Voting Law Proposals and Voting Rights Efforts (1 Viewer)

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    MT15

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    This is, IMO, going to be a big topic in the coming year. Republicans have stated their aim to make voting more restrictive in just about every state where they have the means to do so. Democrats would like to pass the Voting Rights Bill named after John Lewis. I’m going to go look up the map of all the states which have pending legislation to restrict voting. Now that we have the election in the rear view, I thought we could try to make this a general discussion thread, where people who have concerns about voting abuses can post as well and we can discuss it from both sides. Please keep memes out of this thread and put them in the boards where we go to talk about the other side, lol.
     
    Trump evidently still has an iron grip on these idiots.
     
    PHOENIX — As activists staked out a suburban ballot drop box last year, some toting guns and dressed in tactical gear, law enforcement officers found themselves also playing the role of front-line election workers.

    In interacting with these observers, local sheriff’s deputies explained and enforced complicated — and sometimes vague — election laws, weighing whether observers’ face coverings, guns and video cameras hindered people’s ability to vote, according to body-camera footage obtained by The Washington Post. The deputies handed out tips for following the law, calmly de-escalated tension, leveraged humor to gather information and measured observers’ distance from a drop box to ensure they were within the law.

    The 45 minutes of footage offers a rare window into the new role law enforcement is playing in Arizona’s elections, where bands of self-styled civilian watchdogs mistrustful of voting systems and government took it upon themselves during the midterm election’s early-voting period to gather evidence of improprieties they believed could happen. The scenes played out in Maricopa County, home to most of the state’s voters and an epicenter of the election denialism movement that fueled efforts to reverse the 2020 election results.

    During encounters with three groups of observers last October, deputies tried to minimize the threat and disruption to voters but could not infringe on the observers’ rights to freedom of speech and to carry weapons under Arizona law. The deputies employed tactics learned in an election-focused training months earlier, and Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone (D) recalls warning them their interactions with observers would be closely watched and judged.

    “Although it may not be a fundamental task that we ever expected to participate in, it is absolutely an obligation if we expect our nation to remain stable,” he said. “I just never expected to dedicate this volume of resources for that cause.”

    The office spent $665,000 on law enforcement activities surrounding the 2022 midterm election, including for personnel overtime, temporary fencing that surrounded the county’s vote-counting center to control access, and responding to reports of observers at the county’s two outdoor drop boxes, Penzone said. He expects this sort of work to only increase with the presidential election next year..........

     
    This tweet is incredibly stupid.
     
    Republican members of the Texas state legislature introduced a slate of bills Thursday designed to subvert election processes and curb voting rights in the state. One of them would even allow the Texas Secretary of State to overturn election results in the state’s largest Democratic-leaning county, with very little rationale for doing so.

    On Thursday, Republican state senators introduced Senate Bill 1993, a bill targeting Harris County, a diverse region that includes Houston and is also the most populous county in Texas, to a Senate committee for debate.

    SB 1993 would grant Secretary of State Jane Nelson (R) the authority to order a new election in Harris County “if the secretary has good cause to believe that at least two percent of the total number of polling places in the county did not receive supplemental ballots,” according to the bill text. Secretary Nelson would have the same authority granted to a district court.

    The bill would “allow really low thresholds” for ordering a new election, Katya Ehresman, the voting rights program manager at Common Cause Texas, told TPM. “Anything from a machine malfunction, which can necessarily be the fault of the county or of an election administrator getting stuck in traffic—which in Houston is incredibly likely—and having a delay in providing election results to the central count station,” she said.


    The bill was introduced alongside over a dozen other bills seeking to restrict voter access and overhaul the state’s elections process. Senate Bill 260, for example, would allow the secretary to suspend election administrators without cause, and Senate Bill 1070 would enable Texas to withdraw from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a bipartisan program that maintains voter rolls across state lines that has recently been targeted by far-right propaganda.

    State Republicans quietly introduced the bills in the State Affairs Committee on Thursday morning—without giving the mandatory 48-hour notice. “Every part of today’s hearing highlights the subversive attacks on elections in Texas,” Ehresman said, “and (SB) 1993 is a part of that.”

