Democracy Dispatches

Democracy Dispatches tracks and analyzes democracy issues in the United States. This publication provides readers with access to topical news stories, incisive commentary and an informative blog responding to current events. This publication is authored by Demos, a national, non-partisan public policy group committed to creating a just, inclusive polity and society.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Letter to Secretary of State Ken Blackwell: Ohio Noncompliant with Voter Registration Law; State in Legal Hot Water

05/18/2006

This past Friday, May 12, 2006, the National Voting Rights Institute (NVRI) along with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Project Vote, and Dechert LLP, sent a Notice Letter to Secretary of State Ken Blackwell on behalf of Ohio ACORN, notifying Blackwell of Ohio's widespread non-compliance with the public assistance provisions of the National Voter Registration Act. The letter is intended to provide the Secretary of State with a final opportunity to bring Ohio into compliance before the initiation of litigation to enforce the law. You can access the letter here...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

More Than Just Semantics

05/16/2006

By its title alone the Associated Press newswire, 55,000 Illegal Entries Scrubbed from Database, is likely to evoke ominous images of 55,000 fraudulent voters on Washington's voter lists. But, according to this press release from the Secretary of State, Sam Reed, the 55,000 "illegal votes" reported by the AP (and picked up by numerous state and local papers in Washington State) were actually 55,000 "invalid voter registration records," a small but significant distinction.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

CA Voters Support an Independent Redistricting Commission

05/16/2006

Common Cause reports in their blog today that most California voters support independent redistricting over legislative redistricting -- even those who soundly rejected Proposition 77. 49 percent of those surveyed said it is "very important" that commission membership is racially and ethnically diverse.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Election Law on VRA Renewal

05/16/2006

Rick Hasen has assembled an impressive array of guest bloggers -- legal scholars Dan Tokaji, Heather Gerken, Mike Pitts, and Guy Charles -- to discuss VRA renewal on his Election Law blog.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Update: Missouri Legislature Passes Regressive ID Law

05/15/2006

Late Friday evening, the Missouri legislature passed SB1014, a bill that requires voters to show state-issued photo ID.

According to this report, Republican lawmakers relied on a seldom-used legislative procedure to cut-off debate and dissent on the bill:

...[CLick on link to read entire entry]

Chief Election Official Urges Missouri Governor to Restrictive ID Measure

05/12/2006

Missouri Secretary of State of Robin Carnahan, the chief election official in the state, has sent this letter to Governor Matt Blunt over a new photo ID bill that is currently making its way through the Missouri legislature.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Tennessee Bill Will Ease Rights Restoration for Formerly Incarcerated

05/12/2006

The Tennessee House of Representatives has passed a bill that somewhat eases the voting rights restoration process for the formerly incarcerated. The Senate already passed the bill last year. The sponsors of the bill have argued that the current restoration process in Tennessee is cumbersome and depends too much on each individual's circumstances and on the year in which their crime was committed.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Interesting Exchange on Vote By Mail

05/11/2006

Vote by mail shows some promise around increasing voter participation, but raises serious challenges around fraud, minority voting rights, and financially equitable campaigns. That's a brief summary of the American Prospect's online exchange about vote by mail, posted yesterday.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Election Day Registration Stalled Again in Vermont

05/11/2006

The Vermont House has ordered its EDR bill to lie, meaning that it probably won't be voted on before the end of the current session. Unfortunately, many town clerks oppose the bill.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Groups Sue Arizona Over Prop. 200

05/10/2006

Several Latino advocacy groups have filed suit in federal court requesting that Prop. 200 -- a burdensome new law requiring all voters to show proof of citizenship upon registration and proof of identity at the polls -- be declared unconstitutional.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Demos and National Voting Rights Institute Sign Affiliation Agreement

05/09/2006

Demos and the Boston-based National Voting Rights Institute have just issued apress release announcing that they have signed an affiliation agreement. Working in tandem, the organizations hope to leverage their combined research, advocacy and litigation efforts to improve America's democracy.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Republicans Propose Independent Redistricting Commish in Ohio

