National: Election year brings new focus to voter rights in courts, legislatures | The Kansas City Star

Eric and Ivanka Trump learned this week they won’t be able to vote for their dad, Donald, in New York’s primary Tuesday. They didn’t register as Republicans in time. Trump was philosophical. “They were, you know, unaware of the rules,” he ruefully told Fox News. The story prompted chuckles in some political and media circles. But it also helped illustrate an ongoing truth: In 2016, America’s state-based election laws can confuse even the most interested voters. From a federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kan., Thursday, to Arizona and beyond, lawyers are arguing over how and when we vote. Voting rules are a confusing, contradictory hodgepodge from state to state and sometimes county to county, many experts say, often based more on perceived political advantage than fair exercise of the franchise. Consider: You can cast an early ballot in Kansas, but not in Missouri. You need a picture ID to vote in Texas, but not in California. In Colorado you can register on Election Day; in Arkansas, you must be on the registrar’s books 30 days before going to the polls.

National: Why Thousands of Americans Are Lining Up to Get Arrested in D.C. | Rolling Stone

Chanting, “Money ain’t speech, corporations aren’t people!” and “We are the 99 percent!” around 425 protesters were arrested Monday in a mass sit-in on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and more have returned to face arrest Tuesday. The demonstration, called Democracy Spring, is advocating a set of reforms the organizers have dubbed the “democracy movement,” demanding Congress amend campaign finance laws and restore the Voting Rights Act, among other actions. For about five hours under the windy shadow of the looming Rotunda, at least eight police buses roll across the sandstone Capitol plaza to haul away the last of the peaceful protesters, where participants — some costumed in green dollar-bill suits and Lady Liberty garb — have overwhelmed a Capitol Police processing center, sending protesters to a nearby overflow facility. Police records suggest Monday was the largest spate of mass arrests in at least a decade at the U.S. Capitol, and close observers of Washington activism say it may have been the largest since the Vietnam War.

National: Democracy Spring Sit-In Protest Brings Hundreds To Capitol Steps | NPR

Police needed most of Monday afternoon to arrest all of the sit-down protesters outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington at a demonstration in favor of changing the rules on political money, voting rights and redistricting. More than 600 turned out for the protest, and more than 400 were arrested in the sit-in at the Capitol steps, U.S. Capitol Police reported. The nonviolent protest was led by Democracy Spring, a coalition of more than 100 progressive groups. The protest was cheery and peaceful. Police blockaded the marble staircase with a chain and a cordon of officers. Demonstrators sat in front of the chain and on the plaza, talking, chanting, singing and taking pictures as police led them away one by one. Police, badly underestimating the potential crowd, initially brought a single bus to Capitol Plaza to haul the protesters away.

National: A Hamstrung SCOTUS Is About To Have A Mess Of Voting Lawsuits At Its Doorstep | TPM

The signs that the Supreme Court is grappling with a depleted bench are starting to show. But what has been a trickle of tie-votes, bizarre orders and slowed activity could turn into a series of orders with contradictory effects as the court is confronted with an onslaught of election-related litigation in the lead-up to Nov. 8. As the last stop for lawsuits challenging voting restrictions and administrative practices, the Supreme Court would normally see an increase in those cases as the 2016 election draws closer. But the ideologically split court will be facing more than the usual uptick in requests for the justices to intervene in legal battles over voting laws. The 2016 election marks the first presidential election since the Supreme Court crippled the Voting Rights Act and ushered in a wave of voting restrictions now tied up in lawsuits. The Supreme Court will be without its decisive ninth vote just as voting rights advocates will be asking it to come to terms with its 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision.

National: Suit Challenging Cruz Eligibility Reaches Supreme Court | NBC

What is apparently the first lawsuit to reach the U.S. Supreme Court challenging Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president has now been filed. But it’s not likely to go anywhere. A retired Utah lawyer, Walter Wagner, claims that Cruz does not meet the Constitution’s requirement that a president must be a “natural born” citizen. Cruz was born in Canada, and Wagner contends that fails the natural born test. In mid-March, Wagner’s case crashed shortly after takeoff for the reason other lawsuits asserting the same claim have failed. He could not meet the test for showing why the candidacy would cause him any particular harm.

