Editorials: Verifying Pakistan’s voter lists | Dawn.com

The Election Commission of Pakistan was given the task to remove the 37 million bogus voters from the list (Dec 16) and replace them with new ones eligible to vote. The Supreme Court observed that the preparing of voter list can be delegated to National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) if the Election Commission is not able to complete the task.

Nadra has the record of all eligible voters and is also responsible for issuing the National Identity Card. It is better equipped to prepare the voter list. The Election Commission’s prime responsibility should be to ensure transparent, free and fair election, it should consider making voting compulsory and improving the system of vote casting at polling stations.

Saudi Arabia: Women to run and vote in local elections without male guardian permission in 2015 | The Washington Post

Women in Saudi Arabia will not need a male guardian’s approval to run or vote in municipal elections in 2015, when women will also run for office for the first time, a Saudi official said Wednesday. The change signifies a step forward in easing the kingdom’s restrictions against women, but it falls far short of what some Saudi reformers are calling for.

Shura Council member Fahad al-Anzi was quoted in the state-run al-Watan newspaper saying that approval for women to run and vote came from the guardian of Islam’s holiest sites, the Saudi king, and therefore women will not need a male guardian’s approval. The country’s Shura Council is an all-male consultative body with no legislative powers.

The Voting News Daily: Civil Rights Groups Press Justice Department To Block Other Voter ID Laws, Iowa GOP moving vote-count to ‘undisclosed location’

National: Civil Rights Groups Press Justice Department To Block Other Voter ID Laws | TPM It wasn’t long after the Justice Department blocked South Carolina’s voter ID law on Friday that Republicans accused the Obama administration of putting the President’s reelection ahead of preventing voter fraud. “Obama’s S.C. voter ID decision shows he’s putting the 2012 election above…

National: Civil Rights Groups Press Justice Department To Block Other Voter ID Laws | TPM

It wasn’t long after the Justice Department blocked South Carolina’s voter ID law on Friday that Republicans accused the Obama administration of putting the President’s reelection ahead of preventing voter fraud. “Obama’s S.C. voter ID decision shows he’s putting the 2012 election above policy by opposing efforts to protect against cheating and fraud,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote on Twitter, indirectly acknowledging that voter ID laws suppress Democratic voter turnout. “Moreover, from S.C. decision looks like they just want to benefit from cheating and fraud.”

“It is outrageous, and we plan to look at every possible option to get this terrible, clearly political decision overturned so we can protect the integrity of our electoral process and our 10th Amendment rights,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement.

Here’s the problem, though: In-person voter impersonation fraud is an extremely risky and ineffective way to try to steal an election and there’s been no evidence of in-person voter impersonation fraud — the only type of voter fraud that strict voter ID laws could potentially prevent — taking place in South Carolina. But Republicans have taken the position that the laws are necessary. They also strongly reject the suggestion that the laws are racially discriminatory, though South Carolina’s own data showed that non-white voters were 20 percent more likely than white voters to lack the specific type of photo voter ID required under South Carolina’s statute.

Editorials: Fighting the bad fight with Charlie White | Journal and Courier

Let’s start here: If I’m Charlie White, I’m fighting like crazy for my job. If I’m Charlie White, one controversial year into my first term as Indiana’s secretary of state, I’m fighting like mad for my political career. If I’m Charlie White, I don’t want it to end like this.

But I’m not Charlie White. The real Charlie White is fighting like crazy, but he doesn’t seem to know that it’s all crashing down in ways that a political career can barely survive and in ways that expose Hoosier voters at a time when they need strong character leading the elections division at the Statehouse.

If I’m the Indiana voter — hey, that is me — I’m asking: Why is Charlie White still running this particular show?

Editorials: Keeping College Students From the Polls | NYTimes.com

Next fall, thousands of students on college campuses will attempt to register to vote and be turned away. Sorry, they will hear, you have an out-of-state driver’s license. Sorry, your college ID is not valid here. Sorry, we found out that you paid out-of-state tuition, so even though you do have a state driver’s license, you still can’t vote. Political leaders should be encouraging young adults to participate in civic life, but many Republican state lawmakers are doing everything they can instead to prevent students from voting in the 2012 presidential election. Some have openly acknowledged doing so because students tend to be liberal.