05/05/2006

Redistricting reform is back in Ohio, and this time it's House Republicans who are proposing an independent redistricting commission (IRC), even though they strongly opposed Reform Ohio Now's IRC initiative six months ago.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Felon Disfranchisment Cases Denied, But Look for Silver Lining

05/05/2006

The Second Circuit denied relief in both of the felon disfranchisement cases, Muntaqim v. Pataki and Hayden v. Pataki. In Hayden, the majority of the en banc court said that the Voting Rights Act does not apply to a claim that felon disfranchisement laws are discriminatory. They say Congress would not have intended to allow such a claim under the VRA, even though the language of the VRA is very broad.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

More Anti-Immigrant Apportionment Rhetoric in Montana

05/04/2006

Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana) is the latest to call for restricting those counted for the purposes of Congressional apportionment to citizens only. Burns argues it isn't fair that immigrant-heavy states gain more representation in Congress at the expense of others.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Noncitizen Voting Passed in MA

05/03/2006

On Monday, the Massachusetts town of Wayland passed an article allowing legal noncitizen residents to vote in local elections. They become the third municipality in Massachusetts to do so, following Amherst and Cambridge.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

DOJ Sues Alabama for HAVA Noncompliance

05/02/2006

Yesterday, Alabama became the second state sued by the Department of Justice for failure to comply with HAVA. The DOJ charges that Alabama has failed to implement a statewide voter registration database, as HAVA requires, and that the state has not even selected a vendor to begin the database process.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Yet Another Reason to Oppose Photo ID for Voting

05/01/2006

The Associated Press reports that the Department of Health and Senior Services is experiencing a six-month backlog in processing thousands of birth certificates in the state of Missouri. The article highlights the potential problems this creates for a new, state-issued photo ID requirement that is currently making its way through Missouri's legislature. A snippet:

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Mid-Decade Redistricting Proposed in FL

4/28/06

Perhaps inspired by Tom DeLay, commissioners in Broward County, Florida are considering mid-decade redistricting.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Michigan Supreme Court to Rule on Photo ID

04/27/2006

The Michigan Supreme Court has said that it will issue an advisory opinion relating to a ten-year old photo ID law that was never implemented in the state.

Nine years ago, former State Attorney General Frank Kelley ruled that Michigan's photo ID law violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But the issue was recently revived after Republican lawmakers passed a resolution asking the Supreme Court to issue an opinion on the law

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

The REAL story: No Double Voters

04/24/2006

The Associated Press this story which reports that, "Kentucky elections officials found 16,000 registered voters who now live in two other Southern states." It goes on to say that these duplicate registrations "can leave the system open to voter fraud."

But the real story here is that two election officials -- including Sarah Ball Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Elections -- say that no one voted in more than one state in the same election.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Carter's Letter on Missouri's Restrictive ID Bill

04/19/2006

The Associated Press has this report relating to a letter sent by President Jimmy Carter expressing his reservations about Missouri's restrictive voter ID bill, SB1014. The article, "GOP says Carnahan misled on Carter concerns on voter ID," focuses on Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office's request that Carter release a letter expressing his concerns about the ID bill, and giving him a draft letter to edit and sign for this purpose.

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Connections between Economic and Political Inequality

04/19/2006

Bradford Plumer writes an important article on Tom Paine about the ties between economic and political inequality. Recent research shows that between 1989 and 1994, when Democrats controlled Congress, the Senate was more responsive to the concerns of the wealthy and...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

President Carter Has Problems With Missouri's Restrictive ID Bill

04/19/2006

The Associated Press has this report relating to a letter sent by President Jimmy Carter expressing his reservations about Missouri's restrictive voter ID...

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Report Finds "Few Instances" of Voter Fraud in New Hampshire

04/14/2006

Yesterday, April 13, the New Hampshire Senate passed a voter ID bill that would severely restrict ballot access for many of the state's eligible voters. However, the Portsmouth Herald reports that Gov. Lynch is likely to veto the legislation.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Filling Commissioner Martinez's Shoes

04/11/2006

Yesterday, Commissioner Ray Martinez resigned his post on the Election Assistance Commission.

