exceed 30 hours per week, again in the two weeks before an election.

That would mean a reduction in early voting hours for the state’s two biggest cities, Milwaukee and Madison—which are also its most important Democratic strongholds.

Scott McDonell, the clerk for Dane County, where Madison is located, called the effort a “voter suppression initiative.”

“This is not unintentional,” McDonell told msnbc. “This is part of a whole strategy of limiting the large cities from their ability to vote.”

In 2011, Republicans eliminated early voting on the weekend directly before the election—part of a sweeping voting bill that also included a voter ID provision currently being challenged in court. But they left the weekend before that in place. Last year, around 7,000 voters in Madison and Milwaukee alone took advantage of those two days of voting, according to numbers provided by the election commissions for those cities.

And currently, cities and towns can set their own hours, based on local needs. That’s meant they’ve been able to make game-time decisions to keep polls open during weekdays evenings, if there’s a larger-than-expected number of voters, as Madison did for the 2010 governor’s race, Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl told MSNBC.

In 2012, the city saw more than 1,000 early voters per day, according to Witzel-Behl. She said the reduction in hours, and the loss of flexibility, would make life more difficult for her office – and for voters.

“We always have voters who let us know that if we hadn’t been open on Saturday, they wouldn’t have been able to come in to cast an absentee ballot,” said Witzel-Behl. “If we are not able to have absentee voting on the weekends, and we’re limited during the week as well, we’re going to be under a significant time crunch to get everybody through the lines.”

While hitting big cities hard, the bill leaves voting practices in small towns largely untouched. Many small towns in Wisconsin let people make appointments to cast their ballots at the local clerk’s house, McDonell explained—something they’ll be able to keep doing.

“What this does is, it leaves in place the ability for the small communities to set their hours in different ways, but it shuts down the big cities from having the ability to do that,” said McDonell.

Grothman said his bill is intended to establish “uniformity” between the large cities and small towns. Since it would be both expensive and unnecessary for small municipalities to increase voting hours, the only fix is to reduce the hours offered by big cities.

“We can have some of these ones that are completely out of control, doing maybe 80 hours a week, we can rein them in,” Grothman said.

Asked why uniformity is important if there’s less demand for early voting in more sparsely populated areas, Grothman was indignant.

“The idea of having one set of rules to apply to one municipality and another set of rules to apply to another goes against equal protection of the laws and is contrary to all our country stands for,” he said. “Isn’t it?”

But scrapping weekend voting will hit African-Americans particularly hard, Rev. Willie Brisco, who leads an alliance of Milwaukee churches, told msnbc.

“A lot of people in our community are working two or three jobs, odd hours, having difficulty with childcare,” said Brisco. “So the weekend and the early voting reaches a lot of those people.”

Brisco said his organization ran a “Souls to the Polls” drive last year, encouraging congregants to vote en masse after church on Sunday.

“We really need our community to stay engaged in the political process, and to be a determining factor,” Brisco said. “And there is a concerted effort to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

The measure wasn’t the only voting bill that the Republican-dominated Wisconsin Assembly passed Thursday night. On a party-line vote, it also approved a bill that would slightly modify the state’s controversial 2011 voter ID law, in an effort to boost its chances of surviving the court challenge that’s currently underway. Under the new GOP bill, voters would now be able to cast a ballot without ID—if they signed an affidavit swearing that they couldn’t afford ID or had no way of geting their birth certificate.

“This bill says that poor people need to declare their indigency,” Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, a Democrat, told The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “It’s a scarlet letter.”
 

thoughtone

BGOL Supporter
Registered
I might not be awake, but I didn't see the embed options.


Assist


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VegasGuy

Star
BGOL Investor
All I know is, these fucked up republicans just 19 years ago sent troops by the thousands into Iraq to make sure the Iraqi people are able to vote their conscious. Everywhere you look, images of blue thumbs in the news. Bush beat his chest. These same rat bastids now spend billions to prevent us from voting our conscious in our own country. A country we wear the uniform for and defend the same constitution.
Makes all the deaths of American troops in Iraq and the US constitution simple newspaper at the bottom of a bird cage. Shows you these people only constitution and loyalty isn't America, its profit.