Seven states have already passed strict laws requiring a government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or a passport) to vote, which many students don’t have, and 27 others are considering such measures. Many of those laws have been interpreted as prohibiting out-of-state driver’s licenses from being used for voting.

It’s all part of a widespread Republican effort to restrict the voting rights of demographic groups that tend to vote Democratic. Blacks, Hispanics, the poor and the young, who are more likely to support President Obama, are disproportionately represented in the 21 million people without government IDs. On Friday, the Justice Department, finally taking action against these abuses, blocked the new voter ID law in South Carolina.

Editorials: A Proposed Solution to Voter ID Controversy | Curtis Gans/Huffington Post

For the majority of Republicans it is an article of faith that their electoral fortunes would best be served by rain on election day — that, despite evidence to the contrary, the lower the turnout the better their chances of winning, or so they believe.

So, it is not surprising that it is Republican legislators, largely in Republican-controlled legislatures, that have proposed and, in some states, enacted laws that would require photo identification at polling places in order for citizens to cast their ballots. But one should take with a grain of salt the GOP claims that these laws are primarily enacted to prevent fraud when the demography of the 20 million citizens who don’t have photo identification is largely composed of people who are poorer, more minority and the more immobile elderly than the rest of the population, a group whose voting history is strongly Democratic but which would have the greatest difficulty in obtaining proper identification.

It does not, however, follow as the night the day that the way for Attorney General Eric Holder, Democrats, minorities, self-named good government promoters, liberals, editorialists and others to deal with the ID issue is to mount, as they now are doing, coordinated frontal opposition to them and assert that fraud in the voting process does not exist. Why?

Iowa: Iowa GOP moving vote-count to ‘undisclosed location’ | Politico.com

Threats to disrupt the Iowa Republican caucuses next week have prompted state GOP officials to move the vote tabulation to an “undisclosed location,” POLITICO has learned.  The state party has not yet told the campaigns exactly where the returns will be added up, only that it will be off-site from the Iowa GOP’s Des Moines headquarters.  The 2008 caucus results were tabulated at the state party offices, which sit just a few blocks from the state capitol.

Activist groups including the Occupy movement have indicated that they’ll attempt to interrupt rallies in the closing days before next Tuesday’s caucuses. The AP reported today that Occupy is making plans to even attend some caucuses and vote “no preference,” but not disturb the voting process.

Texas: When is state law not enforceable? Texas awaits DOJ approval for its new voter photo ID law | State of Elections

The battle over Texas’s controversial new voter identification bill should be over. Instead, it appears to be heating up. Senate Bill 14 amends the Texas Election Code, requiring voters to present an approved form of photo identification to cast a ballot in state elections. Voters may rely on most forms of commonly-used government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Voters who are unwilling, or unable, to pay for identification are also covered; the bill creates a new form of identification called an “election identification certificate” which can be obtained at no cost from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Both the Texas House and Senate approved the bill and its photo identification requirements, following months of heated debate across the state. And, on May 27, Governor Rick Perry signed the bill into law. Notwithstanding any post-enactment court challenges, gubernatorial endorsement is the final step in the legislative process—or at least that’s how things usually work in Texas.

Jamaica: Electoral Commission warns against corrupt and illegal practices | Go-Jamaica

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) is warning that there will be strong action against people who seek to commit breaches on Election Day.

Just hours before Jamaicans go to the polls, in a national broadcast last night, ECJ chairman professor Errol Miller also sought to clarify aspects of the electoral process. Professor Miller sought to assure that the integrity of the country’s electoral system will be maintained.

Indonesia: ‘Flawed system’ responsible for rampant poll violations | The Jakarta Post

Experts have blamed political immaturity and a flawed electoral system for rampant poll violations in local elections throughout the country. “The country’s poor electoral justice system has allowed opportunists to commit violations. This trend has persisted since the first direct local election in 2005. I have seen no significant efforts either by the government or the House of Representatives to fix the problem,” Hadar Nafiz Gumay of the Center for Electoral Reform (Cetro) said.

