voting rights

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Fighting for Voting Rights, Again

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 29/10/2020 - 9:31am in

New podcast: Republicans have gone back to their 1950s playbook of denying the vote. But American are fighting back gloriously. Continue reading

The post Fighting for Voting Rights, Again appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

The Pandemic Election: Combatting Chaos

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/10/2020 - 2:10am in

When Trump leaves office, he will lose the US Department of Justice as his personal law firm. He will lose Attorney General William Barr as his wingman. And he will lose his power to undermine the rule of law. That’s … Continue reading

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Will 2020 Battle State Voters Help Reverse GOP Gerrymandering?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/10/2020 - 8:09am in

“If that defeat is to come, down-ballot races in 2020 are going to play an outsized role.” Continue reading

The post Will 2020 Battle State Voters Help Reverse GOP Gerrymandering? appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

What Happened to the Voting Rights Act?This country has a long...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 6:27am in

What Happened to the Voting Rights Act?

This country has a long history of disenfranchising and suppressing the votes of people of color, particularly in the South. But in 2013 the voter suppression efforts of yesteryear came roaring back. That’s when the Supreme Court gutted key provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those provisions had stopped states with histories of voter suppression from changing their election laws without an okay from the federal government. 

Let’s take a look at how that shameful decision has played out over the years, shall we?

Today’s voter suppression often takes the form of purging eligible voters from the rolls, cutting back early and absentee voting, closing polling places, and using strict voter ID requirements – disenfranchising voters of color at every turn.

Voter roll purges have become increasingly common. 

Officials purged nearly 4 million more names between 2014 and 2016 than between 2006 and 2008 — a 33 percent increase. Officials in states that used to be under federal oversight purged voters from the rolls at a rate 40 percent higher than those in states with no history of voter suppression.

As it turns out, Chief Justice John Roberts was dead wrong when he argued “things have changed dramatically” in the South.

Election officials in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia have all conducted illegal voter roll purges. In Virginia in 2013, nearly 39,000 voters were removed from the rolls when state officials relied on a faulty database – removing voters who had supposedly moved out of the state.

Even if you make it past a voter roll purge, you may get stuck in endlessly long lines to vote. 

Since the Voting Rights Act was gutted in 2013, 1,688 polling places have been shuttered in states previously bound by the Act’s preclearance requirement. Texas officials closed 750 polling places. Arizona and Georgia were almost as bad. Not surprisingly, these closures were mostly in communities of color.

In Texas, officials in the 50 counties that gained the most Black and Latinx residents between 2012 and 2018 closed 542 polling sites, compared to just 34 closures in the 50 counties that gained the fewest Black and Latinx residents. In Georgia’s 2020 primary, 80 polling places were closed in Atlanta, home to Georgia’s largest Black population — forcing 16,000 residents to use a single polling place.

And even if you get to a polling place after standing for three hours to cast your ballot, you may end up being turned away because of a restrictive voter ID law. 

Republican lawmakers in 15 states have passed such laws since the Supreme Court’s shameful decision.

Texas Republicans put a voter ID law into effect almost immediately following the decision — a law that they had been prevented from passing in 2011 when the Voting Rights Act was still intact. That law has been struck down five times since it went into effect, with multiple courts finding it intentionally discriminates against Black and Latinx voters. A federal appeals court finally allowed a watered-down version that’s still one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country.

In Georgia, the state’s restrictive “exact match” ID law — requiring a voter’s ID to exactly match the name on their registration, down to any dots or dashes — allowed state officials to throw out 53,000 majority-Black voter registrations less than a month before the state’s tight 2018 gubernatorial race. Stacey Abrams, who would have been the country’s first Black woman governor, lost the election by just under 55,000 votes — after years of her rival Brian Kemp systematically suppressing the votes of people of color.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a court found that the state’s voter ID law “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision,” and struck the law down in its entirety. Imagine all we could accomplish with all the time, money, and resources that go into prolonged legal battles against these discriminatory laws that should never have seen the light of day in the first place.

Voter suppression is wreaking havoc on our electoral process. 

When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act seven years ago, it passed the buck to Congress to update it, but Senate Republicans haven’t lifted a finger. 

In December 2019, John Lewis presided over the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, now named the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act in his honor, to restore the Voting Rights Act and stop this pervasive voter suppression. It’s been collecting dust on Mitch McConnell’s desk ever since. He and his GOP colleagues think they can sit idly by as Republican state officials suppress the vote with no accountability.

They’re wrong. The people are ready to fight back against their agenda and build a 21st century democracy that is representative of and responsive to our growing, diverse nation.

If your vote didn’t count, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to suppress it. Make sure you check your registration, stay up to date on your state’s rules for mail-in voting, find your polling place, and get involved with organizations on the frontlines of protecting the vote.

There’s no telling what we’ll be able to accomplish when we win the battle for voting rights.

Justice Department Has No Legal Authority to Interfere in 2020 Vote Counts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 4:34am in

The attorney general and Justice Department can issue pro-Trump propaganda, but not reject or seize ballots, nor interrupt the locally run election process. Continue reading

The post Justice Department Has No Legal Authority to Interfere in 2020 Vote Counts appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Voting Advocates Call on Officials to Do More to Stop Voter Intimidation and Election Violence

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 2:09am in

As right-wing militants have the president’s blessing to behave menacingly, voting rights groups are asking why aren’t local officials doing more to assure to voters that Election Day will be safe. Continue reading

The post Voting Advocates Call on Officials to Do More to Stop Voter Intimidation and Election Violence appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Why Conservatives’ Attempts to Prevent $300 Million in Election Grants From Reaching States Will Fail

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 2:55am in

After federal inaction, Facebook’s founder and his wife stepped in. Now Republicans are suing in three swing states.
Continue reading

The post Why Conservatives’ Attempts to Prevent $300 Million in Election Grants From Reaching States Will Fail appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

GOP-Led Legal Inquest Into Bloomberg Helping Florida Felons Vote Condemned as Attempted Voter Suppression

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 30/09/2020 - 2:47am in

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s call for state and federal investigations into billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s effort to raise millions to pay off court fees to help Florida felons restore their voting rights was a “gross abuse” of power... Continue reading

The post GOP-Led Legal Inquest Into Bloomberg Helping Florida Felons Vote Condemned as Attempted Voter Suppression appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Big Swing State Hurdle: Returning Your Absentee Ballot

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/09/2020 - 3:42am in

In many swing states, voters cannot simply return an absentee ballot to an Election Day poll. Those voters who try will get to vote, but not without more paperwork and possibly creating delays for other voters. Continue reading

The post Big Swing State Hurdle: Returning Your Absentee Ballot appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Why Younger Voters Are Most Likely to Have Their Absentee Ballots Rejected

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 12:56am in

As half or more of the 2020 presidential election’s votes will be cast on mailed-out ballots, a new study on why absentee ballots were rejected in three urban California counties in 2018 reveals why young voters’ ballots were rejected at triple the rate of all voters. Continue reading

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