voter id

Straight ticket voting, say goodbye.

Changes in the North Carolina voting laws came into effect at the beginning of 2014, but there is much more to the issue than voter ID.

The actual bill, House Bill 589 is here. It’s about 50 pages so I hope you’re sitting down and in a comfy chair. So, let’s take the time to look at the real facts and the real issues.

1. Voter ID doesn’t go into effect until 2016. In political years, that’s a lifetime. We need to worry about that later.

2. The law cuts a week off of early voting but counties have to keep the same number of hours in 2014 as they did in 2010.

3. Same day registration is no more. Voters have to be registered at least 25 days prior to any election. Want to vote in the May 6th primary? Make sure you’re registered by April 11, 2014.

Duh

Anyone who's paying attention knew this all along, but it's still troubling to see the truth of what our governor and legislators have done. This is on you, Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory.

What we found was that restrictions on voting derived from both race and class. The more that minorities and lower-income individuals in a state voted, the more likely such restrictions were to be proposed. Where minorities turned out at the polls at higher rates the legislation was more likely enacted.

We see what you're doing here

Let's say, just for the sake of speculation, that you're a political party intent on passing unconstitutional laws that restrict the rights of voters you want to keep away from the polls. And let's say you're loosing the battle in getting these laws to stick.

What does such a political party do?

Well, one way to get what you want is to "monkey wrench" a Justice Department aggressively fighting those laws.

Huffington Post reports that a group of Republicans in Congress are planning to impeach US Attorney General Eric Holder. Their reason is because of the botched "Fast and Furious" sting that left weapons in the hands of Mexican Drug Cartels.

However, we really see what you're up to here, Republicans.

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.

http://democracy-nc.org/downloads/HowToGetID.pdf

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.

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