Conservatives are not necessarily stupid but stupid people do tend to be conservatives.

-VG
 

thoughtone

BGOL Supporter
Registered
source:: Think Progress


Scott Walker Threatens Special Session To Restore Voter Suppression Law If It Is Struck By Courts


Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) wants a voter ID law in place in his state “before the next election,” even if his state’s supreme court strikes down the specific voter ID law that he signed in 2011. 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.”

In order to ensure that a voter ID law is in place when he runs for reelection this year, Walker threatened to call a special session of his state’s legislature should the state supreme court strike the law down.

Voter ID, which requires voters to show a photo ID before they can cast a ballot at the polls, is difficult to square with the text of Wisconsin’s constitution. Under that constitution, “[e]very United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district.” So the state legislature should not be allowed to disqualify these electors by adding an ID requirement. Two state judges struck the state’s voter ID law on these grounds, although an appeals court disagreed with one of those decisions.

Although the Wisconsin Supreme Court is conservative, some of the justices who are typically sympathetic to Walker’s agenda appeared skeptical of the voter ID law when the court heard oral arguments in February. Justice Patience Roggensack reportedly was bothered by the requirement that voters could have to pay $20 to obtain a birth certificate before they can obtain a voter ID, stating that she is “troubled by having to pay the state to vote.” Roggensack’s fellow conservative Justice David Prosser also cited the inconvenience of having to obtain his birth certificate before he could get the ID he needed to vote. These objections, however, may only lead them to hold that the law must provide an easier path for voters without birth certificates, rather than leading them to strike down voter ID in its entirety, as the text of the Wisconsin Constitution seems to indicate is the correct outcome.

Though voter ID’s defenders often claim that the laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud at the polls, the reality is that such fraud is virtually non-existent. One study of Wisconsin voters found that just 0.00023 percent of votes are the product of such fraud. Meanwhile, the laws disproportionately disenfranchise racial minorities, low-income voters and students, all of whom tend to prefer Democrats to Republicans.
 

Camille

Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid
Super Moderator
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/republican-voting-rights-supreme-court-id


The Supreme Court Gutted the Voting Rights Act. What Happened Next in These 8 States Will Not Shock You.

When his court weakened the civil-rights-era law last year, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that "our country has changed." We crunched the numbers. He was wrong.

—By Dana Liebelson


There are links embeded within the article @ the source link.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

When the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn a key section of the Voting Rights Act last June, Justice Ruth Ginsburg warned that getting rid of the measure was like "throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet." The 1965 law required that lawmakers in states with a history of discriminating against minority voters get federal permission before changing voting rules. Now that the Supreme Court has invalidated this requirement, GOP lawmakers across the United States are running buck wild with new voting restrictions.

Before the Shelby County v. Holder decision came down on June 25, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act required federal review of new voting rules in 15 states, most of them in the South. (In a few of these states, only specific counties or townships were covered.) Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. voted to gut the Voting Rights Act on the basis that, "our country has changed" and blanket federal protection wasn't needed to stop discrimination. But the country hasn't changed as much as he may think.

We looked at how many of these 15 states passed or implemented voting restrictions after Section 5 was invalidated, compared to the states that were not covered by the law. (We defined "voting restriction" as passing or implementing a voter ID law, cutting voting hours, purging voter rolls, or ending same-day registration. Advocates criticize these kinds of laws for discriminating against low-income voters, young people, and minorities, who tend to vote Democrat.) We found that 8 out of the 15 states, 53 percent, passed or implemented voting restrictions since June 25, compared to 3 out of 35 states that were not covered under Section 5—or less than 9 percent. Additionally, a number of states not covered by the Voting Rights Act actually expanded voting rights in the same time period.

