Getting the inside scoop on voter suppression

The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation explains the methods the Right is using to suppress the vote under the guise of preventing non-existent “voter fraud.” It also shows the disproportionate effects that this has on minorities and other vulnerable populations. We’ve continued to highlight a national trend toward massive disenfranchisement, such as requests for citizenship data to purge the voting rolls and voter ID.

Last Thursday a Heritage Foundation panel discussion featured people who are leading the charge.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler:

DOJ again rejects South Carolina voter ID

On June 29, the Department of Justice for the second time declined to approve South Carolina’s voter ID law, HB 3003, originally sponsored by ALEC member Alan Clemmons. State Attorney General Alan Wilson sued the federal government after DOJ first rejected the law last year. The trial has been set for September 24. With that late date, the law is unlikely to be in effect by November.

UPDATE: Voter suppression’s on the menu in Michigan

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.

House votes to slam courthouse doors shut to immigration cases

Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arizona v. United States, a case that will examine key provisions of Arizona’s infamous and draconian immigration law, SB 1070. Sponsored by ALEC member and former Senate President Russell Pearce, and several others with ALEC ties, SB 1070 was developed in close consultation with ALEC and now stands as one of its model bills.

The Department of Justice argues that Arizona unconstitutionally usurped the federal government’s role in enforcing immigration law. PFAW and other opponents cite evidence of wrongful arrests, racial profiling, and discrimination, especially against Latinos and other minorities.

Now efforts are being made in to block court challenges to SB 1070 and similar laws in other states. On May 9, the US House passed Amendment 1063 by a 238-173 vote.

The Right to Vote under Attack: Latest News from the States

Voter suppression’s on the menu in Michigan

Last month we reported on the citizenship question that came up during Michigan’s primary. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for voter suppression in the Great Lakes State.

Think you can help people register to vote? Tell that to Florida and South Carolina.

Last year Florida passed HB 1355, or what’s commonly referred to by voting rights advocates as the “Voter Suppression Act” for its disenfranchising impacts, including its reduction of early voting hours and its harsh new restrictions on community groups seeking to help register voters – restrictions that caused the Florida League of Women Voters to drop its registration efforts. DOJ concerns have been filed as part of ongoing litigation. (Click here for more from the Brennan Center.)

Stephen Colbert shed light on the part of the Florida law that mandates community groups turn in voter registration forms within 48 hours of completion, instead of the previous 10 days, and attaches a fine for non-compliance. The Colbert piece features Representative Rich Glorioso, who attended last year’s ALEC meeting. Representative Dennis Baxley, the bill’s lead sponsor, also has ties to ALEC.

Black Thought: My Journey with Barack Obama

“You know, they said this day would never come,” Barack
Obama stated in his speech when he won Iowa
earlier this month. This morning, the Senator from Chicago
has won South Carolina
by 55% of the vote--BLACK. I have dedicated this year to learning more about
this man, that Caroline Kennedy-the Kennedy’s have endorsed this morning. I now