Archive for Vote Suppression
The suit, set to be filed in Greensboro, N.C., will ask that the state be barred from enforcing the new voter ID law, the source said. However, the case will also go further, demanding that the entire state of North Carolina be placed under a requirement to have all changes to voting laws, procedures and polling places “precleared” by either the Justice Department or a federal court, the source added.
The lawsuit, which will be filed on Monday and announced at a press conference featuring Attorney General Eric Holder, challenges four provisions of the voting law, known as House Bill 589 and signed by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last month. Voter advocates have criticized the law as one of the most restrictive voting measures passed since the civil rights era.
The Rev. William Barber II, head of the state NAACP, which has filed lawsuits in federal court and the North Carolina courts, challenging the law, said Sunday that he was glad to have assistance from the federal government. “We need every resource, including the federal Department of Justice, to stand against the fundamental attack on democracy,” Barber said. “This law went beyond the pale and all North Carolinians should be repulsed by this effort to turn the clock back on voting rights in this state.”
Didn’t you know, Kansas requires new voters to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote?
The law took effect in January, backed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach and fellow Republicans, who view it as a way to prevent non-citizens from voting improperly. But more than 15,000 legal Kansas residents’ voter registrations are on hold because they have yet to provide proper documents, meaning they can’t legally vote.
From the Brad Blog:
Wow. 15,000 legal voters stopped from voting. Kansas must have a terrible problem with non-citizens voting! After all, that’s all the state’s Republican Sec. of State Kobach (who also wrote Arizona’s “Papers Please” law) ran on in 2010: stopping “voter fraud”! In fact, his own personal website warns even today: “In Kansas, the illegal registration of alien voters has become pervasive.”
Pervasive, no less. How many is “pervasive”?
“We identified 15 aliens registered to vote.”
Brad Friedman continues,
And did any of those 15 alleged “aliens” actually vote in any Kansas election? Or, like so many similar cases where GOP Sec. of States are playing the same game (like in Colorado and in Florida), was it simply a clerical error, where the registered voter in question never even cast an actual vote or was actually a citizen after all? Who knows? Kobach didn’t say as much, so…draw your own conclusions. After all, Kobach says the problem “has become pervasive”. He just can’t identify it as such, even though, as Secretary of State, he has immediate access to all voting records and can refer cases to prosecutors for arrest. I wonder why he hasn’t?
Imagine the response if we started erecting hurdles to buying guns because someone could document 15 cases (maybe even a few more?) of crimes committed by legal gun owners, or by felons who bought guns illegally, or by buyers who lied on their ATF Form 4473.
You think we’d see the kind of zealous citizen activism and dedicated junior sleuthing from groups like the True the Vote and the Voter Integrity Project to put a stop to something as pervasive as that?
The Brad Blog looks at the prospects for the Texas Voter ID bill surviving multiple court challenges and it doesn’t look good.
In both United States v. Texas, the DoJ’s newly filed legal challenge to the Texas Photo ID restriction law, and in Veasey v. Perry, a separate federal lawsuit filed by Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) and later joined by Dallas County, the plaintiffs not only set forth allegations but facts already found to be true last year by a unanimous three-judge U.S. District Court panel.
Those already established facts reveal that the state’s Photo ID law (SB 14) violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it imposes unreasonable, and often impossible, burdens upon the right of the poor to vote that would likely result in disenfranchisement. The three judge panel further found, via “undisputed record evidence”, as they described it, that a disproportionate percentage of poor Texans who would be subject to such disenfranchisement are Hispanic and African-American.
Circumstances in North Carolina have lots of parallels with the Texas, and North Carolina’s “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to restricting voting access are more restrictive then the law at issue in Texas. Stay tuned.
[The following is satire enhanced for the humor-impaired.]
This week former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told a CEO Forum in Raleigh that North Carolina’s sweeping election law changes would push away blocks of voters that Republicans should instead be wooing.
“What has come out of the legislature is that fraud is widespread and undetected,” Powell said. “How is fraud widespread if it’s undetected? How can it be undetected if it’s widespread?”
How? Hans Von Spakovsky, the GOP’s point man on spreading rumors about widespread voter fraud, knows how, even if he himself cannot say how big a problem it really is.
“It is impossible to answer,” Spakovsky told the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. “We don’t have the tools in place.”
Moments after Gov. Pat McCrory left the stage, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolina’s new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.
“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.
“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”
In one comment, he seemed to rebuke McCrory for suggesting that voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect. The governor had compared it to insider trading.
“You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said. “How can it be widespread and undetected?”
Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new sends the wrong message to minority voters. “What it really says to the minority voters is … ‘We really are sort-of punishing you,’” he said.
UPDATED with video.
Not to be outdone by the Republican-led state legislature’s efforts to limit student voting, Watauga County targeted Appalachian State students this week, with Kathleen Campbell, the lone Democrat dissenting:
Amid shouts and boos from an audience of about 60 people, the board — with Campbell’s disapproval — eliminated the early voting site on the ASU campus and recombined the Boone precincts into one with 9,340 registered voters and one polling place.