In his two and half years as a Commissioner, Martinez has been a strong advocate for improving the administration...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Publius Sparks Controversy

04/11/2006

The ACLU has sent this letter to the US Department of Justice, arguing that Hans von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department lawyer, was biased in favor of Georgia's controversial ID law. The letter came after Rick Hasen...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

What Makes a Woman-Friendly District?

04/10/2006

Two political scientists, Dennis Simon and Barbara Palmer, take a look at why there are so few women in Congress in their new book, Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling.

Their findings are not all that surprising. White women elected to the House on th....

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Vermont Secretary of State Supports Election Day Registration (EDR)

04/05/2006

Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz advocates on behalf of the state's Election Day Registration (EDR) bill in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus. She argues that EDR is likely to increase voter participation in the state...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Lively Debate on Non-Citizen Voting

03/30/2006

We've had a good deal of feedback -- both positive and negative -- about our recent publication of Ron Hayduk's op-ed on non-citizen voting (Democracy Dispatches 67), and have been asked for more discussion about the issue, including presenters who do not agree with Hayduk's position.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Good News for Felon Enfranchisement in WA

03/28/2006

Washington state disfranchises felons in prison, on probation, and on parole, but a judge there decided yesterday that formerly incarcerated felons who still owe court-imposed fines must be allowed to vote.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

The New York Times in Support of Felon Voting Rights

03/27/2006

An editorial in Saturday's New York Times highlights the recent study done by Demos, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Legal Action Center showing that nearly one-third of New York's county boards of elections are misinforming people with criminal convictions about their eligibility to vote.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Florida IRC Initiative Barred from Ballot

03/23/2006

The Florida Supreme Court has just ruled that an independent redistricting initiative cannot appear on November's ballot because of a rule stating that an initiative may only be about a single subject.

... [Clink on link to read entire entry]

Demos OpEd on Young Voters

03/23/2006

Tamara Draut, director of Demos' Economic Opportunity Program, writes about the economic issues that young voters are struggling with, and how politicians need to address these issues in order to win over this powerful voting block...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Promising Youth Voter Registration Strategies Chosen

03/23/2006

Yesterday the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University announced the winners of the first competition for innovative non-partisan strategies to register young voters. Winning organizations include Music for America, the National Council of La Raza,...

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Forum in NYC

03/21/2006

Tomorrow, voting rights activists and community leaders will gather in New York for a Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Forum with speakers from organizations including People for the American Way, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educucation Fund...

... [Click link to read entire entry]

Vermont EDR Bill Gains House Approval

03/17/2006

Yesterday, members of the Vermont House gave preliminary approval to their state's EDR proposal. EDR could potentially make electoral participation much easier for residents of Vermont. But it is disturbing to note that...

...[Click link to read entire entry]

New Survey Finds Misinformation About Voter Eligibility Rampant in New York State

03/16/2006

Yesterday, Demos participated in a press conference with the Brennan Center for Justice, Legal Action Center and several New York State lawmakers to release a new survey showing that one-third of New York State's 63 local boards of elections are systematically and unlawfully disfranchising potentially thousands of eligible citizens involved with the criminal justice system.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Demos and NVRI Push for Full Implementation of NVRA Provisions

03/15/2006

On Monday, Demos' NVRA Implementation Project presented testimony in front of the Connecticut General Assembly's Government Administration and Elections Committee on H.B. 5775: An Act Strengthening the Provisions of the National Voter Registration Act.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Prop. 200's Impact Underestimated

03/15/2006

The Arizona Republic reports that the new ID requirements mandated by Prop. 200 caused few problems in Arizona's most recent elections. While we're glad that preliminary reports show that the new ID requirements didn't cause too many problems at the polls, this...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

Ohio Voters Support Competitive Elections

03/13/2006

According to a new poll about redistricting from the Reform Institute (conducted by the Tarrance Group), 70% of Ohio voters support either "balance" or "competition" in congressional and state legislative elections.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Sasha Abramsky on Felony Disfranchisement

03/08/2006

Today's Baltimore Sun features a thought-provoking Op-Ed from Demos Fellow and author Sasha Abramsky on felony disfranchisement policy and its effects on civic life.