The General Elections Monitoring Body (Bawaslu) announced last week that it received 1,718 reports of poll violations in 92 local elections in 2011. The majority of the reports concerned finances related to politics. Hadar said that direct local elections were not problems in themselves.

Iraq: President Calls for Talks After Bloc Asks for New Elections | Businessweek

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called for a meeting of all political parties after a group of legislators asked for the dissolution of parliament and new elections amid escalating sectarian tensions. Talabani and parliament speaker Osama Nujaifi “agreed to hold a national conference for all political powers in order to resolve all pending issues,” according to a statement posted yesterday on the website of Talabani’s party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The statement set no date. Talabani will contact parties for final approval of the gathering, according to the statement.

Legislators from the al-Ahrar bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr said political groups were not able to reach solutions and called for the new elections. The bloc has 39 seats in the 325-member parliament. Tensions between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite-led allies and Sunni politicians have intensified since a warrant was issued last week for the arrest of Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, on terrorism charges.

Russia: Russia to buy some 60,000 transparent ballot boxes for March polls | Russia | RIA Novosti

About 60,000 fully transparent ballot boxes will be bought by the Russian electoral authorities for the presidential elections on March 4, a top Russian election official said on Wednesday.

Last week, Russia’s chief election official Vladimir Churov proposed making ballot boxes fully transparent to prevent ballot-stuffing. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a frontrunner in the 2012 elections, expressed his support for the move.

The Voting News Daily: Holder’s Legacy; 2011, the year of the recall

Editorials: Holder’s Legacy | Jeffrey Toobin/The New Yorker Two years ago, the Supreme Court decided a case that may, it now appears, save Barack Obama’s chances at reëlection—and, more importantly, preserve a precious corner of American democracy. For many years now, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been under assault. The law requires that any…

Editorials: Holder’s Legacy | Jeffrey Toobin/The New Yorker

Two years ago, the Supreme Court decided a case that may, it now appears, save Barack Obama’s chances at reëlection—and, more importantly, preserve a precious corner of American democracy.

For many years now, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been under assault. The law requires that any changes in voting rules in certain states, mostly in the South, be “pre-cleared” by the Justice Department, to make sure that they do not impinge on the voting rights of minorities. Many people in these states and elsewhere have argued that the law is now obsolete and that its pre-clearance provisions stigmatize and demean places that have long ago reformed from their racist pasts. In the 2009 case of Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, the Court had a chance to invalidate the law—and ducked. Instead, by a vote of 8-1, the Justices disposed of the case on procedural grounds and left the larger fight for another day. (Clarence Thomas dissented, arguing that the Voting Rights Act is indeed obsolete and unconstitutional.) The Voting Rights Act, and its pre-clearance provisions, remained intact.

The importance of the Northwest Austin case was apparent last week when the Justice Department rejected South Carolina’s new law to impose a photo-identification requirement for voters in 2012. “According to the state’s statistics, there are 81,938 minority citizens who are already registered to vote and who lack D.M.V.-issued identification,” Thomas E. Perez, the chief of the department’s civil-rights division, said in a letter to South Carolina officials. The only reason the Justice Department had the chance to rule on the South Carolina changes is because of the pre-clearance rules. (South Carolina may challenge the Justice Department decision in court, thus possibly setting up another test of the Voting Rights Act in the Supreme Court.)

Editorials: 2011, the year of the recall – Why has the recall vote suddenly become so popular? You may think it’s anger, but it’s really technology | Joshua Spivak/latimes.com

This year an enraged electorate has made its presence felt, through Occupying events and a roller-coaster Republican presidential primary process. But the most obvious sign of political activism has been the unprecedented use of recall elections. The numbers tell the tale: In 2011, at least 150 elected officials in 17 states faced recall votes.

