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Last May, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed SB 14 into law. An ALEC award-winner himself, Governor Perry had the support of several ALEC members and others who pushed the legislation. Together they made Texas a photo ID state.
Then the DOJ issued an official objection that stopped the law from going into effect, saying that it disproportionately affects Hispanic voters. Not only is Texas defending the law but Attorney General Greg Abbott has amended the state’s complaint with a direct challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The AG has also dropped his objection to taking depositions from state lawmakers.
Though it remains tied up in court, the effects of the law have already been felt statewide, especially surrounding the May 29 primary. KSAT:
Last May, Wisconsin Governor and ALEC Alum Scott Walker signed Act 23 (aka AB 7), a voter ID law that also counts ALEC affiliated legislators among its sponsors. Thanks to the NAACP/Voces and LWV court challenges, voters in Tuesday’s recall election were not legally required to produce ID in order to vote – but that doesn’t mean Election Day was problem free.
UPDATE: The Michigan House has voted a trio of voter suppression bills out of committee, sending them to the floor for votes expected in the coming week. The bills have already passed the Senate and could soon go before Governor Rick Snyder. Part of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s so-called Secure and Fair Elections package, they echo the nationwide attack on the right to vote. A fourth (House Bill 5061) is moving in the Senate.
Last week, Judge Robert Hinkle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida issued an injunction blocking most of the worst provisions of HB 1355. While the litigation proceeds, community groups are set to resume their voter registration efforts. The League of Women Voters of Florida and Rock the Vote will be back in business as soon as they register with the state.
UPDATE: What we expected has come to pass: Secretary of State Ken Detzner has officially responded to the Department of Justice, indicating that the voter purge will continue, throwing his own accusations back at DOJ, and giving them a deadline of June 11 to respond. A legal battle is indeed looming.
An election modernization bill (H 4139) intended to "strengthen vote-counting and voter registration processes" has passed the Massachusetts House, in stark contrast with attacks on voting rights dominating the news in many other states.
News out of Florida this morning suggests that, despite a warning from the Department of Justice, Governor Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner will proceed, and possibly expand, their sweeping effort to purge voters from the rolls.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota along with the League of Women Voters Minnesota, Common Cause Minnesota, Jewish Community Action, and five Minnesota voters have challenged an amendment to the Minnesota constitution (HF 2738, sponsored by ALEC State Chairwoman Mary Kiffmeyer) because it would confuse some voters into believing that prohibited forms of identification, such as student or company ID, would be accepted. The plaintiffs argue that the amendment is “misleading and false” because the ballot language references “valid photo identification” while the amendment uses the phrase “government-issued.”