States that were previously covered in some part by Section 5 moved quickly after it was invalidated. Within two hours of the Shelby decision, Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that the state’s voter identification law—which had previously been blocked by a federal court—would be immediately implemented. Republican Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange also immediately instated his state's voter ID law. About one month after the Shelby decision, Republicans in North Carolina pushed through a package of extreme voting restrictions, including ending same-day registration; shortening early voting by a week, requiring photo ID, and ending a program that encourages high schoolers to sign up to vote when they turn 18. In October, Virginia purged more than 38,000 names from the voter rolls. Mississippi's Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann in November told the Associated Press that the state was going to start implementing its voter ID law by the June 2014 elections. (This proposal was undergoing Justice Department review when the Shelby decision came down.) In January, Republican Governor Rick Scott attempted again (unsuccessfully) to purge non-citizens from Florida's voting rolls, a move he had tried previously in 2012, before being blocked by Section 5. And thanks to the Supreme Court ruling, South Carolina was able to implement a stricter photo identification requirement.

But as Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU notes, "Perhaps the biggest impact of Section 5 has always been at the local level." And there's been a lot of movement there, as well: After Shelby, Jacksonville, Florida, allegedly moved a voting center that had one of the highest African American voter turnouts in the state to a new site that's not near public transportation. In Texas, Galveston County eliminated virtually all of the Black and Latino-held constable and justice positions in the county, a move that was previously blocked under Section 5.

Data shows that the law really did work at preventing voting restrictions: Between 1982 and 2006, the Justice Department blocked more than 700 voting changes on the basis that the changes were discriminatory. But experts say it's hard to say definitively whether all of these new laws would have been blocked if Section 5 had still been in place. The new birth certificate requirements in Arizona and Kansas, for example, would likely have gone forward regardless of the Shelby decision. But Katherine Culliton-González a senior attorney and director of voter protection for Advancement Project notes, "There is a heavier concentration of voting restrictions in those states that were previously covered."

Three outliers are Kansas, Ohio and Wisconsin, all of which passed or implemented voting restrictions this year, and were never covered under Section 5. But Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's voting rights project, argues that they could have still been influenced by the Supreme Court decision. "When you see half a dozen or more states immediately passing laws to restrict voting after Shelby, that spreads to other parts of the country," he says. "It's not like Vegas. What happens in one state doesn't stay there."

Members of Congress have attempted to introduce legislation that would resurrect the key protections shot down by the Supreme Court, but have not yet been successful. And none of this is great news for Democrats, who could lose the Senate in 2014. On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden denounced the GOP effort and urged Democrats to stand up for voting rights. He said, "If someone had said to me 10 years ago I had to make a pitch for protecting voting rights today, I would have said 'you got to be kidding.'"
 

QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator


A spotlight on voter suppression

Voting rights is front and center this week as leaders around the country
celebrate the 50th anniversary of LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act into law.



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QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator

Voter suppression alive and well in Ohio


Ohio House Republicans backed down on a fund-cutting tactic, but
the battle over voter suppression remains active in the Buckeye state.




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Camille

Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid
Super Moderator
Wisconsin Voter ID Law Rejected By Federal Judge

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/29/wisconsin-voter-id_n_5234434.html


MILWAUKEE (AP) — A federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin's voter Identification law, saying it unfairly burdens poor and minority voters.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued his long-awaited decision Tuesday. It invalidates Wisconsin's law.

Wisconsin's law would have required voters to show a state-issued photo ID at the polls. Supporters said it would cut down on voter fraud and boost public confidence in the integrity of the election process.

But Adelman sided with opponents, who said it disproportionately excluded poor and minority voters because they're less likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to get them.

Wisconsin's law was only in effect for a 2012 primary before a Dane County judge declared it unconstitutional.
 

QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator

Study: Voter ID laws are racially-motivated

A new study from the University of Southern California has
found evidence suggesting race plays a role in voter ID laws



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thoughtone

BGOL Supporter
Registered
source: Mother Jones


Voter Registration Drives in Ferguson Are "Disgusting," Says Missouri GOP Leader

"I'd rather they vote than riot," counters another Republican.


Over the last couple days, voter registration booths have been popping up in Ferguson. There was one by the ruined site of the recently burned-down QuikTrip convenience store, which has become a central gathering site of the protests, and another near the site where Michael Brown was shot.