National: The Voter Support Agency Accused of Suppressing Votes | The New York Times

The federal Election Assistance Commission was formed after the disputed 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore and given an innocuous name and a seemingly inoffensive mission: to help state election officials make it easier to vote. In this ideologically riven election season, it turns out, that is not easy at all. The election commission is in federal court this month, essentially accused of trying to suppress voter turnout in this November’s election. The Justice Department, its nominal legal counsel, has declined to defend it. Its case instead is being pleaded by one of the nation’s leading advocates of voting restrictions. The agency’s chairman has disavowed its actions. The quarrel exemplifies how the mere act of voting has become enmeshed in volatile partisan politics. Seventeen states will impose new voting restrictions for November’s presidential election. Many are the object of disputes between those who say they are rooting out voter fraud and those who say the real goal is to keep Democratic-leaning voters from casting ballots.

National: Supreme Court rejects conservative challenge in ‘one person, one vote’ case | Reuters

The Supreme Court on Monday endorsed the way Texas draws its legislative districts based on total population and not just eligible voters – the same method used by all 50 states – rejecting a conservative challenge in a case focusing on the legal principle of “one person, one vote.” The eight-justice court unanimously rebuffed the challenge spearheaded by a conservative legal activist that could have shifted influence in state legislative races away from urban areas that tend to be racially diverse and favor Democrats to rural ones predominantly with white voters who often back Republicans. Two of the court’s conservatives, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, concurred only in the judgment and did sign on to the opinion authored by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The court is one justice short following the Feb. 13 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, but the unanimous vote suggested his presence would not have substantially affected the outcome.

National: What Keeps Election Officials Up At Night? Fear Of Long Lines At The Polls | NPR

Election officials around the country are nervously planning how to avoid long lines at the polls this year, after voters waited for hours at some Wisconsin sites earlier this week. That came after voters in Maricopa County, Ariz., had to wait up to five hours last month, in part because the county cut back on the number of polling sites. Those delays led to raucous protests at the state capital and a voting rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. This year’s unusually large voter turnout in the primaries has caught a lot of people by surprise, according to Tammy Patrick of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. “I think most election administrators worry about this, and are staying awake at night thinking about it,” she said.

National: Republicans keep admitting that voter ID helps them win, for some reason | The Washington Post

Voter ID laws have swept across the United States in recent years, following big GOP gains in the 2010 and 2014 elections. With Republicans now more powerful in the states than they’ve been since the Great Depression, it has been a priority for them from coast to coast. The stated purpose of these laws, of course, has always been that they prevent voter fraud; you need to have ID to verify your identity for other things, after all, so why not voting? And polls generally show a strong majority of Americans agree. But as any voter ID opponent will tell you, there are so few cases of documented voter fraud that it’s not clear there’s actually an ill that’s being cured. Instead, Democrats allege that these laws are clearly aimed at disenfranchising minority voters, in particular, because they are less likely to have the proper IDs. And minority voters, of course, heavily favor the Democratic Party.

National: Senator Warren Stands Up For Disenfranchised Voters in U.S. Territories After Snub | Huffington Post

On Monday, actor Tim Robbins of Shawshank Redemption fame made an ill-considered political dig against Hillary Clinton by making a punchline of disenfranchised voters in Guam, declaring at a Bernie Sanders rally that “winning South Carolina in a Democratic primary is about as significant as winning Guam.” Less than 24 hours later, Senator Elizabeth Warren took a stand for Americans who call Guam and other U.S. territories home, arguing at a Senate hearing that “the four million people who live in the territories are not the subjects of a King. They are Americans. They live in America. But their interests will never be fully represented within our government until they have full voting rights just like every other American.” As Senator Warren explained, Americans living in U.S. territories “are subject to federal law. More than 150,000 people from these islands have served our country in the Armed Forces – and many have died in that service.”