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Anti-Immigrant Apportionment Resolution Moving in OH

03/08/2006

The issue of non-citizens and congressional apportionment (see earlier developments in Dispatches here) has reared its head again in Ohio, where yesterday the state House Rules and Reference Committee approved a resolution urging Congres...

...[Click on link to read entire entry]

ACLU Launches VRA Campaign

03/08/2006

The ACLU has launched a campaign to urge Congress to renew the expiring sections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The campaign, Every Voice. Every Vote. Renew the Voting Rights Act, was launched to coincide with the 41st anniversary of the Bloody Sunday...

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Brennan Center Releases New Report

03/07/2006

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law has just released a new report entitled "Making the List: Database Matching and Verification Processes for Voter Registration."

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Judicial Selection Symposium in New York

03/07/2006

On April 7, Fordham University School of Law in New York will host Rethinking Judicial Selection: A Critical Appraisal of Appointive Selection for State Court Judges. Panelists will include professors of law and political science, judges, and practitioners...

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Federal Redistricting Reform Bill Gains Senate Sponsor

03/07/2006

The Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act (HR 2642), introduced in the House by Representative John Tanner (D-Tenn), has gained a lead sponsor in the Senate...

... [Clcik on link to read entire entry]

The Right to Private Voter Registration Drives Upheld in GA

03/06/2006

On Thursday, a federal district judge approved a consent decree in a Georgia lawsuit challenging that state's noncompliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

... [Click on link to read entire entry]

Sunday, April 02, 2006

DOJ Sues New York State

03/01/2006

The Department of Justice has filed suit against New York State for violating HAVA. The suit alleges that New York has failed to comply with HAVA mandates to implement voting systems that are fully accessible by people with disabilities and that can be manually audited.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Supreme Court Hears Important Campaign Finance Case

02/28/2006

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this week on the constitutionality of Vermont's campaign spending limit law. The High Court's decision will have serious implications for the future of campaign finance laws and spending limits as the NY Times reports...

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Iowa Republicans Try to Undo Voting Rights Restoration

02/24/2006

In Iowa, a House panel voted to reverse Gov. Vilsack's executive order restoring voting rights to more than 80,000 formerly incarcerated Iowans.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Republican Support for Redistricting in FL

02/24/2006

As reported a few weeks ago in Dispatches, although Governor Jeb Bush opposes redistricting reform in Florida, he gave money to the Proposition 77 redistricting initiative in California. Today's Tampa Tribune explains the rationale behind Bush's action...

... [Click here to read entire entry]

EDR and Literacy

02/22/2006

A letter to the Barre Montpelier Times Argus makes a compelling argument to support Vermont's EDR proposal.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Disfranchisement of Parolees in CT

02/17/2006

A new briefing sheet from the Sentencing Project examines felon disfranchisement laws in Connecticut, where voting rights are not restored until the completion of parole.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Looking Back and Looking Forward -- Election Reform Highlights

02/13/2006

The National Association of Secretaries of State finished up its bi-annual conference last Monday. Among other issues, the agenda included discussions about requiring photo ID at the state and national level, the voting problems faced by displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina, and reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Randall v. Sorrell Resource Page

02/13/2006

The National Voting Rights Institute (NVRI) has an excellent resource on Randall v. Sorrell, its pending Supreme Court case. The oral arguments are scheduled for later this month.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Gov. Bush Opposes Redistricting in FL

02/07/2006

Florida Governor Jeb Bush has attacked his state's independent redistricting initiative, describing it as a partisan drive by out-of-state groups--two charges that helped bring down the recent redistricting initiative in Ohio.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Demos on Voter ID in NH

02/07/2006

Ludovic Blain, Associate Director of the Democracy Program at Demos, speaks out against voter ID and efforts to weaken EDR in New Hampshire--in the Concord Monitor here.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Multilingual Ballots Under Attack

02/06/2006

On Friday, 56 U.S. House members (all but one Republicans) sent a letter to Judiciary Committee Chair James Sensenbrenner saying that the Voting Rights Act requirement for multilingual ballots should not be renewed.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

More Onerous ID Bills

02/02/2006

The New Hampshire House has passed three bills that will make it more difficult for Granite State voters to register and cast ballots. One measure requires voters to produce a government-issued ID or sign an affidavit...

