Tag Archives: voting

TX: Federal court rules state can implement scheme to reduce African American, Hispanic voter turnout

Source: Politico

"A divided federal appeals court has stayed a lower judge's ruling barring Texas from implementing a revised version of its voter identification law. A panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted, 2-1, to allow Texas to use the revised voter ID measure known as SB 5 for this November's elections. … [The two judges in the majority] also faulted U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos for going beyond the scope of a previous 5th Circuit ruling instructing her to assess whether SB 5 had cured problems with SB 14, another voter ID measure Texas passed in 2011. Ramos ruled that original measure was tainted by an effort to discriminate on the basis of race and the measure signed earlier this year did not fix the problem." (09/05/17)


Johnson, Stein lose anti-trust debates lawsuit

Source: Ballot Access News

"On August 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit filed by Gary Johnson and Jill Stein against the Commission on Presidential Debates. Johnson v Commission on Presidential Debates, 16-7107. The 11-page decision is written by Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who has been hostile to minor parties and independents throughout her whole career, which began on the California Supreme Court and then extended to the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. She wrote that the plaintiffs lack standing." (08/29/17)


New Texas voter ID law discriminates, federal judge rules

Source: CNN

"A federal district court judge granted a permanent injunction against Texas' voter ID law Wednesday, holding that the state acted with discriminatory intent. Attorney General Ken Paxton called the ruling 'outrageous' and vowed to appeal the decision with the 5th Circuit. The ruling is the latest loss for Texas on the issue of voting rights. A federal court blocked Texas voter ID law Senate Bill 14 during the 2016 election, and a second measure — SB 5 — was put into place that allowed voters who had no photo ID to vote by signing a declaration. Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the Southern District of Texas said Wednesday that the second law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, was an improvement but fell 'far short of mitigating the discriminatory provisions of SB 14.' She wrote that using a declaration trades one obstacle for another one that threatens severe penalties for perjury." [editor's note: Whenever I've voted, I've had to sign a register, presumably with a legal penalty if I'm lying about who I am. What's different or more onerous about this "declaration?" – TLK] (08/23/17)


CA: Organization files initiative to end "Top Two," restore semi-closed primaries

Source: Ballot Access News

"On August 11, Thomas E. Palzer and his organization Foundation to Stop Top Two filed a proposed constitutional initiative with the California Attorney General. … It would return California to the system used between 2001 and 2010. Parties would again have their own nominees and their own primary ballots. Each party would decide for itself whether to let independent voters vote in its primaries." (08/16/17)


Postpone the 2020 election? Many GOP voters say yes

Source: US News & World Report

"The 2016 election cycle brought accusations of fake news and phony polls. But are voters really ready to put Democracy itself on hold? Research by two professors finds that 52 percent of Republicans would be OK with postponing the 2020 elections if President Donald Trump told them it was the only way to ensure that only eligible American citizens voted. … The poll's authors, Yeshiva University psychology professor Ariel Malka and University of Pennsylvania assistant professor Yphtach Lelkes, aren’t sounding too many alarm bells. The situation is highly hypothetical, the two acknowledge in a write-up of their survey, and it's likely there would be a small-d democratic backlash if anyone indeed seriously discussed postponing the next presidential election. Nor has anyone in the Trump administration publicly suggested delaying the 2020 election is up for discussion." (08/10/17)


Revolutionary vote security — if government will allow it

Seton Motley

Source: Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

"Remember the overtime-session, hanging chad, 2000 George W. Bush v Al Gore presidential election? Where it all came down to Florida — and Gore unsuccessfully sued to overturn the Sunshine State’s certification of Bush as its winner? … The hanging chads — left the Left going nuts. Well, it afforded the Left another opportunity to again demonstrate that they've all along been nuts. They screeched about the antiquated paper ballots with the punch holes (partial punching of which resulted in the aforementioned hanging chads.) They demanded that these antiquated technologies be eschewed …. So we nationwide spent hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) purchasing electronic voting machines. Then came 2004 — when Democrat John Kerry lost the presidency to incumbent Bush. During said campaign the Left screeched that — brace yourselves, else their sudden, dramatic change of position might cause whiplash — the electronic machines were susceptible to hacking … and we should use paper ballots." (08/10/17)


Trump's attack on voter privacy

Source: The American Conservative
by Lili Carneglia

"'In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions who voted illegally,' tweeted Donald Trump on November 27, following his win. Perhaps in an effort to prove social media blather correct, Trump has issued an executive order creating the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity. The goals of the committee include 'studying vulnerabilities in the voting systems that could lead to voter fraud,' which requires collecting a large amount of personal voter information from the states. After facing serious legal pushback, even his supporters are wondering about its legitimacy. While the purity of the democratic process should be every citizen's concern, the committee’s latest crusade, in violating privacy, has gone too far. In early July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a suit against the committee claiming that the group collected personal data without securing a system in which to store that sensitive information — a direct violation of the E-Government Act of 2002." (08/09/17)


New House bill would kill gerrymandering and could move America away from two-party dominance

Source: The Intercept
by Zaid Jilani

"[T]he winner-take-all, first-past-the-post system means that if you want to vote for a third party, your vote will often be 'wasted,' as two parties compete to get the most votes and other votes are considered inconsequential to the outcome. If a candidate wins 40 percent of the vote, while her two opponents get 30 percent each, the first one wins, even though 60 percent of the district voted against her. That dynamic effectively forces political actors to sort themselves into two parties, or risk being boxed out of power entirely. Gerrymandering, combined with the way voters have sorted themselves into cities and rural areas, means that even while Democrats consistently win a majority of votes cast for House candidates, Republicans wind up controlling the House of Representatives regardless. A group of representatives in the House want to change this system, and are introducing legislation to change this system and make America’s federal elections more representative and competitive." (07/05/17)


States rebel as Trump election panel seeks voters' personal data

Source: MarketWatch

"President Donald Trump’s commission on election integrity has asked all 50 states to provide voter rolls going back to 2006, and personal information including names, birth dates and partial Social Security numbers of all registered voters. The request by Kris Korbach, Kansas'[s] secretary of state and the vice chairman of the commission, is already facing a backlash by states that say the request is unnecessary and unwarranted. 'I have no intention of honoring this request,' Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Thursday in a statement. … In a statement Thursday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, also said he won’t cooperate …. The commission is led by Vice President Mike Pence, and is scheduled to meet for the first time in July." (06/29/17)


In praise of gerrymandering

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

"Rather than having unaccountable panels of phony nonpartisans acting behind the scenes, we are far better off letting our political processes be exactly what they are: political. If Texans don’t like how Texas legislators draw up the state’s electoral maps, then they can kick Republicans out and put Democrats in charge. It is not like this has not happened before: Democrats had a near-monopoly on state-level power for a century after the Civil War but eventually were displaced by Republicans, whose policies and attitudes are more amenable — for now — to Texas voters. All of the high and mighty love democracy until democracy gets a little too democratic and starts producing results that they do not like, at which point it is time to 'rise above politics' and put the like-minded servants of the high and mighty in charge of things." (06/21/17)