Recalls stretched from the Arizona state Senate to the Miami-Dade mayor’s office to the school board in Grenora, N.D. Eleven state legislators faced recall — including nine in Wisconsin. Thirty mayors were subject to recall votes in 2011. At least three municipalities adopted the recall. Nineteen U.S. states allow recalls, with more — South Carolina among them — seriously considering adopting the process. It’s even grown internationally, with governments in India, Britain and Australia all considering adopting the recall in some form.

Alaska: Debate continues over election results | The Arctic Sounder

Despite the appointment of an impartial third party investigator, debate over the recent election of North Slope Borough mayor continues with lawyers dueling over the release of election information, police records and who should investigate allegations of vote-buying.

After allegedly losing his bid for the borough mayor seat by 62 votes, George Ahmaogak filed a contest of the election, citing numerous vote-count inconsistencies as well as questions of vote-buying and proper care for ballots in transit. The borough certified the election, despite the contest, but appointed attorney Dennis E. “Skip” Cook to investigate the matter for the borough as an impartial third party. But progress in the case has been stalled by borough staff holiday vacations as well as other issues.

California: Printing the elections: Mail processing’s role in the season Locals say consolidation affects campaigns, ballots | Times-Standard

If the U.S. Postal Service’s proposed mail processing center consolidation is implemented, local officials are concerned about possible repercussions on the upcoming election season. In addition to impacting the timeliness of mail-in votes, the consolidation may also raise the cost of printing and shipping ballots, according to local officials and Times Printing Co., the company that prints local election materials.

Postal Service spokesman James Wigdel said concerns surrounding the election, and others, are being discussed. ”That’s something that we would consider prior to a decision being made about the move,” he said.

At the Dec. 15 meeting regarding the consolidation of the Eureka mail processing center with one in Medford, Ore., Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich said the delay in processing could pose a problem for election mailings, especially mail-in ballots. Seventy-two percent of the voters in Humboldt County’s last election voted by mail. Crnich said the delay could mean ballots arriving late and not being counted.

Illinois: Voting woes not resolved in southern Illinois county | Quad City Times

It’s been more than a year since Alexander County officials learned they had more registered voters than voting-age residents, but local officials appear to have taken no steps to remedy the problem.

Francis Lee, the top election official in the state’s southernmost county, said she has received no money to conduct a purge of her voting rolls, which show more than 7,800 registered voters in a county with a population of 7,100 residents over the age of 18. “We’re having financial problems all around,” said Lee, who was appointed county clerk in November 2009.

Although Lee contends the situation has not led to any voting irregularities, the county has experienced voter fraud issues in the past. The fact that nothing is being done is troubling to some residents. “I am not at all surprised that nothing has been done to clean up the voter rolls,” said Curtis Miller, a Tamms resident who began raising red flags about the problem more than a year ago.

Indiana: What’s Next in the Charlie White Case? | WIBC Indianapolis

A Marion County Circuit Court Judge’s ruling on Secretary of State Charlie White’s eligibility to run for office is likely heading for appeal, so what happens after that?

Judge Louis Rosenberg ruled that White was ineligible to run for office because he was not legally registered to vote when he filed for candidacy. That ruling reversed an earlier unanimous decision by the Indiana Recount Commission. White’s attorney, Jonathan Sturgill, has requested a hearing which is set for next Thursday to seek a stay in Judge Rosenberg’s ruling.

Kansas: Southwest Kansas election is first test of new voter ID law | kansascity.com

A southwestern Kansas town’s election next month on the financing of a new municipal swimming pool will be the first test of a much-debated state law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls.

The law takes effect Sunday. On Jan. 10, the 2,200 residents of Cimarron, about 175 miles west of Wichita, will decide whether to impose a 1.25 percent sales tax to help finance the new pool and cover its operating costs.

Gray County Clerk Bonnie Swartz said Tuesday that she’s not anticipating significant problems, though she expects some voters will be frustrated if they forget to bring ID. She said if turnout is strong, 40 percent of registered voters, or about 480 people, may cast ballots.

“There are going to be some who say, `You know who I am,“’ she said. “It’s harder to enforce this type of a law in a small community because everybody knows everybody.”

