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.
     
    This is great! Imagine having to deal with the consequences of your shirtty decisions.



    Yeah, in Texas they don't allow that. The Republicans here keep a tight reigns on all the controls of government. And the residents of this state seem to be mostly copacetic with that arrangement no matter how much it's abused or how much damage it does to them.
     
    As 2023 comes to a close, the Voting Rights Act is facing a series of dire threats that could significantly weaken the landmark civil rights law.

    A suite of three different pending cases could gut the ability of private plaintiffs to challenge the Voting Rights Act, make it harder to challenge discriminatory election systems, and limit the Voting Rights Act’s protections in areas where a single racial minority doesn’t constitute a majority.

    “It’s a shock to the system,” said Sophia Lin Lakin, the director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

    The new wave of attacks come after the supreme court unexpectedly issued a decision in June that upheld a critical provision of the law.

    In a 5-4 decision, the justices beat back an effort by Alabama that would have made it much harder to use the Voting Rights Act to challenge voting districts that weaken the influence of Black voters.

    Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts sent a strong signal the court wasn’t interested in reconsidering its jurisprudence around Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the most powerful tool voting rights litigators have to challenge districts.

    It was a full-throated defense of the Voting Rights Act, the 1965 law the court has aggressively weakened in recent years.

    “The heart of these cases is not about the law as it exists. It is about Alabama’s attempt to remake our [section] 2 jurisprudence anew,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion in the case, Allen v Milligan, that was joined by his fellow conservative Brett Kavanaugh and the three liberal justices. “We find Alabama’s new approach to [section] 2 compelling neither in theory nor in practice. We accordingly decline to recast our [section] 2 case law as Alabama requests.”

    The rulings was a sigh of relief for voting rights lawyers. Over the last decade, the court has ruled against voting rights at nearly every turn.

    It gutted the pre-clearance requirement at the heart of the Voting Rights Act, greenlit aggressively removing people from voter rolls, made it harder to challenge discriminatory voting laws, and made it nearly impossible to challenge a voting rule as long as an election is near.……..

     
    South Carolina voters have filed a lawsuit hoping to expand absentee voting for all, regardless of age.

    Attorney Armand Derfner represents several Palmetto State voters suing the state over the absentee voting rules. Those individuals explained that the right to vote shouldn't come with obstacles in a lawsuit filed in late December.

    "The right to vote really belongs to all the people," Derfner said.

    After 2020, state lawmakers adjusted absentee voting rules, making it harder to qualify. One of those qualifications is being over the age of 65. Anyone 65 or over can vote absentee.

    Derfner's clients argued someone's age should not give them special voting privileges.

    They also argue that the law violates the 26th Amendment, which reads: "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age."

    "There are several plaintiffs in the case," Derfner said. "All of them [are] under 65, and all of them want the opportunity [to vote]."

    The five-page lawsuit compared the rule to age discrimination. However, another perspective of absentee ballots is their convenience.

    "You never can tell when it might be important to you to be able to vote by mail," Derfner said. "People think, 'We'll, I'd like to go to the polling place,' but who knows if that's possible. You might be out of commission, or suddenly, an emergency comes up. So it's important to have that." .............

     
    They really need to change the term Absentee voting. But regardless, Rs hate it because it gives disadvataged people a chance to vote, and its usually minorities. If you have no mode of transportation and no money, you are usually SOL when it comes to vote. that is why they hate people who go around and give people free rides to the polls.
     
    People completing sentences for felony convictions will automatically be registered to vote as they prepare to leave prison, the result of first-of-its-kind legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

    House Bill 4983 expands the state’s automatic voter registration system — which currently registers voters when they get a driver’s license — to other state agencies such as the Department of Corrections and the Department of Health and Human Services.

    As part of the law, which goes into effect in June 2025, the secretary of state and the Department of Corrections must coordinate to issue a state identification or driver’s license when individuals are released, which will also automatically register them to vote unless they opt out.

    The new law will codify and expand a voter registration effort the Department of Corrections has had since 2020 as part of its program to provide vital documents such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, and state ID cards or drivers’ licenses, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Kyle Kaminski.