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Who Draws the Lines? Conference on Redistricting

01/30/2006

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law's Center for Civil Rights will host, "Who Draws the Lines? The Consequences of Redistricting Reform for Minority Voters," on February 3, 2006.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

GA ID Bill Signed

01/26/2006

Late this morning Gov. Sonny Perdue signed Georgia's onerous photo ID provision into law. The bill was a slightly modified version of another that was passed last year by Georgia's Legislature, HB 244, which was blocked by a US Circuit Court in Rome, GA, after the court equated the bill to a poll tax.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

News on Campaign Finance Supreme Court Case

01/23/2006

Rick Hasen's Election Law blog has some analysis of the latest development in Wisconsin Right to Life, a campaign finance cas currently before the Supreme Court.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Apportionment and Immigrant Bashing

01/23/2006

A columnist for the Houston Chronicle takes on the issue of congressional apportionment (discussed last week in Dispatches), arguing that the move to count only citizens for reapportionment is thinly-veiled immigrant bashing.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Cox Votes in Favor of Georgia ID Bill's Defense

01/20/2006

An interesting snippet from Georgia where Gov. Sonny Perdue, a proponent of the state's controversial photo ID law, turned down Secretary of State Cathy Cox's request to cover the legal costs to defend it.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Growing Attack on Congressional Apportionment Method

01/20/2006

Redistricting reform may have gone down in flames at the ballot box in Ohio in November, but Republican Speaker of the House Jon Husted is more concerned right now with the issue of Congressional representation and the fact that Ohio is expected to lose a few seats after the 2010 census.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Bad Bills in NH Set for Wednesday Vote

01/17/2006

Legislators in New Hampshire will vote Wednesday on several unnecessary bills: one introducing a photo ID requirement; another bill to put citizenship information on driver's licenses; and a third bill that violates a voter's right to privacy by tagging EDR ballots.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Georgia ID Bill Set for Vote

01/12/2006

The revised, but still severely flawed, version of Georgia's photo ID bill is set for a vote in the House today.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

New GA ID Bill Not an Improvement

01/10/2006

The Georgia House Governmental Affairs Committee approved a revised voter ID bill yesterday.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

WI Gubernatorial Candidate Opposes EDR

01/09/2006

Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker wants to repeal EDR. He imagines this would provide relief for what he sees as "overwhelmed" poll workers on Election Day. But the truth is, election administrators in EDR states love EDR...

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Bad Bill in New Hampshire Set for Vote

01/04/2006

New Hampshire's House of Representatives is set to vote today on HB501, a bill that would require voters to prove citizenship and residency before being given a ballot. A package of equally restrictive election bills are being considered...

... [Click above to read entire entry]

EDR Debate Postponed in VT

01/04/2006

Town clerks in Vermont have persuaded the House to postpone debate about the state's Election Day Registration bill until March.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Regressive New Election Laws in FL

01/03/2006

The new year brings new election laws to many states. Unfortunately, Florida is taking a step backwards by reducing early voting hours (despite the fact that 20% of registered voters in Florida took advantage of early voting in 2004).

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Call for Voter ID in Michigan

12/29/2005

A contested mayoral election in Detroit has spurred a call for election reform in the Motor City. Unfortunately, the suggestions from defeated candidate Freman Hendrix, backed here by the Detroit News, are the same old bad news...

... [Read entire entry]

Reason Gone Mad

12/29/2005

American Democracy meets The People -- and The People demand better -- in this topical skit by humorist Bill Shein.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Will the Grinch Steal Democracy?