Tennessee: Court ruling on South Carolina voter ID law heartens repeal efforts in Tennessee | Nooga.com

Hamilton County Democrats heralded the first successful strike against state photo ID voting laws and pledged to step up efforts to repeal a similar Tennessee law, set to go into effect next month.

A federal judge last week rejected the South Carolina voter ID law, labeling it discriminatory against minorities. State Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, said the decision gave Tennesseans “much needed leverage of our efforts to repeal the law.”

In a statement released Sunday, Favors, who founded the Tennessee Voters Assistance Coalition (TVAC) following passage of the GOP-sponsored bill, said the law was spurred by the large increase of minority voters in the 2008 election.

“Preventing voter fraud was the reason cited for passing this law, but that is absolutely not a legitimate argument for it,” Favors said. “There is no evidence of any widespread fraud. The real reason for passage of this law is voter suppression. The 2008 election turned out massive numbers of minority voters and the law is an attempt to suppress that.”

Texas: Rejection of South Carolina voter ID law may put Texas’ law on shakier ground | statesman.com

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday rejected as discriminatory a South Carolina law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. The action by the department’s civil rights division, coupled with Attorney General Eric Holder’s call 10 days earlier in Austin for more aggressive federal review of such laws, appears to increase the likelihood that the Texas version could meet a similar fate. Texas Republicans criticized the decision, calling it improper and vowing to defend Texas’ voter ID law.

The Justice Department said the South Carolina law makes it harder for members of minority groups to cast ballots, to the point that tens of thousands of them might be turned away at the polls because they lack the required photo ID. The law requires a state-issued driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. military ID or a U.S. passport.

The Texas law, which was signed by Gov. Rick Perry in May, requires voters to show a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a Texas driver’s license, Department of Public Safety identification card, state concealed handgun license, U.S. military ID or U.S. passport. Like the South Carolina law, the Texas law needs approval from the Justice Department under the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act. Such “pre-clearance” to ensure that minority political power is not harmed is required in states that failed to protect minority voting rights in the past.

Virginia: State unlikely to change law to allow Gingrich write-in | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Newt Gingrich wants Virginia legislators to change the law in time for him to mount a write-in campaign in Virginia’s March 6 presidential primary. But that appears virtually impossible, for practical as well as political reasons.

NBC 4, the network’s Washington affiliate, caught up with Gingrich on Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, the nation’s largest Roman Catholic Church. Gingrich’s wife, Callista, was singing in the choir.

“We’re disappointed, but it was our fault,” Gingrich, a McLean resident, said of his campaign’s failure to qualify for Virginia’s primary ballot. “And we hope to launch a write-in campaign. We’re getting an amazing number of people who … believe Virginians ought to have the right to choose and shouldn’t be restricted to two people.” When a reporter noted that state law prohibits write-in votes in Virginia primaries, Gingrich said: “There’s time for them to change it. If something’s wrong, they ought to fix it.”

Virginia: Rick Perry files federal lawsuit challenging Virginia ballot-access law | dallasnews.com

Rick Perry , a vocal advocate of states rights, has gone to federal court in a bid to overturn the Virginia state law governing access of its ballot. Perry failed to meet the requirements of the state law by submitting enough signatures for the GOP primary in Virginia. The Perry campaign announced it has filed suit challenging the constitutional validity of the Virginia statute that regulates access to the ballot by presidential candidates. Perry’s lawyers say it might be state law, but it limits the rights of voters to vote for the candidate of their choice — i.e. Rick Perry. The Texas governor won’t be on the Virginia primary ballot due to the Perry camp’s failure to get enough signatures.

Perry’s campaign appeared to recognize the problem of touting states rights on one hand while asking the federal government to overrule a states’ law on the other. In a statement, campaign manager Ray Sullivan said: “Gov. Perry greatly respects the citizens and history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and believes Virginia Republicans should have greater access to vote for one of the several candidates for President of the United States. “Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election. We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot, and we hope to have those provisions overturned or modified to provide greater ballot access to Virginia voters and the candidates seeking to earn their support.”