Voter turnout was just 12 percent in Ferguson's last municipal election, and in a city that's 60 percent black, virtually all city officials are white. In December, the black superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant school district was fired by the then all-white school board, and the longtime St. Louis county executive, who is black, recently lost his seat to a white opponent in a race seen as "racially charged." "Five thousand new voters will transform the city from top to bottom," said Jesse Jackson Sr., who told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday that he was meeting with local clergy to organize a door-to-door voter registration drive.

But the prospect of more registered black voters has greatly perturbed the executive director of Missouri's Republican Party, Matt Wills, who expressed outrage at the new registration booths to Breitbart News Monday:
"If that's not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is," Wills said. "I think it's not only disgusting but completely inappropriate…Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn't help a continued conversation of justice and peace."
While some on Twitter echoed Wills' sentiments and painted the voter efforts as Democratic opportunism, other political leaders in Missouri distanced themselves from Wills' comments. Republican state Sen. Ryan Silvey of Kansas City tweeted, "I have no problem w/ protesters, or anyone, getting registered to vote. How do we keep our gov't accountable if not by ballot?" And he had more to say later:

In April, an editorial in the Kansas City Star denounced "cheap" tactics by the Missouri GOP to "make voting more difficult for certain citizens, who are most likely to be elderly, low-income, students or minorities. They're not even subtle about it." A proposed amendment to the state constitution would require photo ID at the polls, and a proposal to bring early voting to Missouri would disallow it on Sundays—a big day for black voters. The Star pointed out that the photo ID law would cost the state over $6 million next year, "a huge cost, especially because Republicans have been able to produce zero examples of voter identity fraud in Missouri." In fact, as my colleague Kevin Drum has exhaustively reported, incidents of voter fraud anywhere in the country are microscopically few; the New York Times found just 86 cases from 2002 to 2006, for instance.

"Elected officials don't have to care about black citizens as long as they don't fear them at the ballot box," Dorothy A. Brown, a professor of law at Emory University's School of Law who's written a book on race and the law, noted on CNN.com last week. If anything, the Missouri GOP may be on track to increase the number of voters determined to put that notion into practice.
 

thoughtone

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source: The Raw Story


Activist: Georgia GOP’s own comments illustrate their plan to suppress minority voters



Hot on the heels of a Georgia Republican state senator’s declaration that he “prefers educated voters” over “African-American shoppers” and other voters recruited in African-American neighborhoods, audio has surfaced of the Republican Secretary of State disparaging Democrats’ efforts to register “all these minority voters.”

In audio recorded at a Republican Party event on July 12 in Gwinnett County and made available by progressive group Better Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp warned that “Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.”

Raw Story spoke to Better Georgia’s Bryan Long, who said he is disappointed, but not surprised that Georgia’s Republican politicians have “decided not to use code words” about African-American and Latino voters anymore.

“The Republicans here in Georgia aren’t very sophisticated,” Long said, “because they haven’t had competition for a decade. So, nationally, Republicans have had to learn how to debate issues and talk about them in GOP code, in Georgia they feel like they can say anything they want and get away with it, no consequences.”

“They’re going to be proven wrong on November 4,” he predicted.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) is running against state Sen. Jason Carter (D), grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Deal has been mired in ethics scandals literally since the day he took office.

Democrat Michelle Nunn is running to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Both races, said Long, are dead even. The elections will be decided, he said, by turnout, which is why Republicans like Deal and Kemp are trying to keep people from voting.

Whatever his off-the-cuff remarks in Gwinnett may have been, Kemp has trumped up a vote fraud investigation against one nonpartisan group that has been registering black and Hispanic voters.

Kemp launched an investigation this week of the New Georgia Project, a coalition that is attempting to bring voters who have been underserved by the electoral system back up-to-date on their voting rights and registration.

“It is a non-partisan project,” said Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) to the Washington Post. The group reached out pro-actively to the Secretary of State’s office, she said, to make sure all of their registrations were within state law.