National: Many hurdles preventing emergence of online voting | Purdue News

The search for solutions to increase voter numbers on Election Day continues as states rack up underwhelming turnouts in both presidential and non-presidential election years. But Eugene Spafford, a computer science professor at Purdue University, says online voting is not one of those solutions. The most important aspects of an election are privacy and accuracy for citizens and, from the standpoint of candidates, the vote total accountability. However, current online technology available to the average citizen dictates that you can’t have it all, says Spafford, the executive director of Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security. “Voting by Internet sounds attractive, but either we have to give up the anonymity of the ballot, which is not a good practice, or we have to give up the ability to confirm that the count is correct,” he said.

National: Supreme Court Rejects Challenge on ‘One Person One Vote’ | The New York Times

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that states may count all residents, whether or not they are eligible to vote, in drawing election districts. The decision was a major statement on the meaning of a fundamental principle of the American political system, that of “one person one vote.” “We hold, based on constitutional history, this court’s decisions and longstanding practice, that a state may draw its legislative districts based on total population,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court. As a practical matter, the ruling mostly helped Democrats and upheld the status quo. But until this decision, the court had never resolved whether voting districts should contain roughly the same number of people or the same number of eligible voters. Counting all people amplifies the voting power of places that have large numbers of residents who cannot vote legally — including immigrants who are here legally but are not citizens, illegal immigrants and children. Those places tend to be urban and to vote Democratic.

National: Conservative challenge to voting rights unanimously rejected by supreme court | The Guardian

The US supreme court on Monday unanimously rejected a conservative challenge to voting rights – ruling that states could count the total population, not just eligible voters, in drawing legislative districts. The case was brought before the court after conservative activists challenged the legal principle of “one person, one vote”, which has long established that election districts should be drawn to be equal in population. The two plaintiffs, both residents of Texas, argued the principle diluted the influence of those living in districts where a larger number of individuals were ineligible to vote. But shifting the method would most certainly lend greater power to states with wealthier populations with mostly white voters, and away from urban and more racially diverse areas. The lawsuit was opposed by the Obama administration, the state of Texas and civil rights groups across America.

National: How the Challenge to Legislative Redistricting in Evenwel v. Abbot Backfired | The Atlantic

If the Supreme Court were a stock market, the last few years have been as a bull market in conservative constitutional theories. With a tenuous but real 5-4 conservative majority in place, advocacy groups raced to get their pet theories before the Court. In some cases—campaign finance and gun rights, for example—the race paid off, producing 5-4 wins for radical shifts of doctrine. In others (think about public-employee unions) it has not. Bull markets tempt investors into unwise wagers. History, I suspect, will so regard the appellants in Evenwel v. Abbot, the “one-person-one-vote” (OPOV) case decided Monday. In Evenwel, the Court unanimously rejected an advocacy group’s invitation to throw American politics into turmoil, and in the process to shift power from immigrants to natives, from non-whites to whites, from young people to the aging, and, by coincidence, from the Democratic to the Republican Party. The needed votes, it now appears, were never there. The Court’s decision was unanimous; equally important, the majority opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attracted six of the Court’s eight justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy. Even more importantly, the six-justice majority not only decided against the conservative theory, it made it much harder for advocates to pursue the conservative theory in future cases.

National: Could the Election Be Hacked? | Government Technology

With the surge in data breaches over the past several years, the prevailing wisdom is that no online data is completely safe from hackers. Banks, governments, insurance companies and small businesses globally have lost billions of dollars to cybercrime. Last year, the top security breaches affected something more precious than personally identifiable information. Data breaches included the most intimate details and actions in life — with the loss of millions of records containing biometrics like fingerprints, career backgrounds, family relationships, secret liaisons, hospital records and much more. Which leads to the big question that’s being asked with renewed fervor: Could the 2016 presidential election be disrupted, or somehow manipulated, via unauthorized computer hacking or denial of service attacks?

National: I (Wish I) Voted: Voting Restrictions Are Impacting Elections | US News & World Report

The battle lines are already being drawn for the general election in November, and Democrats are eager to line up African-Americans, Latinos, women, senior citizens and young voters, all of whom the party believes could form a formidable team to thwart a potential Donald Trump presidency and wrest the Senate majority from the GOP. That is only, however, if all those people will be able to vote. And given the sweeping new regulations and restrictions a number of states have placed on voting, that’s not a given. In this year alone, ten states are implementing laws that usher in new restrictions or hurdles, ranging from cutting early voting to imposing cumbersome voter identification rules, according to tracking by the ACLU, which is battling many of the laws in the courts. Those ten states are home to over 80 million people and account for 129 of the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency, the civil liberties group reports.