    The new law will ensure the voter registration effort is permanent, “even when those who helped develop this system are no longer in their roles,” Kaminski said. “Being engaged members of their communities, including voting, is an important element of reentry for all returning citizens.”

    Currently, incarcerated individuals can choose to have the prison submit their personal information to the Department of State, which then uses it to finalize the person’s registration once they have exited prison and officially regained the right to vote, Kaminski said.

    Under the new law, the Department of State will automatically process their voter registration, and the returning citizens, like other Michigan residents, can opt out later by responding to a notice from the Michigan secretary of state or through a written request to their city or township clerk, according to Cheri Hardmon, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state.

    The current opt-out rate, added Hardmon, is quite low: From March 2021 to November 2023, 6,072 formerly incarcerated individuals were eligible to be automatically registered to vote, and only 12% did not.

    State Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou (D-East Lansing), chair of the House Elections Committee and the author of House Bill 4983, said the new law will greatly benefit those leaving prison and trying to reintegrate back into their communities. Democrats passed the bill Nov. 8 in the House on a party line vote, 56-53. In the Senate, the bill passed with four votes from Republicans, 24-14.

    “I think not only being able to vote but being registered and encouraged is really important,” Tsernoglou said Thursday..........


     
    A senator in Florida is pushing a bill that would make it more difficult to vote by mail.

    Currently, people who want to vote by mail in the state of Florida simply register to vote and request a mail-in ballot.

    However, Senate Bill 1752, filed by state Sen. Blaise Ingolia, would change that system with one word: eligibility.

    The bill says a qualified absent voter may vote by mail if, on election day and during early in-person voting, the absent voter expects to be:

    - Absent from the county of his or her residence

    - Unable to appear personally at the early voting site because of illness or physical disability

    - A resident or patient of a United States Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility

    - Absent from his or her legal residence because he or she is confined in jail.

    It’s a move that Ramon Perez, the executive director of the nonprofit organization Digital Democracy Project, believes would limit access to voting.

    "Making that a consistent process, having to justify why you need an absentee ballot. I think that makes it harder for people to vote," he said.

    SB 1752 would also change the number of times people must request a mail-in ballot.

    The rules state a request to receive a vote-by-mail ballot covers all elections from the date a request was submitted through the end of the calendar year for the next regularly scheduled general election..............

     
    guess this can go here
    ================
    Less than half of Americans trust elected officials to act in the public’s interest.

    When voters want something done on an issue and their elected officials fail to act, they may turn to citizen initiatives to pursue their goals instead. The citizen initiative process varies by state, but in general, citizens collect signatures to have an issue put directly on the ballot for the voters to voice their preferences. Nearly half the states, 24 of them, allow citizen initiatives.

    These measures, also called “ballot initiatives,” often focus on the controversial issues of the day. Citizen initiatives on same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization have been on many state ballots through the years. Abortion rights have repeatedly been on the ballot since 2022, after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional protection for abortion, and more voters can expect to vote on the issue in 2024.

    I am an American politics scholar who studies the connection between representation and public policy. In American democracy, the people expect to have a voice, whether that comes through electing representatives or directly voting on issues.

    Yet it is becoming increasingly common for lawmakers across the country to not only ignore the will of the people, but also actively work against it. From 2010 to 2015, about 21% of citizen initiatives were altered by lawmakers after they passed. From 2016 to 2018, lawmakers altered nearly 36% of passed citizen initiatives.

    Here’s what some of those cases look like, from successful to unsuccessful efforts to alter the will of the people:

    • In November 2023, Ohio voters passed an amendment to their state’s constitution protecting the right to abortion. Within a week, a group of Ohio Republican lawmakers declared the amendment to be invalid and introduced legislation that would strip state courts from having authority to rule on the issue of abortion. Ohio House Speaker, Republican Jason Stephens, rejected the proposed legislation.

    • In July 2018, Washington, D.C., voters approved an increase in the minimum wage for tipped workers. Three months later, the City Council repealed the initiative.

    • In 2016, voters in South Dakota supported an initiative to revise campaign finance and lobbying laws and create an ethics commission. Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a law repealing the initiative in February 2017. Another citizen initiative to create an ethics commission was on the ballot in 2018, but did not pass.