Gov. Deal, meanwhile, has launched his own initiative to shut down Sunday voting, which polls have shown will disproportionately affect minority and working people who can’t take off work on Election Day.

“(I)t has a partisan purpose behind it of trying to increase the Democratic turnout,” said Deal of Sunday voting in the state. “I don’t think anything that has to do with elections should be tilted one way or the other for partisan purposes.”

Long said the state GOP’s efforts are aimed squarely at reducing the electoral clout of nonwhites in the state.

“They don’t care about what day people vote,” he said. “They care about who votes and what those people look like.”

“They want to choose the people who vote. The fewer people who vote, the better for the Republicans,” Long said. Better Georgia, he said, is dedicated to making sure the vote accurately reflects the electorate, which has become increasingly diverse and where “minority voters” are becoming less and less of a minority.

Watch video about this story, embedded below via Better Georgia:

Activist: Georgia GOP’s own comments illustrate their plan to suppress minority voters
 

thoughtone

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source: Think Progress

The Supreme Court’s First Decision In Its New Term Is A Decision Making It Harder To Vote



On Monday, the Supreme Court returned from its summer vacation for the “Long Conference,” the day when the justices consider the backlog of petitions asking them to hear cases that built up while they were away for the summer. Yet, despite the fact that the justices typically face hundreds of petitions that they must consider during this conference, five of them still found time on Monday to make it harder for Ohio residents to cast a vote. In a 5-4 decision that divided entirely along partisan lines, the Court allowed cuts to Ohio’s early voting days to go into effect. Notably, this decision came down just 16 hours before polling places were set to open in that state.

Monday’s decision is not particularly surprising. Earlier this month, a federal trial judge halted changes to Ohio’s early voting procedures that cut the number of early voting days by a week, including one Sunday before election day. This decision was upheld by an unusually liberal panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. All four of the judges who previously considered this case are well to the left of the Supreme Court’s five Republican members.

As Judge Peter Economus, the judge who initially suspended the voting changes, explained in his opinion, the reduction in early voting days were likely to disproportionately impact African American voters. Many black churches conduct “Souls to the Polls” events that encouraging churchgoers to vote after attending Sunday services, and removing an early voting day on a Sunday reduces the opportunities to conduct these events. Additionally Judge Economus discussed empirical evidence demonstrating that “a greater proportion of blacks not only cast [early] ballots than whites but do so on early voting days that have been eliminated by” the new voting schedule.
 

thoughtone

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Wisconsin Voter ID Law Rejected By Federal Judge

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/29/wisconsin-voter-id_n_5234434.html


MILWAUKEE (AP) — A federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin's voter Identification law, saying it unfairly burdens poor and minority voters.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued his long-awaited decision Tuesday. It invalidates Wisconsin's law.

Wisconsin's law would have required voters to show a state-issued photo ID at the polls. Supporters said it would cut down on voter fraud and boost public confidence in the integrity of the election process.

But Adelman sided with opponents, who said it disproportionately excluded poor and minority voters because they're less likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to get them.

Wisconsin's law was only in effect for a 2012 primary before a Dane County judge declared it unconstitutional.
source: Reuters

Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:44pm EDT

Appeals court gives temporary okay to Wisconsin voter ID law


A U.S. appeals court in Chicago said on Friday that Wisconsin can implement its 2012 law requiring voters to present photo identification at the ballot box, allowing the state to put the new rules into effect at the general election in November.

The rush order from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - which heard arguments for and against the law earlier on Friday - is temporary while the court works on its definitive ruling on the issue.

At the hearing on Friday, Wisconsin had asked a three-judge panel - all of them appointed by Republican administrations - to urgently lift a lower court's injunction against the voter ID law.

Similar voter ID rules have become a political and racial flashpoint across the United States.

A federal district court in Wisconsin ruled in April the law was unconstitutional, even though it was upheld in a separate ruling by the state's Supreme Court. Wisconsin's attorney general appealed the district court ruling to the 7th Circuit.

"The panel has concluded that the state's probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court," the appeals court order said.

The judges who are still weighing the appeal are Frank Easterbrook, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and Diane Sykes and John Daniel Tinder, who were both appointed by President George W. Bush.

