Tag Archives: voting

SCOTUS: That’s OK, North Carolina, you can keep your unconstitutional gerrymander districts for now

Source: US News & World Report

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a lower court’s order for North Carolina to rework its congressional map because Republicans violated the Constitution by drawing electoral districts intended to maximize their party’s chances of winning. The conservative-majority court granted a bid by Republican legislators in North Carolina to suspend the Jan. 9 order by a federal court panel in Greensboro that gave the Republican-controlled General Assembly until Jan. 24 to come up with a new map for U.S. House of Representatives districts. Two liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, objected to the high court’s action. The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the order reduces the chance that the current district lines will be altered ahead of the November mid-term congressional elections. The court offered no reason for its decision.” (01/18/18)


SCOTUS appears sympathetic to Ohio voter roll purge effort

Source: Chicago Tribune

The Supreme Court appeared sympathetic Wednesday to states that seek to prune their voting rolls by targeting people who haven’t voted in a while. In a case from Ohio, opponents of the practice called it a violation of a federal law that was intended to increase the ranks of registered voters. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said minorities and homeless people appear to be disproportionately kicked off the rolls. But the court’s conservatives and possibly also Justice Stephen Breyer indicated that they would uphold the state’s effort. Ohio is among a handful of states that use voters’ inactivity to trigger a process that could lead to their removal from voter rolls. A ruling for Ohio could prompt other states to adopt the practice, which generally pits Democrats against Republicans.” (01/10/18)


How to prevent democracy

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Quick — what is the very first thing government should do this year? Maine’s Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has urgent legislation. And just so you don’t get the wrong idea, ‘It’s really not a shadow effort to restrict the people’s right to petition their government,’ he insists. ‘That is not our intent.’ Got that? Citing voter and election official complaints — without documenting any specific person or incident — the secretary seeks to ‘virtually ban’ signature gathering at the polls on Election Day.” (01/03/18)


AL: Supreme Court blocks order to preserve voting records

Source: AlterNet

“The Alabama Supreme Court stepped into Tuesday’s U.S. Senate race between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones on Monday night by blocking a lower state court’s ruling earlier in the day that ordered election officials to take steps to preserve digital images of every ballot cast Tuesday. … Alabama’s Supreme Court, where Moore served as chief justice, did not issue an explanation with its stay. However, a lengthy brief filed at the close of business Monday by the state on behalf of Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill contained a list of eyebrow-raising assertions, such as Merrill had no authority to tell local election officials how to operate their voting machines. The state also said only private vendors holding contracts to program the machines could do so — and that it was too late for that.” (12/12/17)


GA: Attorney general quits defense in server wiping case

Source: Houston Chronicle

“The Georgia attorney general’s office will no longer represent the state’s top elections official in an elections integrity lawsuit filed three days before a crucial computer server was quietly wiped clean. The lawsuit aims to force Georgia to retire its antiquated and heavily questioned touchscreen election technology, which does not provide an auditable paper trail. The server in question was a statewide staging location for key election-related data. It made headlines in June after a security expert disclosed a gaping security hole that wasn’t fixed for six months after he first reported it to election authorities. Personal data was exposed for Georgia’s 6.7 million voters, as were passwords used by county officials to access files. … It’s not clear who ordered the server’s data irretrievably erased.” (11/02/17)


But it works one percent of the time

Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“Both parties become extremely interested in voter fraud when their candidate fails to win. After Obama’s election the Republican Party was up in arms about voter fraud. After Donald Trump won against Hillary Clinton the Democrat Party was suddenly up in arms about voter fraud. While both parties try to approach the problem slightly differently (the Republicans tend to blame illegal immigrants while the Democrats have been blaming Russia), they both tend to favor terrible solutions. Take this system that will be used in Indiana …. Somebody finally did it. They managed to have a higher failure rate than the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).” (11/01/17)


Protesting votes

Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

“Of all the stupid things to come from the modern left (as opposed to libertarians, the true left), this recent trend of opposing a vote by protesting it and not voting at all may be the most stupid. Congratulations to Catalonia for its declaration of independence (given the foundation of the United States, if you request international assistance, the U.S. should have your backs). We won’t, because we’re too busy fighting in countries like Niger without any declaration of war while simultaneously starting fights with Syria, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, and because, despite living in a country that was literally founded by a declaration of independence, many Americans seem to think that ‘declaring independence’ is a right that no longer exists.” (10/27/17)


On election security, feds flounder while states make strides

Source: The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney

“The debate over the Russian election interference and American election security is a case study in the utter dysfunctionality of Beltway politics. By contrast, a number of states have already embarked on practical, problem-solving innovations in securing the ballot in future elections. On the national stage, President Trump’s ‘election integrity’ commission has careened from one controversy to another, taking steps that actually threaten to undermine ballot security. Outside the spotlight, state election officials are quietly taking steps to respond to the Russian threat and upgrade American election systems with better machines, more accurate voter rolls, and firewalls against hacking.” (10/26/17)


Prosecuting or removing “faithless” presidential electors is unconstitutional

Source: Heartland Institute
by Rob Natelson

“A 2016 Colorado Democratic presidential elector who pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton is suing because the state removed him from his position after he voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich instead. He joins two other electors with somewhat similar claims. The three electors argue the Constitution bans states from dictating how they vote. They are represented by Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor of wide interests and abilities. According to the original meaning of the Constitution, Lessig and his three clients are correct. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 and the 12th Amendment — which together govern presidential elections — grant electors, not the states, authority to vote for president and vice president. Colorado’s effort to punish them for voting ‘wrong’ is unconstitutional.” (10/24/17)


ME: Legislature deals setback to ranked choice voting

Source: Ballot Access News

“On October 23, the Maine legislature passed LD 1646. It suspends ranked choice voting in both 2018 and 2020, and repeals it effective 2021 if the Maine State Constitution doesn’t get changed by then to permit ranked choice voting in general elections for state office. The procedure to change the Maine constitution starts with a two-thirds vote of the legislature. The House initially passed a version of the bill that would have allowed ranked choice voting to be used for primaries, and for congressional elections, in 2018. But the Senate amended it to suspend ranked choice voting.” (10/23/17)