National: New ID laws, long lines raise allegations of U.S. voting discrimination | Toronto Star

Steve Pacewicz of Madison, Wis., is such a political junkie that he can speak intelligently about Canadian pipeline proposals. His Facebook page is plastered with images of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Until recently, though, he didn’t think he was going be voting in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. He didn’t think he could afford it. Pacewicz, 56, is a homeless man who sleeps in his truck. Wisconsin has a new “voter ID” law that requires every voter to show specific kinds of photo identification to cast a ballot. If a voter wants to obtain that identification while keeping his driver’s licence, it costs money. Pacewicz, who works odd jobs, doesn’t have any. He only managed to get the card he needed — a duplicate of the licence he said he never received in the mail — when a non-profit group called VoteRiders paid the $14 fee for him. If it hadn’t, his only other option was surrendering his driving privileges in exchange for a free non-driver ID. He is still indignant. “I don’t have much in this world, but I know I’ve got rights,” he said. “I have to trade my driving privileges for my right to vote? That doesn’t make any sense. Isn’t that kind of like Jim Crow laws? The new version?”

National: Paper-Based vs. Electronic Voting: States Move in Different Directions | StateTech Magazine

Although most Americans can summon a private car, order a drone and purchase international plane tickets using their smartphones and computers, many voters will find themselves using good old-fashioned pen-and-paper ballots as they vote this primary and general election season. This might be a surprise, given the increased push toward more digitized civic engagement, but there’s been strong pushback against electronic voting. Questions about reliability and security have been raised, and in some states, legislation is now forcing boards of elections to use paper-based voting machines. Maryland is one of those states. The state was actually a pioneer back in 2002 when it adopted touch-screen voting kiosks, but concerns about the accuracy and reliability of an electronic voting system without a paper trail led to the Maryland General Assembly passing a law in 2007 that saw the state roll back the push toward electronic voting. … There’s no denying that the average citizen would like to vote electronically. But the problem isn’t a technical question of being able to cast votes online, but more about being able to cast votes as safely and privately as happens with paper ballots.

National: The Legal Battles Over the Status of Puerto Rico and Other Unites States Territories | The Atlantic

Why does America have territories, and why aren’t they governed the same way as states? Despite boasting a total population of around 4 million people, the legal fate of the five inhabited territories of the United States and the constitutional status of their residents have always occupied surprisingly little of the American legal imagination. However, that might be changing as the Supreme Court considers two cases directly involving Puerto Rico’s self-governing authority and as a number of legal challenges involving the other territories wind up in federal courts. Rulings in these cases may go a long way toward unwinding the complicated, confusing, and often contradictory relationship between the territories and the United States. In the process, they might also unravel some of the imperialist justifications for maintaining the status quo. Puerto Rico, the largest of the territories by far, is the subject of the bulk of the legal debate. It is also the territory that has most come up against the legal, governmental, and financial limits of its status. The island is in the midst of a decade-long economic contraction, which has led to hundreds of thousands fleeing to the mainland for jobs and opportunities.

National: Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention | The New York Times

Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, blacks and Hispanics. An array of activist groups is organizing a campaign to pressure the companies to refuse to sponsor the gathering, which many of the corporations have done for the Republican and the Democratic Parties for decades. The pressure is emerging as some businesses and trade groups are privately debating whether to scale back their participation, according to interviews with more than a dozen lobbyists, consultants and fund-raisers directly involved in the conversations. Apple, Google and Walmart are among the companies assessing their plans for the convention, which will be held July 18 to 21 in Cleveland.