In their order on Friday the three judges noted that Wisconsin has put into place new procedures that make it easier for people to obtain birth certificates or other documents they need to acquire free state identification cards.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have challenged the law, saying that it discriminates against the poor and minorities, who are less likely than white voters to have photo IDs and the underlying documents needed to obtain such IDs.

Wisconsin and other states have argued they need such rules to prevent voter fraud.

"Today's decision is a victory for common sense, fair elections, and the right of every eligible voter to cast a vote that will count," Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said in a statement.

"The state has not demonstrated it is prepared to make this new ID scheme work. The new procedures were presented at the last second," Chris Ahmuty, ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director, said in a statement.
 

QueEx

Rising Star
Super Moderator

GAO Study PROVES That
Voter ID Laws Reduce Voter Turnout



Hey, guess what?

If you pass a photo ID law, you reduce voter turnout.

The nonpartisan GAO studied the effect of photo ID laws and, after applying all the usual demographic controls, came up with this chart for Kansas and Tennessee compared to similar states without photo ID laws:



Voter turnout was reduced by 2-3 percentage points in both states. But of course there's more to the story. Some groups were more strongly affected than others. Here are the results for Kansas:

Age. In Kansas, the turnout effect among registrants who were 18 years old in 2008 was 7.1 percentage points larger in size than the turnout effect among registrants between the ages of 44 and 53.

Race or ethnicity. We estimate that <SPAN style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffff00">turnout was reduced among African-American registrants by 3.7 percentage points more than among Whites</span> in Kansas.

Length of registration. In Kansas, the reduction in turnout for people registered to vote within 1 year prior to Election Day 2008 was 5.2 percentage points larger in size than for people registered to vote for 20 years or longer prior to Election Day 2008.​

Victory! Turnout plummeted among blacks, young people, and college students. What more could an enterprising Republican legislature want?

Oh, and, um, maybe voter fraud was reduced. The Kansas Secretary of State responded to a draft of the GAO report by explaining that "if lower overall turnout occurs after implementation of a photo ID law, some of the decrease may be attributable to the prevention of fraudulent votes." You betcha.



http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/10/chart-day-kansas-successfully-reduces-voting-rate-blacks-young-people


 

thoughtone

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Registered
Georgia conveniently loses 40,000 voter registrations.


source: MSNBC


Civil rights groups sue over Ga. voter backlog

Georgia may be considered a reliably “red” state in the Deep South, but this year, it’s home to two closely watched, highly competitive statewide races. In fact, recent polling suggests Georgia’ U.S. Senate race and gubernatorial race may even go to a runoff.

It makes lawsuits like these all the more important. Sarah Wheaton reported late Friday:
A coalition of civil rights organizations on Friday sued the Georgia secretary of state’s office and five counties over an alleged backlog of 40,000 voter registration forms. […]

Filed in Fulton County Superior Court, the suit asks a judge to order the counties and Secretary of State Brian Kemp to immediately process the remaining forms.
If you saw Rachel’s segment on this on Thursday, you probably have a sense of why this is such a big deal, but let’s recap for those just joining us.

Voter-suppression efforts have been a scourge in recent years for much of the country, but it’s proving to be especially problematic in Georgia. Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R), Georgia’s top elections official, was recorded over the summer expressing concern, for example, about Democrats “registering all these minority voters that are out there.” Kemp also subpoenaed the New Georgia Project, which happens to be the driving force behind the state’s largest voter-registration campaign, for reasons that appear quite dubious.

But it’s the voter-registration materials that may ultimately matter most. According to the New Georgia Project, the group has submitted “more than 80,000 new voter applications to county election boards.” But as Election Day nears, the New Georgia Project says roughly half of these new voters, some of whom registered months ago, are not yet on the voter rolls.

And if these Georgians aren’t on the voter rolls, they may not be able to cast a ballot that counts. With early voting beginning statewide today, it’s a problem in need of an immediate resolution.