Iraq: Sadrists Call for New Elections | VOA News

The Iraqi political bloc led by anti-American Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has issued a call to dissolve Iraq’s parliament and hold early elections, in a move that could escalate the country’s growing sectarian crisis. The Sadrists said Monday that new elections are the only way to resolve Iraq’s deepening political problems because the current government “cannot find solutions” for the issues that “threaten to divide” the country.

Tensions are rising after Iraq’s Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on suspicion of running a death squad. Hashemi denies the charge and fled to northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region to avoid detention. Mr. Maliki also asked parliament to fire Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. The political crisis comes amid a wave of attacks on the capital, Baghdad, by suspected al-Qaida-linked Sunni extremists.

Yemen: Preparation of security plan for early presidential elections starts | Yemen Observer

The Reconciliation Government has approved the budget of early elections scheduled on next February 21, according to memorandum from the Finance Minister following agreement with the Supreme Elections and Referendum Committee (SERC). Meanwhile, the security committees in the governorates continued their meetings that are designated for carrying out early presidential elections on February 21, 2012, that is approved by the SERC.

The security plan includes securing escorts for the original and sub-committees at the general and local constituencies, during the stages prior to the voting process, as well as securing the voting, guarding the polling process, polling committees, boxes and documents, according to the timed program that  is approved according to the organizing forms and instructions.

The security committee for elections in Taiz has approved the elections plan and the mechanism for distributing the security tasks on the military and security units participating in the elections. The security committee in al-Mahwait has also approved the elections security plan.

The Voting News Daily: Americans Elect Makes Plans to Broker the 2012 Presidential Election, New laws in 2012: More voter ID

National: Americans Elect Makes Plans to Broker the 2012 Presidential Election | Irregular Times Richard Winger and Mark B. identify a revealing section of the Americans Elect corporate bylaws recently posted online by the states of Nevada and Florida. The Americans Elect corporation, which aims to arrange the election of its own candidates for President and Vice President of the…

National: Americans Elect Makes Plans to Broker the 2012 Presidential Election | Irregular Times

Richard Winger and Mark B. identify a revealing section of the Americans Elect corporate bylaws recently posted online by the states of Nevada and Florida. The Americans Elect corporation, which aims to arrange the election of its own candidates for President and Vice President of the United States, imagines a circumstance in which Americans Elect [“AE”] wins one or more states but not enough to win the presidency for itself. What will its designated electors do then?

Elector agrees that Elector shall remain unpledged until convening of votes for the Electoral College, with the exception of the following conditions:

a. Plurality or Majority Vote for AE Ticket: If the AE ticket receives more votes nationally than any other ticket, the Elector shall solely vote in the affirmative for the AE nominees and for no other candidate;

b. Coalition Agreement: If the AE ticket receives fewer popular votes nationally than the ticket of at least one of the major political parties but no party has attained a majority of the national popular vote and the AE delegates have convened in the Convention after the general election but before the Electoral College vote and endorsed a candidate of either major political party on such terms as may be reflected in the vote of endorsement, the Elector shall vote solely for the candidates as instructed by the Delegates and for no other candidate.

Under the law, of course, presidential electors are free to support whichever candidate they please. But according to the bylaws, Americans Elect will require its electors to sign a contract agreeing to the above plan or to pay a penalty of half a million dollars:

National: New laws in 2012: More voter ID | MJ Lee/Politico.com

Even as the feds move to block South Carolina from requiring voters to show a photo ID, a handful of other states are set to ring in 2012 with new laws mandating that voters produce picture identification cards before they are permitted to cast ballots. Beginning on Jan. 1, new laws will take effect in Kansas, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas requiring residents present a certified government-issued ID if they want to vote, according to a list of new 2012 laws compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Civil rights groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which co-authored an extensive report earlier this month detailing 25 voter restriction measures that passed in 2011 – eight of which were photo ID laws — say the measures represent a coordinated conservative effort to repress the voting rights of minority groups.

“Many surprises came out of the 2008 elections, including record turnout, registration and participation,” said Hilary Shelton, NAACP’s Washington bureau director, who called the number of voter laws that passed last year “unprecedented.”