    Often lawmakers rewrite laws passed through initiative. Some revisions change key components of the initiatives, while others amend technical details.

    Ohioans voted in favor of legalizing marijuana in November 2023. In that initiative, part of the tax revenue from marijuana sales would go to a financial assistance program for those who show “social and economic disadvantage.” The Ohio Senate passed a bill the following month that would instead use the tax revenue to fund jails and law enforcement.

    • Massachusetts voters passed recreational marijuana legalization in 2016. In 2017, the Legislature passed a bill to increase the excise tax on marijuana from the 3.75% set in the citizens’ initiative to 10.75%.

    • In 2018, Utah voters made adults with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level eligible for Medicaid – a federal-state health insurance program for low-income individuals and those with disabilities. The state Legislature applied to the federal government for waivers to lower the income limit to 100% of the federal poverty level, which curtailed the expansion voters approved............

     
    Dave the number of registered Rs removed was less than 200,000. Seems pretty fishy. 🤷‍♀️
    I think the original tweet misrepresented the numbers. It appears as though it was 900,000 (approximately) in total. It breaks down as 153,000 republicans, 467,00 democrats, and the rest unaffiliated with any party.

    Also, much more importantly, they were not removed from the rolls. The number of active voters dropped by around 900,000. An active voter is one that has had some contact with elections officials (including voting). Inactive voters are still registered voters.
     
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has upheld as constitutional provisions of the sweeping election law that Ohio put in place last year, rejecting a Democratic law firm's challenge to strict new photo ID requirements, drop box restrictions and tightened deadlines related to absentee and provisional ballots.

    In a ruling issued Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Nugent determined that the state's new photo ID requirement “imposes no more than a minimal burden, if any, for the vast majority of voters."

    Nugent also rejected the other claims asserted by the Elias Law Group, whose suit filed last year on behalf of groups representing military veterans, teachers, retirees and the homeless argued the law imposed "needless and discriminatory burdens” on the right to vote.

    The suit was filed the same day Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the legislation over the objections of voting rights, labor, environmental and civil rights groups that had been pleading for a veto.

    The judge wrote that voters have no constitutional right to a mail-in voting option — or, for that matter, early voting — at all. He added that Ohio's new schedule for obtaining and returning absentee ballots remains more generous than 30 other states.

    He said the claim that limiting ballot drop boxes to a single location harmed voters was misplaced, because the 2023 law was the state's first to even allow them.

    While that was true, Republican lawmakers' decision to codify a single-drop box limit per county followed a yearslong battle over the issue.

    In the run-up to the 2020 election, three courts scolded Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose for issuing an order setting the single-box limit, calling it unreasonable and arbitrary. Democrats and voting rights groups had sought for drop boxes to be set up at multiple locations, particularly in populous counties, to ease voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

    In a 2020 lawsuit filed by Democrats, a state appellate court ultimately ruled that LaRose had the power to expand the number of drop boxes without further legislative authorization, but that he didn't have to. In codifying his single-box limit, the 2023 law addressed the issue for the first time.

    But Nugent said opponents of the law failed to make a persuasive case.

    “Put simply, Plaintiffs did not provide evidence that the drop-box rules of HB 458 imposed any burden on Ohio voters, much less an ‘undue’ one,” he wrote...........

     
    They really need to change the term Absentee voting. But regardless, Rs hate it because it gives disadvataged people a chance to vote, and its usually minorities. If you have no mode of transportation and no money, you are usually SOL when it comes to vote. that is why they hate people who go around and give people free rides to the polls.
    They hate the disabled, the poor and the elderly. Some of these folks live in areas where they can ride the bus for free, or reduced fares all year. But in Indiana, Republicans don't want them to on election day only.

     
    lol. This is rich. Until the case became public, they refused to comment on the facts of the case, just referenced it as proof that there was election fraud. Turns out to be an error rather than fraud that benefited Trump more than Biden.

    “Virginia conservatives have pointed to the prosecution of Prince William County’s former top election official for allegedly fudging 2020 vote counts as the strongest evidence available that fraud was a real concern in the last presidential contest.