In a statement, state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D), founder of the New Georgia Project’s parent group, said, “We hoped litigation would not be necessary, but with early voting beginning next week, eligible Georgians are dangerously close to not being allowed to vote in this election. All eligible registrants should be processed immediately; provisional voting is not an acceptable option.”

Rachel talked to Abrams about this on Thursday, and if you missed the segment, it’s worth your time.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CIR51g3y1Xc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
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thoughtone

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Registered
source: Huffington Post

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pens Scathing Dissent On Texas Voter ID Law


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a six-page dissent early Saturday morning, blasting the court's decision to allow Texas to use its new voter ID law in the November elections. She was joined in the dissent by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

"The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters," Ginsburg wrote.

Ginsburg disputed the Fifth Circuit court of appeals' argument that is was too close to the November election to stop the law. Early voting begins on Monday in Texas.

"In any event, there is little risk that the District Court's injunction will in fact disrupt Texas' electoral process," she wrote. "Texas need only reinstate the voter identification procedures it employed for ten years (from 2003 to 2013) and in five federal general elections."

Ginsburg argued that the Fifth Circuit was remiss to ignore the findings of a full trial in district court, which found that the law was "enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose and would yield a prohibited disriminatory result."

District Court Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos struck down the law earlier this month on the grounds that it would serve as a deterrent to a large number of registered voters, most of them black or Hispanic. "Based on the testimony and numerous statistical analyses provided at trial, this Court finds that approximately 608,470 registered voters in Texas, representing approximately 4.5% of all registered voters, lack qualified SB 14 ID and of these, 534,512 voters do not qualify for a disability exemption," Gonzalez Ramos wrote.

Ginsburg echoed these findings in her dissent, though Texas officials dispute these figures. "The potential magnitude of racially discriminatory voter disenfranchisement counseled hesitation before disturbing the District Court’s findings and final judgment," Ginsburg wrote. "Senate Bill 14 may prevent more than 600,000 registered Texas voters (about 4.5% of all registered voters) from voting in person for lack of compliant identification. A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic."

Ginsburg pointedly added that "racial discrimination in elections in Texas is no mere historical artifact. To the contrary, Texas has been found in violation of the Voting Rights Act in every redistricting cycle from and after 1970."
 

thoughtone

BGOL Supporter
Registered
source: Addicting Info


Conservative Hack Tries To Bait Democrats Into Voter Fraud, Fails Hilariously


When we last saw James O’Keefe, the conservative “activist” who uses clever editing and ostentatious lies to “expose” Democrats, he was dressed up in an Osama Bin Laden mask and crossing the Rio Grande (illegally) to prove that terrorists and possibly the reanimated corpse of Bin Laden himself could get into America. Subtly is not O’Keefe’s cup of tea.

Now, his team at “Project Veritas” have their sights set on Democratic voter fraud. Not willing to trust study after study which shows that the number of cases of voter fraud is functionally zero (studies have a liberal bias, remember), O’Keefe hatched a plan to prove election campaigns would gladly use voter fraud to get their candidate into office. Unfortunately, everything went horribly, horribly wrong almost immediately.

First the plan:

According to a report by Mother Jones, O’Keefe’s team sent a stooge into the Democratic field office in Boulder, Colorado who claimed to be a 20-something college student that wanted to volunteer for Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign. He cited his offiliation with a student group called Rocky Mountain Vote Pride and offered to help get votes for both Udall and a Democratic representative named Jared Polis. Patience was not this stooge’s cup of tea because immediately he began asking the coordinators if they would like him to find names and addresses for other college students who had graduated and moved away so that he could fill out ballots in their names to send in. The coordinators told them that he should absolutely not do that because that is quite clearly voter fraud.

It’s unclear what tipped the field office off that this man was not actually a well-meaning volunteer but actually a conservative flack hoping to bait them into a crime. It may have been the heavy-handed way in which he offered to cheat the system for them. It may also have been that the “Rocky Mountain Vote Pride” group he used as his credentials is absolute nonsense.

