voter id

Landmark Voter ID Judge: "I plead guilty" To Getting Ruling Wrong

The judge who wrote the ruling in the Indiana Voter ID case (later approved by the U.S. Supreme Court) admits he got it completely wrong:

I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court) upholding Indiana’s requirement that prospective voters prove their identity with a photo id—a law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention.

Brad Friedman writes:

Now, the very judge who wrote the ruling in the original case later approved by the U.S. Supreme Court is abandoning ship, and directly admitting he got it completely wrong. That the only case of note used by supporters of this kind of voting restriction has now been pretty much disowned by the judge who wrote its majority decision is simply a remarkable development in this years-long battle.

A battle that continues today in North Carolina.

Breaking news: Justice Dept to sue NC over voter restriction laws

News outlets are reporting this morning that the Justice Department will announce a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina over the Republican-led push for restrictive voter laws.

Washington Post

We're getting sued

Today (Monday), Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina over the voter suppression bill passed by House Speaker Thom Tillis and the North Carolina General Assembly:

In the North Carolina lawsuit... the government will challenge requirements in state law that eliminate the first seven days of early voting opportunities and eliminate same-day voter registration during the early voting period...

The Justice Department challenge also is aimed at a provision eliminating the counting of certain types of provisional ballots by voters who cast ballots in their home counties but do not vote in the correct precincts.

Guide to getting an ID to vote

Here's the latest handout from Democracy NC on how to get an ID. It's probably a little too wonky for mass public distribution, but it could be useful for individuals, committees, and organizations planning to assist people on getting IDs when the free ones become available starting in January.

Starting with elections in 2014, poll officials will ask voters for a photo ID but no photo ID is required to vote at the polls until January 2016.

Art Pope's Civitas drawn into NC voter law suit

The Institute for Southern Studies is reporting that the lawyer representing the NAACP and the 92 year old voter at the heart of a lawsuit over NC's strict voting laws have served notice to Civitas:

Data behind the NC Republican voter suppression law

This blog post has some good detailed analysis and charts on voting patterns in NC, demographic trends, and why gerrymandering and voter suppression laws are the only way that the NC GOP can stay in power.

A couple of highlights:

The New Republic’s Nate Cohn found that if voter ID requirements had been in place during the 2012 election, they would have cost President Obama 25,000 to 30,000 votes. The voter ID requirements won’t take effect until 2016, but the other parts of the bill take effect before the 2014 elections and could be even more damaging to Democrats.

Know your constitution: Voter Rights edition

Since state legislators continue to pass bills in violation of their oaths to the state and federal constitutions, it is again time to rearm citizens with the basics of our shared government -- the constitution.

The NC Constitution speaks directly to voting rights and suffrage. In fact, Article VI, Section 1. of the NC Constitution is literally titled "Who may vote." It doesn't get any more plain than that.

H589 has passed. Elections changes coming.

Michael Biesecker's AP story on H589, which just passed the House and goes to Gov. for enactment into law.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the U.S. Justice Department will challenge a new voter ID law in Texas and hinted it may pursue similar legal action against other states, including North Carolina. Several other groups, including the NACCP, also indicated they might mount legal challenges.

The state House passed the bill with the voter ID requirement in April, but Senate leaders waited until the waning days of the legislative session to take up the measure and add more voting restrictions.

Sue Myrick, Groundswellers and voter id laws

Mother Jones just published an in-depth look at a secretive group of extremist conservatives that are doing "behind the scenes" planning for a "30 Front War" on liberals and progressives.

The group includes wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner, aides to Congressional Republicans, and former US Representative from NC, ultraconservative Sue Myrick.

During these hush-hush sessions and through a Google group, the members of Groundswell—including aides to congressional Republicans—cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and "clueless" GOP congressional leaders. They devise strategies for killing immigration reform, hyping the Benghazi controversy, and countering the impression that the GOP exploits racism. And the Groundswell gang is mounting a behind-the-scenes organized effort to eradicate the outsize influence of GOP über-strategist/pundit Karl Rove within Republican and conservative ranks.

The list of usual suspects shows up in notes from one of their early meetings:

Top ten missed opportunities in the Omnibus Voter Restrictions Bill

Top 10 Missed Opportunities in the N.C. Omnibus Voter Restrictions Bill

10) Any person with a visible tattoo must vote a provisional ballot, and must subsequently produce
three character witnesses, two of whom must belong to the political party of the governor.
9) Any person accompanied at the polls by a child under the age of six must swear, under penalty
of perjury, that the child is not receiving Medicaid benefits.
8) Unaffiliated voters will not be permitted to serve as precinct judges or staff ... oh, that's already
taken care of.
7) Volunteers or participants in the civic educational program Kids Voting may not be located within
2,000 feet of a polling place.
6) Voters who produce a signed receipt of a $5,000 donation to a candidate in the current election
shall receive one additional ballot per receipt.

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