Editorials: 2011 year of unprecedented GOP attack on voting rights of average Americans | TCPalm.com

2011 maybe remembered for the mean-spirited and extremely undemocratic GOP assault upon the voting rights of Americans. Over the history of our great nation there always has been positive momentum to expand the voting franchise.

The original tea partiers pointed to the lack of voting rights with their motto, “No taxation without representation.” Eventually the limitation of voting rights to property owners slowly ended state by state. After the Civil War three important constitutional amendments were passed to ensure the rights of newly freed, former slaves, including the right to vote. The original voting franchise in America had empowered only white men to vote, and in many instances only white men who owned property.

Editorials: Mississippi Has A New Voter ID Law. Does Voter Fraud Exist? | The New Republic

Lost amidst the streaming confetti that followed Tuesday’s big liberal victories in Mississippi and Ohio were two potentially disastrous voter referendum results. One was Ohio’s decision to “block” the American Care Act’s individual mandate, which my esteemed colleague explicated in great detail earlier this week. The other was Mississippi’s strict voter ID law, now the eighth of its kind in the country. The new law is simple: Except for some religious objectors and residents of state-run care facilities, voters will henceforth need to present government-issued photo IDs to place ballots. (Interesting side note: Because IDs will now be dispensed free of charge, the state estimates it will lose $1.5 million in yearly revenue.) Every time such an ID law is proposed, proponents justify its merits by citing the dangers of voter fraud. Opponents counter that the laws are nothing more than brazen attempts to disenfranchise young and minority voters. Who’s right?

Editorials: North Carolina voter law changes hinder ballot access | Salisbury Post

In cities across the state, North Carolinians are going to the polls this week to exercise the most fundamental right of our democracy: the right to vote. The underlying principle of our democracy is that we are all equal in the voting booth: black or white, young or old, rich or poor. When we cast our ballot, we all raise an equal voice to determine the shape of our government.

Sadly, some North Carolina legislators seem determined to reduce the chorus of voices that will be heard in the 2012 elections. Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed an onerous bill to make voters show a government photo ID when they vote. It may seem like a common-sense requirement, but more people than you may imagine don’t drive or have a photo ID — and they are disproportionately people of color, the elderly, low-income citizens, women who change their names and the young. For example, a match-up of motor vehicle and election databases shows that while African Americans are 22 percent of N.C. registered voters, they are 32 percent of the roughly 500,000 registered voters without a state-issued ID.

Oklahoma: 4,500 voters wind up in new districts | MuskogeePhoenix.com

Muskogee County election officials are sending voter identification cards to more than 4,500 registered voters affected by legislative redistricting. Redistricting, mandated by law to take place every 10 years, divided the county, which used to be within one state Senate district, into parts of three districts.

Muskogee County Election Board Secretary Ellen Thames said the redrawn boundaries of several state House districts also affects a number of voters. This year’s legislative redistricting will affect 4,515, or nearly 12 percent, of the county’s 39,121 registered voters. Voters in western and southeastern Muskogee County will be affected the most.

National: Democrats target voter ID laws in 13 states | The Tennessean

A retired couple from Murfreesboro will testify before a House subcommittee later this month about their experience with Tennessee’s new law requiring a photo ID to vote. Democrats on Thursday ratcheted up efforts to combat new voting laws adopted by 13 states that Democrats say are deliberate efforts to keep its core voting blocs from casting ballots next year.

“Election legislation and administration appear to be increasingly the product of partisan plays,” says a letter to election officials in all 50 states signed by 196 Democrats in the House of Representatives. “Election officials are seen as partisan combatants, rather than stewards of democracy.” In a hearing scheduled for Nov. 14, Lee Campbell and his wife, Phyllis, will talk about their experience securing a photo ID for her in Rutherford County. She is one of the estimated 126,000 registered voters in Tennessee over age 60 who do not have a photo on their driver’s license.

National: FVAP report shows continued trends in military voting Report highlights successes and future challenges | electionlineWeekly

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) recently released its 2010 Post Election Report, which included a wealth of information on the participation of military voters and their spouses. This release follows the recent publication of data and a report on military and overseas voting by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

While the report includes numerous details focusing on the specifics of members of this community, the general trend is clear: members of the military and their spouses are highly engaged in the elections process and continue to register and vote at higher rates than the general electorate.

Unlike the EAC, which simply reports data provided by states as part of the Election Administration and Voting Survey, the FVAP adjusted military participation data to account for the age and gender of the generally younger and male population of uniformed voters. FVAP also surveyed a number of populations to ascertain their level of participation in 2010.

India: Chief Minister raises pitch for ‘D’ voters

Guwahati, June 12: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today raised the pitch for restoring the voting rights of genuine Indian citizens dubbed doubtful (D) voters, drawing the attention of both the Election Commission and the Centre about the plight of such individuals.

During his candid and no-holds barred speech at the inaugural session of the seventh and final consultation on electoral reforms held here this morning, Gogoi said the matter should not be kept hanging. “Some mechanism has to be evolved so that those who are genuine Indian citizens get the right to vote,” he said.