The website for the group looks like it was set up in under five minutes. It consists of a single landing page, no links other than to the group’s facebook page and a few paragraphs about the group’s mission that read as if they were written by a person outsourced from rural India. Here is an example:
National poll demonstrating record support for the freedom to marry, with 59% of respondents saying they supported marriage for same-sex couples, and only 34% saying they were opposed. The deep support reaches into every region of the country, including the South, Midwest, and West, and extends across party lines, with 40% of Republicans back the freedom for all couples to marry.
A few grammatical issues on a website is forgivable, but when it’s only one of two paragraphs on your entire website? Get it together, O’Keefe!


The Facebook page for the group is not much better. The page only has two likes and one post dating back to July 16. The few comments the page has are people making fun of James O’Keefe.


Putting the website and the Facebook page together and a picture starts to emerge – it’s a front for a non-existent group meant solely to get this 20-something stranger into the door of Sen. Udall’s campaign office.


Undettered by his first stooge’s failure, O’Keefe then sent another stooge in to get the job done. She also failed.


According to Mother Jones:
On Friday, Udall campaigned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus. After the event, a woman calling herself “Bonnie” approached a different staffer and, according to this staffer’s boss, asked whether she could fill out and submit blank ballots found in a garbage can. The staffer, according to her boss, said that she told her no.
With two strikes, O’Keefe knew that if you want to do anything right you have to do it yourself. His next plan was insane and readers may be forgiven if they don’t quite believe it actually happened, but it did.


The same day as failure number two, the original stooge showed up at the Democratic field office again. This time he was joined by a man wearing heavy makeup and a mustache and claimed the man was a “civics professor” at Colorado University and Rocky Mountain Vote Pride’s faculty adviser. In reality the “professor” was actually O’Keefe. One of the major flaws in this is that O’Keefe doesn’t look like a professor. He is 30 years old, but looks barely old enough to drive. The make-up didn’t appear to help, nor did the whiskers he managed to grow on his upper lip. The staff, sensing something was up because they weren’t blind, refused to let O’Keefe into the office.


Undeterred by yet another setback, O’Keefe instead drove to the office of a progressive nonprofit group named New Era Colorado where he tried to walk in carrying a bunch of pro-Udall signs and literature. His angle was to drop the items off at the office then film said items thereby “proving” that the Udall campaign was coordinating with this nonprofit (an election no-no). Instead, the nonprofit workers refused to let O’Keefe into the door. Even more hilariously, the group – finding the attempt so half-baked and sad – began taking pictures of an embarrassed O’Keefe, laughing at him as his carefully designed plans fell apart.




O’Keefe wearing an “Udall” shirt and being mocked. (Image via Mother Jones)

O’Keefe has never met a failure that he hasn’t attempted to spin into a victory, so instead of pretending this whole sad affair never happened, he claimed he had succeeded.


On October 20, O’Keefe tweeted out a picture of himself sporting a mustache and claiming his investigation was going so well that “people may lose their jobs.”


<iframe src="https://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII/status/524207601039720448/photo/1" height="1000" width="800"></iframe>



Hopefully those people are: O’Keefe and his team.
 

thoughtone

BGOL Supporter
Registered
source: TPM


Judge Refuses To Intervene In Lawsuit Over Missing Voter Registrations




A judge in Georgia has decided not to intervene on behalf of civil rights groups who argue that tens of thousands of recently registered voters have been wrongfully lost.

Specifically, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher has declined a call by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights to issue a writ of mandamus on behalf of the New Georgia Project and Georgia's branch of the NAACP asking Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) and local counties in Georgia to check and make sure that 40,000 recently registered voters were counted in Georgia's voter registration system.

That decision by Brasher came after a two-hour hearing on Friday where Brasher expressed visible skepticism over the lawsuit. He called the push by civil rights groups for him to intervene an "extraordinary legal remedy," according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On Oct. 10 the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights filed a lawsuit arguing that tens of thousands of recently registered voters had somehow disappeared. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights sought through the suit to get court mandates for three Georgia counties to investigate the matter and also process voter registration applications.

But Georgia state officials said despite the claims by the civil rights groups all voter registration applications have been processed.

Read the ruling here.
 
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