They also approved a new public comment policy that accepts feedback only in writing and assigned new rules to Board of Elections Director Jane Ann Hodges and employees.
Republicans also looked to further restrict the equal treatment of college-aged voters on the east end of North Carolina, this time at Elizabeth City State University.
Tuesday, the 2-1 Republican-majority on the Pasquotank County Board of Elections voted to disqualify Elizabeth City State University students who live in the country from running for local office. The board ruled that Montravias King, a student at the university who lives on campus, had not established permanent residency. The county’s Republican chairman had challenged King’s eligibility and vowed to challenge the residency of other students in Pasquotank County and around the state — a process made easier under McCrory’s new suppression law.
Someone trolling on Facebook the other day asked why a student with a California driver’s license should be able to vote in North Carolina. Uh, Symm v. United States, 439 U.S. 1105 (1979)?
With the North Carolina state legislature in recess, Moral Mondays – the Forward Together Movement – began a march across the state, starting in Asheville on August 5 with the largest protest yet. The crowd “well exceeded” the 5,000 the Asheville police department had prepared for, with early police estimates to 10,000.
“You can’t do wrong in Raleigh and then hide back home,” said NC NAACP president the Rev. William Barber. Firing up the crowd as he has in Raleigh, Barber condemned the actions of the state legislature as “constitutionally inconsistent, morally indefensible and economically insane.” Barber and other speakers called out local and state legislators by name, some of whom were in the crowd.
“From the mountains to the coast, we’re sick of this mess,” Barber declared. “This is no momentary hyperventilation or liberal screaming match; this is a movement. We have a governor that has decided to be on the wrong side of history. We have a legislature that is bragging and boasting about its power and is legislating on the basis of lies and discrimination. Though they have temporary power, the future does not belong to them.”
Barber and other speakers addressed education, labor, LGBT rights and a bill seizing the local water system. Asheville local, Heather Rayburn, spoke surrounded with a group of other civil disobedience protestors arrested in Raleigh. Keeping with the moral theme, Rayburn reminded the crowd, “This group of jailbirds and I believe in the Golden Rule. That we should treat people the way we would want to be treated. And politicians should live by the Golden rule too.”
(Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)
If Republicans in the NC state legislature were any more transparent, they’d be invisible. The arguments for all the proposed radical changes to voting laws in North Carolina are obvious nonsense, and the worst voter suppression bill in the nation. Maybe they are just skilled liars. Maybe they are just seriously deluded. Or maybe they have been consuming a steady diet of their own BS for so long — fed to them by think tanks, Fox News, talk radio and social media — that they actually believe it.
Wednesday night after the seoond reading vote on the Voter Information Verification Act (House Bill 589) in the NC state senate, a group of protesters sat in at office of House Speaker Thom Tillis:
Six people were arrested following a brief sit-in Wednesday night in House Speaker Thom Tillis’ office.
The group was protesting the Senate’s proposed voting restrictions and voter ID law. The bill passed the Senate in a second reading Wednesday.
The protesters walked into Tillis’ office shortly before 8 p.m. and said they wanted to meet with the Speaker and ask him to stop HB 589 in the House.
“What I witnessed … was the operation of an oppressive government,” said Bree Newsome, 28, of Raleigh, describing the Senate hearings.
Weeks of growing Moral Monday protests have given the fight a national profile. Gov. Pat McCrory said he wanted to rebrand North Carolina. Mission accomplished.
(Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)
If Republicans in the state legislature were any more transparent, they’d be invisible. The arguments for all the radical changes to voting laws in North Carolina are that obvious nonsense. Maybe they are just skilled liars. Maybe they are just seriously deluded. Or maybe they have been consuming a steady diet of their own BS for so long — fed to them by think tanks, Fox News, talk radio and social media — that they actually believe their own BS.
The push to require identity cards before one can vote in North Carolina should reach a head today in the legislature. The bill itself (House Bill 589, aka VIVA) is a sight to behold. And it will likely soon end up on the desk of the man BlueNC refers to as Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory.
But they want to erect obstacles to voting, hands over their hearts, they do. Badly. So badly they’re prepared to sacrifice their own voters to hurt Democrats, as you can read here. The NCGOP is playing a calculating game of percentages that treats their own supporters as expendables, and any harm to their own foot soldiers’ ability to vote acceptable losses. Because they figure Democrats will get it worse.
The GOP will sacrifice their own to hold onto power. Figuratively, Republican leaders are willing to shoot their own troops to hit Democrats standing behind them. All good, if you’re the leader. But what if you’re not?
“You see? I kill my own men.”
— Mystery Men (1999): Evil is Cocky
Democrats rending their garments over the NCGOP’s latest legislative caca del toro — the Voter Information Verification Act (House Bill 589), the election “reform” bill — have missed the real story. Fortunately for Republican leaders, so have their own supporters.