Ohio: Some elected officials decry loss of extended voting hours, others say mail ballots better option | cleveland.com

Elected officials, ministers and labor leaders are railing against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s decision last week not to offer evening and weekend voting hours in Cuyahoga County leading up to the November election. Standing Monday on the steps of the county Board of Elections, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge said Husted and the two Republican board of election members should be ashamed for limiting voting access that has been offered to voters in four of the past five years. Joined by dozens of other Democrats, she said the move would disenfranchise elderly, disabled and working class voters — especially those in poor and minority neighborhoods — and “shave points” in a possibly tight election in a swing state. “This isn’t about finances,” Fudge, of Warrensville Heights said. “This is about politics.” “We are not going to allow them to take our rights sitting down.”

National: Groups Wage Battle Over Voter ID Laws | Roll Call

For Rock the Vote volunteers who roam rock concerts and college campuses looking for students to register, the typical dress code is jeans and a T-shirt.
But this year, many Rock the Vote organizers have traded their college clothes for suits and ties. That’s because they’re spending almost as much time in the courtroom fighting new restrictions on voters as they are out registering voters. Rock the Vote is one of several dozen organizations, from civil rights groups to Latino, labor and women’s groups, that have launched a multipart campaign to push back against new registration rules for voters that have been enacted in many states. The fight over voter access has triggered state-level lobbying, ballot initiatives and lawsuits, and the issue will likely land before the Supreme Court.

National: House votes to end election commission | The Hill

The House on Thursday approved a bill ending the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) that was set up to ensure states meet certain standards at the voting booth, and ending the public financing of presidential campaigns. The bill passed in a mostly partisan 235-190 vote.

The vote followed a sometimes contentious debate in which some Democrats charged that the GOP effort to end the EAC is in line with other Republican attempts to suppress voter turnout in next year’s election. The EAC was established in 2002 after the very close and controversial presidential election of 2000 election, and was meant to ensure states meet certain voting standards. The EAC has disbursed more than $3 billion in “requirements” payments to states to update voting machines and enhance election administration.

National: Dems, GOP spar over voter ID laws | The Hill

The two parties sparred late Tuesday night over the proliferation of voter identification laws across the country, as several House Democrats said these laws would make it harder to minorities to vote, and a lone Republican said the evidence of voter fraud demands a solution such as ensuring all voters are legal U.S. citizens via a picture ID.

“They have only one true purpose, which is to disenfranchise eligible voters,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said on the floor of various state laws. Several Democrats joined her to add that Republican claims of voter fraud are baseless. “There is no threat of voter fraud,” Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) said. “Are there rampant cases of impersonation, voting as someone else? No. Voter fraud is not rampant, there are not numerous cases of impersonation.”

Ohio: New Ohio elections law put on hold after groups deliver petitions to put issue on ballot | cleveland.com

A controversial new Ohio elections law was suspended on Thursday as a coalition of Democrats, voting-rights and labor groups submitted over 300,000 signatures to put the law on the fall 2012 ballot. That means the Nov. 8 election — and probably next year’s presidential election — will be run under the same early-voting laws that benefited Democrats in 2008.

The referendum effort is aimed at House Bill 194, a Republican-backed law that restricts early-voting opportunities and makes other changes that Democrats say amount to voter suppression. U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat, said suspension of the law will increase turnout among the elderly, minorities, the needy and the disabled — all groups that tend to support Democrats.

Ohio: Rep. Marcia Fudge says state-approved voter legislation will unfairly invalidate some ballots | PolitiFact Ohio

A sweeping election reform bill the GOP-controlled Ohio legislature recently passed has stirred widespread opposition. Democrats have even called it the Voter Suppression Bill. In that spirit, opponents have initiated an effort to repeal the law, House Bill 194, through a voter referendum.

U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Democrat from Warrensville Heights, sent an email to her supporters on Aug. 22 asking for help collecting the 231,147 valid signatures of registered voters required to put the law on the ballot in November 2012. The signatures must be submitted by Sept. 29 or the law will take effect.

In her email, Fudge laid out several changes the bill makes that she opposes. “HB 194, the Voter Suppression Bill, invalidates a vote where a voter properly marks the ballot in support of a particular candidate, but also writes in the name of that same candidate,” Fudge wrote. Invalidating a vote, especially when the voter’s intent is clear, definitely is an issue worth examining. So PolitiFact Ohio decided to check Fudge’s claim as she pushes for the law’s repeal.

Ohio: Rep. Marcia Fudge seeks Justice Department oversight over voter ID laws | cleveland.com

Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge is asking Attorney General Eric Holder to examine whether voter photo identification laws that have been proposed in Ohio and adopted in several other states would violate the Voting Rights Act.

“Many of these bills only have one true purpose, the disenfranchisement of eligible voters – especially the elderly, young voters, students, minorities and low-income voters,” said a letter that Fudge sent Holder today with more than 100 House Democrats.

National: House Dems say state voter-ID laws a GOP plan to suppress minority votes | The Hill

Several House Democrats argued on the floor Tuesday morning that the rise of voter-identification laws across many states is a coordinated attempt by Republicans to suppress minority and elderly votes.

“These new policies are a clear attempt to prevent certain pre-determined segments of the population from exercising their right to vote,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio). “To be frank, Mr. Speaker, these efforts have an all-too familiar stench of the Jim Crow era.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said the voter-ID laws are a Republican response to President Obama’s election.

National: GOP To Push Stronger Voter I.D. Laws, Says ‘Voter Fraud Is Real’ | CNSnews.com

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus repeated his party’s commitment to stronger voter identification laws, saying that the GOP would not give up the fight against voter fraud.

“I think that we need to make it easy to vote, hard to cheat, and I think that that’s a mantra that we ought to shout from the rooftops all over the country as a Party,” Priebus told conservative bloggers on a conference call on Thursday.

Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) Chairman David Norcross said that voter fraud issues were very real, despite complaints from liberals that it is largely a phantom problem. Cross cited several cases where states had found thousands of ineligible votes after elections were already over.