National: Presidential race surges past $1 billion mark | USA Today

Fundraising in the presidential contest has zoomed past the $1 billion mark, fueled by the dozens of super-wealthy Americans bankrolling super PACs that have acted as shadow campaigns for White House contenders. Presidential candidates and the super PACs closely aligned with them had raised a little more than $1 billion through the end of February, newly released campaign reports show. By comparison, the presidential fundraising by candidates and their super PACs had hit $402.7 million at this point in the 2012 election, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute. The price tag of the White House contest puts it roughly on par with the value of Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox, which Forbes this week pegged as worth $1.05 billion, but it’s far less than the nearly $7 billion American consumers spent last year to celebrate Halloween. New figures show that super PACs and their super-wealthy patrons are footing more of the cost of running for the presidency. Super PACs now account for nearly 40% of all presidential fundraising, up from about 22% at this point four years ago.

National: After Citizens United Got Halfway There, This Lawsuit Aims To Finish The Job | International Business Times

A case now working its way through federal court has the potential to fully dismantle the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law of 2002, finishing the job the Supreme Court started when its 2010 Citizens United decision loosed a tidal wave of outside money on the American electoral system. That case, Republican Party of Louisiana v. FEC, is currently before the District Court for the District of Columbia, but it could be on its way up to the Supreme Court. On Friday, three campaign reform groups filed a joint amicus brief warning of “extraordinarily far-reaching negative consequences” if the district court rules in favor of the plaintiffs. “The return to the era of soft money would be complete,” wrote attorneys representing the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21 and Public Citizen in the brief. “Soft money” is a colloquial term for the unregulated contributions that political parties could legally collect prior to the passage of the McCain-Feingold bill. Although there continue to be strict limits on how much individual donors can give to particular campaigns, before 2002 there was no cap on the amount that could be given to a party for general purposes. Parties would use their virtually unlimited soft money to produce “issue ads,” including attack ads, that were ostensibly not connected to particular campaigns.

National: Tech tiptoes into the voting process | GCN

While the country is probably still a long way from online voting, some states are testing the waters and building technology into election-related processes. For the 2016 presidential election, Ohio will incorporate a common data format in its election management systems that will help election officials quickly and accurately collect election data from precincts with non-interoperable election management systems, and then quickly release that information to the public and news outlets. It’s hoped that the common formats will reduce the opportunities for error on election nights, when deadlines are tight and pressure for results is keen. Ohio’s changes are based on the methods outlined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s special publication: A Common Data Format for Election Results Reporting. … Many believe that no matter how strong companies like Smartmatic make their security, it’s impossible to secure votes across the hardware and networks that would make up an electronic voting system.

National: Shadow campaign to deny Trump his delegates begins | Politico

When South Dakota’s Republican activists convened in Pierre to pick their delegates to the Republican National Convention, they got an unexpected visitor. Merle Madrid, senior aide to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, had flown in from Columbus to make an appeal: If the convention fails to elect front-runner Donald Trump on the first ballot, consider Kasich on the second — even if the state’s Republican voters sent them there to back Trump or Ted Cruz. Madrid was polite and earnest, but, according to interviews with 17 of the state’s 29 delegates, he came up empty. “Kasich will not get my vote no matter what he does. That ain’t gonna happen,” said delegate Allen Unruh, a Sioux Falls chiropractor and tea party activist.

National: The U.S. has ‘worst elections of any long-established democracy,’ report finds | The Washington Post

What do Argentina, Costa Rica and Brazil have in common? They all outranked the United States in a comparison of election standards and procedures conducted by the Electoral Integrity Project. The United States ranked 47th worldwide, out of 139 countries. The survey is a measure of dozens of factors, including voter registration, campaign financing rules, election laws, the voting process and vote count. Overall, one in six elections around the world were considered electoral failures. But in general, countries in the Americas and central and eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, were considered to be on the winning side in terms of electoral integrity, with Scandinavian and Western European nations topping the lists. The report was particularly critical of nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Even amid those already low standards, Ethiopia stood out, according to the report. Last May, the country’s ruling party won all seats in parliament “following harassment of opposition parties, censorship of the media and repression of human rights.”