12/28/2005

The Century Foundation's Tova Wang has just released The Worst and Best of Election Reform 2005. "So many grinches this year," she writes. "Who-ville is more worried than ever about its democracy." Read the full analysis here.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

19 States Won't Meet HAVA Deadline

12/22/2005

The National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) has released the results of a recent survey of states' compliance with HAVA deadlines. NASS found that while 24 states will meet the January 1, 2006 deadline, 19 states will not.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Democracy Colloquium in NYC

12/21/2005

New Democracy Project is hosting a New York City colloquium, Saving Our Democracy, on January 21. Co-sponsored by Demos, People for the American Way and the Nation, panels include "Let's Count Every Vote: After Florida and Ohio"; "Corporate Government: Public Power in Private Hands", among others.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Bad ruling in CT regarding EDR

12/21/2005

A federal judge has ruled that the legislature, and not the courts, should decide whether voters can register and vote on Election Day. Two Connecticut voters, along with the Connecticut Working Families Party, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, and several other organizations had filed suit, arguing that...

... [Click above to read entire entry]

The Supreme Court and Partisan Gerrymandering

12/20/2005

In a recent Slate commentary, Rick Hasen points out that if the Supreme Court rules broadly against a partisan gerrymander in Texas, then Democratic gerrymanders will also be fair game. However, the Supreme Court could decide the Texas redistricting case in a variety of ways, ruling instead that...

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Competition for Innovations in Youth Voter Registration

12/16/2005

George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) has announced a competition to promote innovations in nonpartisan voter registration among young people 18-29.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Absentee Voting and the Military

12/16/2005

Paul Gronke has a discussion about problems with absentee voting by the military in his Earlyvoting blog, here.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Iraqi Ex-pats Face Voting Challenges

12/15/2005

Iraqis voted today to fill the 275-seat Council of Representatives, a body that will replace the interim National Assembly chosen on January 30. NPR's morning edition had this interesting report on the 300,000 + Iraqis in the U.S.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Brennan Center Analysis of Fraud Allegations in New Jersey

12/15/2005

The Brennan Center has found serious factual and methodological errors in a report about voter fraud submitted to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office in September.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Varying Reactions in TX to Redistricting Case

12/15/2005

It comes as no surprise that the Texas redistricting case is being debated all over the Lone Star State. In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, columnist Linda Campbell anticipates that the Supreme Court will decide that mid-decade redistricting is a "house of straw... "

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Online Voter Registration Proposed in WA

12/15/2005

Washington's Secretary of State, Sam Reed, has proposed a system of online voter registration. Some lawmakers are skeptical, but Reed argues that Washington's new statewide voter database would simplify the process...

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Ohio House nixes ID bill... for now

12/15/2005

Good news about voter ID in Ohio.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Campaign Finance Reform and Minority Candidates

12/15/2005

Campaign finance reform can level the playing field for people of color running for office, according to this op-ed.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Supreme Court to Review Texas Redistricting

12/13/2005

On Monday, the Supreme Court announced it would review the Texas mid-decade redistricting plan.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Voter ID Bills Move Ahead

12/13/2005

Voter ID bills in Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania all seem to be gathering steam. Ohio's HB 3, an onerous election bill that contains a provision requiring all voters to present ID, has already passed the House and was just reported out of the Senate Rules Committee last week.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Says Fraud Not Prevented by ID

12/09/2005

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has this editorial decrying "hype" over rampant voter fraud and trying to shift legislators' focus from photo ID legislation to the real problems with elections, which "stem from shortage of workers, lack of training, clerical snafus and other bureaucratic failings, not wide-scale fraud."

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Gov. Bush Tries to Speed Florida's Review Process

12/08/2005

Gov. Jeb Bush has said he would appropriate an additional $1.8 million to speed up the review process of the formerly incarcerated who seek to have their voting rights restored.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

CT Governor Signs Campaign Finance Bill into Law

12/08/2005

Yesterday, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell signed the sweeping campaign finance reform bill passed by the legislature last week, saying, "By signing this bill into law today, perhaps we can ignite another revolution - perhaps we can revolutionize our system of elections and how they are financed."

