Another symbol of just how quickly the political calculus can change ahead of Election Day: crucial swing states Ohio and Florida, along with Texas, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, have won significant—albeit possibly temporary—victories against restrictive voting laws over a span of mere weeks. Voting laws, including the requirement that people carry photo IDs to the ballot box, have became a major source of controversy as the presidential race remains close less than two months ahead of the election. “The tide has clearly turned,” says Diana Kasdan, counsel for the Democracy Program of Brennan Center, a public policy institute affiliated with New York University. “The results are coming in, court after court is rejecting these restrictive laws.” The next crucial decision will come out of Pennsylvania. The state’s law requiring all voters to show identification is currently being debated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; a decision is forthcoming.
Since the Republican takeover of the House in 2010, voting laws restricting access to the ballot began passing in states across the country. But until two months ago, they had received little national attention. Now, a federal judge has blocked Ohio’s “right church, wrong poll” law that discounts provisional votes cast in the wrong precinct. In Florida, residents incorrectly removed from voter polls for being noncitizens have had their voting rights restored. And a federal court rejected Texas’s voter ID law on Aug. 30. Series about voting rights, such as MSNBC’s “Block the Vote” continuing segment, are now being aired during primetime TV news.
Behind the turnaround is a network of civil rights and advocacy groups, along with branches of the federal government, that have been battling these laws as they crop up. In Ohio, the Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party sued Republican Ohio Secretary of State John Husted alleging that the restriction on early voting violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Full Article: Backlash Swells Against Voter Laws – The Daily Beast.