National: U.S. states giving more ex-felons voting rights back | Reuters

Baltimore community organizer Perry Hopkins, 55, is looking forward to stepping into a voting booth for the first time in his life this election season. Hopkins lost his never-exercised right to vote when he was convicted for drug and other offenses. He gained it back last month when Maryland joined a growing list of U.S. states making it easier for ex-convicts to vote. “To have the right to vote now is empowering. I’m stoked,” said Hopkins, who spent a total of 19 years in prison for non-violent crimes, and was one of 40,000 in the state to regain his right to vote from a legislative action. “I plan to vote in every election possible. I’m voting for mayor, I’m voting for city councilman in my district, and, yes, I’m voting for president,” said Hopkins. He hopes to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Nov. 8. Hopkins is among some 800,000 Americans who have regained the right to vote in the last two decades as about two dozen states have eased restrictions on felons casting ballots, according to the Sentencing Project, a prison reform advocacy group.

National: As 2016 race goes on, states debate election costs | Associated Press

Arizona officials are getting tired of footing the $6 million bill for the state’s presidential primary and want to foist the cost onto the political parties as states around the country weigh the cost of the contests. Colorado may go the other direction, bringing back state-run primaries. Utah lawmakers voted to scrap primaries in favor of caucuses in the two most recent presidential election cycles. States have come up with various ways to handle the contests every four years, and cost is a factor. About a third hold primaries for governor, Congress and other races at the same time as their White House primaries to save money on poll workers, locations and ballots, said Wendy Underhill, elections program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

National: The 130-Year-Old Law That Could Determine Our Next President | Edward Foley/Politico

Political junkies and history buffs have spent weeks dreaming about the unlikeliest possible scenarios that could determine the 2016 election: contested conventions, third-party bids, a cross-party ticket. But here’s one prospect they probably haven’t thought of: There’s a legally sound scenario in which John Kasich could single-handedly pick the next U.S. president. And it’s all thanks to a federal law that’s been on the books since 1887. It’s a far-fetched outcome, to be sure, but here’s how that could happen—and why Congress should consider revising that 130-year-old law. It starts with a serious ballot dispute in November, something like the contested results in Florida during the 2000 election—the odds of which aren’t trivial. Setting aside the very real prospect of a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump nail-biter, the risk of a recount and related litigation is higher than it was in the past, thanks to a greater number of absentee and provisional ballots, which often get counted after Election Day. In this situation, the Supreme Court could step in to resolve the dispute. But the odds of that happening have probably decreased due to the vociferous criticism of the Bush v. Gore decision. Not to mention that in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, there could still be only eight sitting justices in November; that also makes it more likely the court will stay out of the matter this time.

National: How ‘ghost corporations’ are funding the 2016 election | The Washington Post

Two days before Christmas, a trust called DE First Holdings was quietly formed in Delaware, where corporations are required to reveal little about their workings. A day later, the entity dropped $1 million into a super PAC with ties to Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven Fulop, a Democrat considering a gubernatorial bid. The trust, whose owner remains unknown, is part of a growing cadre of mystery outfits financing big-money super PACs. Many were formed just days or weeks before making six- or ­seven-figure contributions — an arrangement that election law experts say violates a long-standing federal ban on straw donors. But the individuals behind the “ghost corporations” appear to face little risk of reprisal from a deeply polarized Federal Election Commission, which recently deadlocked on whether to even investigate such cases. Advocates for stronger campaign-finance enforcement fear there will be even more pop-up limited liability corporations (LLCs) funneling money into independent groups, making it difficult to discern the identities of wealthy players seeking to influence this year’s presidential and congressional contests.

National: Many ex-felons don’t know they can get their right to vote restored | witf

On a Tuesday afternoon in December, Richard Walker stood on the corner outside the city’s social services building and hollered.
“Hey! I’m helping people who’ve got a felony conviction like me get their rights back. You know anybody like that?” Walker, 57, called out to office workers in suits, the women in line for cheap cell phones and the young man pushing a baby stroller down East Marshall Street. Every few minutes he brought someone back to a card table where he patiently explained the forms they would need to fill out to have their right to vote restored after a felony conviction. Walker soothed their worries: It’s OK if you have outstanding fines, it’s OK if it was a long time ago, it’s all OK. For three hours, he moved nonstop. Then he tallied up the forms he had stuffed into a manila envelope and walked them across the street to the government office where they would be processed.