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Non-Citizens and Apportionment

12/07/2005

Non-citizens shouldn't be counted when drawing Congressional districts, argues Rep. Candace Miller (R-Mich), who has proposed amending the Constitution to achieve this goal.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

No Fraud Conspiracy in Wisconsin

12/06/2005

A probe into allegations of fraud in Wisconsin by U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic (a Republican) and Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann (a Democrat) has found no evidence of a widespread conspiracy to influence the 2004 presidential election.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Campaign Finance Reform Panel in DC

12/06/2005

On Friday, a group of bipartisan election experts convened by the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, and the chair and vice-chair of the FEC will discuss the need for campaign finance reform for presidential elections in DC.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Redistricting Reform is not

12/06/2005

A former member of Florida's House of Representatives argues that redistricting reform is "offensive to our representative form of government" because members of independent redistricting commissions (IRCs), such as the one being proposed for Florida, are not elected by the people.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

Voter ID does not Prevent Fraud

12/05/2005

In both Nevada and New Mexico, candidates for Secretary of State are using voter ID proposals as platforms for improving the integrity of elections. Yet almost no evidence has ever been produced that ID would actually prevent fraud.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

NY Times on the Department of Justice

12/05/2005


The New York Times published this editorial lambasting what some have viewed as the politicization of the DOJ.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Op-Ed Opposing Voter ID Proposal in Alabama

12/05/2005

Wendy Weiser, an attorney with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and D'Linell Finley, a political science professor at the University of Auburn, weigh in with this opinion piece in the Mobile Register on photo ID proposals in Alabama.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

A Swing and a Miss

12/01/2005


As reported in an earlier post, the Washington State GOP challenged almost 2000 voter registration applications prior to the November elections, claiming that they were invalid. Not surprisingly the GOP challenges were entirely focused on heavily Democratic King County, where Seattle is located.

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Specter and the Civil Rights Division

12/01/2005


Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) sent this letter to Attorney General Gonzales after a Washington Post article reported an exodus of career prosecutors, and a 40 percent decline in the number of Civil Rights Division prosecutions at the Justice Department.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

CT Passes Campaign Finance Overhaul

12/01/2005

Late last night Connecticut's legislature passed a sweeping overhaul of its campaign finance regulations.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

One of the ways the US decides an election: the coin toss

11/24/2005

At least three elections were decided by a coin toss in the most recent round of elections. In Utah and North Carolina town council seats were decided by flipping a coin after the candidates received equal numbers of votes.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

Missouri, the DOJ and Bad Voter Lists

11/29/2005


The U.S. Justice Department has sued Missouri and its Secretary of State Robin Carnahan for allegedly failing to properly follow NVRA-mandated purging procedures.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

The drumbeat of voter fraud in Washington continues

11/22/2005


A new article, GOP finds hundreds of bad voter addresses, reveals yet another spurious GOP claim of voter fraud in Washington State.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

Hurricane Katrina's impact on voting

11/21/2005


A transcript is now available of the Center for American Progress' recent event, "Voting after Katrina: Ensuring Meaningful Participation."

... [Click above to read entire entry]

Noncitizen voting in New York

11/18/2005

The Queens Tribune in New York offers a piece on the arguments for and against noncitizen voting in local elections, which is being hotly debated right now in New York City.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

No-excuse absentee balloting in MA

11/21/2005


In Massachusetts, the Secretary of State has spoken in favor of no-excuse absentee voting; the article also notes that he supports a bill that would implement a study of EDR, but was less inclined to support early voting.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

EDR discussed in New Mexico

11/17/2005


In New Mexico, the Election Reform Task Force recently discussed Election Day Registration.


... [Click above to read entire entry]

Gerrymandering is indefensible

11/17/2005


The Orlando Sentinel offers an op-ed in defense of gerrymandering that attacks the bipartisan proposal for an IRC in Florida and claims, "As unseemly as gerrymandering is, it has never been able to stop voters from electing whom they want for representation."


... [Click above to read entire entry]