    On Thursday, after the case against former Registrar Michele White was dropped, the county’s elections office revealed that the tabulation errors actually worked in favor of former President Donald Trump.

    In a statement, the Prince William elections office said Trump received 2,327 more votes in the county than he should have, and President Joe Biden was “shorted” 1,648 votes. The swing of a few thousand votes did not affect the overall outcome of the race in Virginia, where Biden won by more than 450,000 votes.”

     
    what is the protocol is the missing votes would have flipped the state?, and the state would have flipped the election?

    What if in Spring 2001 it was discovered that All Gore was shorted 4K votes Florida and should have won the state, and therefore the presidency?

    What then?

    Is it President Gore? Or Too late, Too bad, so sad?
    ================================

    A week after charges were dropped against a former election chief in Virginia, county officials have now admitted they underreported roughly 4,000 votes in the 2020 election for now-President Joe Biden.

    Biden won the state of Virginia against then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 race by nearly a half-million votes, so the errors, the Prince William County Office of Elections said in an official statement, were ultimately inconsequential.

    In its statement this month, the county office for elections explained: “The reporting errors were presumably a consequence of the results tapes not being programmed to a format that was compatible with state reporting requirements. Attempts to correct this issue appear to have created errors. The reporting errors did not consistently favor one party or candidate but were likely due to a lack of proper planning, a difficult election environment, and human error.”

    The admission of the discrepancy arrives a little more than a week after Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, a Republican, dropped a misdemeanor charge for willful neglect against Michele White, the onetime Prince William County registrar and election chief.

    White was indicted and accused of lying in 2022 for felony corruption and making a false statement in addition to the misdemeanor charge. She had resigned roughly a year before her indictment.

    Miyares dropped the felony charges against White in December 2023 after prosecutors noted that a key witness opted to change their account. Publicly, details underlying the allegations against White have always been vague, the Washington Post reported on Jan. 3 and on Dec. 2.

    White was on track to face trial before the charges were dropped. Her attorney, Zachary Stafford, told NBC that allegations she was responsible for inaccurate counting in Prince William County were disproved by pretrial statements from a government witness. Stafford called White a “scapegoat.”

    “The board certified incorrect results and they, and the attorney general’s office, attempted to assign blame to Ms. White for their mistakes,” Stafford said in a written statement to NBC.

    As for the Prince William County Office of Elections, officials there said in their final assessment of the 2020 presidential, House and Senate races, they discovered:

    • Joe Biden was “shorted” 1,648 votes
    • Donald Trump “incorrectly received” an extra 2,327 votes
    • Both U.S. Senate candidates for Virginia, Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Daniel Gade, a Republican “received too few votes by 1,589 and 107 respectively” though Warner won the race by more than 500,000 votes

    • House of Representatives candidate Rob Wittman, a Republican, was “shorted 293 votes but won by more than 80,000 votes”
    NBC also reported that Prince William County registrar Eric Olsen said most errors occurred in “split precincts,” or areas where a precinct is split into two congressional districts..........

     
    Since someone on here recently mentioned voting integrity/security in another topic.

    Here is a roundup of all the recent voter suppression laws under the disguise of "voting integrity"

    (also anyone find it ironic that whenever they DO find people who did commit voting fraud, it is overwhelmingly those in favor of republicans?)
     
    Also, lets not forget DeJoy (who was a huge GOP donor and fundraiser) and got rewarded with a cushy job as USPS postmaster general. And coincidentally RIGHT before the last election started, he started to put into place a bunch of 'cost cutting' measures that totally was not targeted at mail-in voting. It just all happened to begin right around the time when elections were starting to take place.


    The policies include eliminating overtime for postal workers, limiting the number of mail trucks, and removing hundreds of sorting machines from postal facilities, including those in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida. DeJoy also implemented a major restructuring of the Postal Service that, according to the Washington Post, “deemphasizes decades’ worth of institutional postal knowledge” and “centralizes power around DeJoy.” These abrupt changes have led to delays in the delivery of everything from paychecks to prescriptions. There’s also widespread concern that these delays could interfere with the November election, when a record number of people are expected to vote by mail due to the pandemic.
     

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