    With a population of nearly 5 million, Harris County is the most populous county in Texas and the third most populous in the U.S. It became the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories back in 2020, when the county experienced some technical difficulties as election officials tried to change procedures to make voting safer during the COVID-19 pandemic……

     
    oh look, another bill targeting Harris County. I can't imagine why.


    The bill was introduced alongside over a dozen other bills seeking to restrict voter access and overhaul the state’s elections process. Senate Bill 260, for example, would allow the secretary to suspend election administrators without cause, and Senate Bill 1070 would enable Texas to withdraw from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a bipartisan program that maintains voter rolls across state lines that has recently been targeted by far-right propaganda.

    State Republicans quietly introduced the bills in the State Affairs Committee on Thursday morning—without giving the mandatory 48-hour notice. “Every part of today’s hearing highlights the subversive attacks on elections in Texas,” Ehresman said, “and (SB) 1993 is a part of that.
     
    In Shasta county, a conservative stronghold of 180,000 in the far north of blue California, a new vision for elections is taking shape: paper ballots, no machines and results tallied entirely by hand.

    It’s a vision predicated on the false belief that voting machines helped to steal the presidency from Donald Trump, and that the systems by which millions of Americans vote are unsafe. But in Shasta, they just might make that vision reality

    Shasta became a hotbed for far-right politics in the pandemic years, and election deniers have found allies on the county’s governing body, the board of supervisors. In March the board’s hard-right majority cut ties with Dominion Voting Systems, the company at the center of baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud.

    Last week the supervisors took steps to replace it with a hand-count system. The county ended its contract with Dominion before establishing a replacement and now, with a potential special election months away and the presidential primary a year out, it has no voting system in place as it embarks on a plan to create an entirely new system from scratch.

    The registrar of voters, the elected official who oversees voting in the county, warned it would be a challenging and time-consuming effort – requiring more than 1,200 new workers at a cost of at least $1.6m – and still far less accurate than the machines the county has used for years. The deputy secretary of state has warned the county could violate multiple federal and state laws by not selecting a certified voting system. But the board of supervisors moved ahead.

    The county’s decision could have long-lasting consequences for the region and provide a framework for election deniers on how to advance their agenda across the US, all while giving oxygen to false claims that the nation’s voting technology is compromised……..

     
    On the important WI Supreme Court justice race, the conservative man is projected to lose, and not by a slim margin. The video I posted above from Madison is remarkable in how many young women were waiting to vote. Abortion turned this election, imo.

    This is the deciding vote on the WI Supreme Court and will potentially allow abortion to remain a protected health care right and allow them to undo the extreme jerrymandering that Rs have enacted.

    A good day in WI, for sure.

    Oops, that was Eau Claire, not Madison.
     
    Three of the most prominent rightwing groups which spread election denial lies and advocate for restrictions on voting rights in the US have joined forces in a secret attempt to woo top election officials in Republican-controlled states.

    Led by the Washington-based conservative thinktank the Heritage Foundation, the groups have created an incubator of policies that would restrict access to the ballot box and amplify false claims that fraud is rampant in American elections. The unstated yet implicit goal is to dampen Democratic turnout and help Republican candidates to victory.

    Details of the two-day “secretaries of state conference” held in Washington in February were obtained by the watchdog group Documented and shared with the Guardian.

    Officials from 13 Republican-controlled states, including 10 top election administrators, participated in the event. Attendees discussed controversial “election integrity” ideas of the sort weaponized by Donald Trump.

    Among the participants were nine secretaries of state and Virginia’s election commissioner, all of whom preside over both statewide and federal elections in their states including next year’s presidential contest. A list of attendeesnamechecks the chief election officials of Indiana, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

    Documented also obtained the conference agenda which lists a number of Trump associates among the speakers. They include Ken Cuccinelli who, as acting deputy secretary for homeland security, played a key role in setting elections policy for the Trump administration.

    Cuccinelli now runs the Election Transparency Initiative which is fighting Democratic efforts in Congress to shore up voting rights, and has been active in pushing state-level vote restriction measures………

     
    And there were no votes not recorded. Every vote was eventually counted b
     

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