voter id

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Iowa: Secretary of State’s office considers proposals to implement new voter ID law | Des Moines Register

Iowans filled a cramped conference room at the Lucas State Office Building on Monday to offer both praise and criticism of the state’s new voter identification laws as the Secretary of State works to begin implementing the changes. Then-Gov. Terry Branstad signed the bill into law in May, enacting a new requirement that every voter present government-issued identification at the polls on Election Day. Monday’s public hearing was intended to give Iowans a chance to discuss the rules governing how the law will be implemented. “The bill is the law now,” said Daniel Zeno with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa. “The goal of the rules, we believe, should be to make sure it’s crystal clear so that voter registration organizations, same-day registrants, pre-registered voters all know what the rules are and that we’re protecting the voting rights of all Iowans.” The law, for example, says a voter’s registration will be canceled if that person submits a notice declining to serve on a jury because he or she is not a legal citizen. Read More

Texas: Appeals court declines request to speed voter ID resolution | Austin American-Statesman

A federal appeals court Tuesday declined to have all 14 judges participate in the appeal over the Texas voter ID law — a decision that will keep the issue unresolved heading into the 2018 elections, one judge said. Civil rights groups, Democrats and minority voters who challenged the voter ID law as discriminatory had asked for the entire court to hear the appeal as a way to speed the case toward resolution. The 10-4 ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, means the appeal will be heard by the customary three-judge panel. Writing in dissent, Justice Jerry Smith noted that the losing side will probably ask the entire court to review the panel’s decision in what is known as “en banc” consideration — a path the 5th Circuit Court took at an earlier stage of the case that, if taken again, would make it “impossible for a decision to be issued before some, if not all, of the 2018 elections are history,” he said. Read More

Rhode Island: Block’s ‘voter analysis’ debated before elections board | Providence Journal

With no one actually disputing the possibility that Rhode Island has for close to a decade violated a federal law requiring a driver’s license or Social Security number from people registering to vote for the first time, a battle of wills broke out Wednesday night at the state Board of Elections. The battle pitted elections board member Stephen Erickson, a one-time state lawmaker and retired District Court judge, against 2014 Republican candidate for governor Ken Block, who did a recent — and highly controversial — voter analysis for a nonprofit co-founded by President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon. Before a live audience at the election board’s Branch Avenue headquarters, Erickson and Block essentially acted out their running Twitter dispute over the complaint that Block filed with the U.S. Department of Justice late last month alleging violations by Rhode Island of the “Help America Vote Act (HAVA).” Read More

Rhode Island: Dispute arises over potential loophole in mail balloting | Providence Journal

Two-time gubernatorial candidate Ken Block alleges there is a “gigantic” loophole in Rhode Island’s voter-ID law for people who vote by mail ballot. The allegation is the latest in a series since Block was hired by a nonprofit — co-founded by President Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon — to use his computer skills to data-mine for potential electoral abuses, including straight-out voter fraud. He recently made a formal request for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation. On Monday, he alleged a new issue: the potential for people voting by mail ballot to escape Rhode Island’s voter ID requirements. “The use of mail ballots in Rhode Island’s elections has exploded, with the 2016 general election seeing a doubling of mail ballot usage compared to recent previous elections. The use of mail ballots was marketed as ‘early voting’ by some officials,″ he noted. Read More

Wisconsin: State treasurer to Legislature: Penalize Dane County for funding voter ID study | Wisconsin State Journal

Republican State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk on Wednesday called on the Legislature to penalize Dane County for funding a UW-Madison study on the effects of the state’s voter ID law. Dane County spent $55,000 on the study by UW-Madison political science professor Ken Mayer. It concluded nearly 17,000 registered voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties may have been deterred from voting in November because of the controversial law. In a statement, Adamczyk called the taxpayer expenditure “a complete waste of money” partly because nearly three in four of those surveyed lived in Milwaukee County. He called for cutting $55,000 in shared revenue Dane County receives from the state in the next budget. The county receives about $3.9 million in shared revenue. Read More

Wisconsin: UW Study: Up To 23,000 Didn’t Vote Because Of Voter ID Law | Wisconsin Public Radio

Sites in 20 Wisconsin cities took part in National Voter Registration Day efforts Tuesday. The event comes a day after a University of Wisconsin-Madison study showing the state’s voter ID law lowered turnout last year. The study from UW-Madison estimates that up to 23,000 people in Dane and Milwaukee counties did not vote in November 2016 because of the state’s voter ID law. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that between 16,800 and 23,250 voters in two of the state’s most Democratic counties did not vote because of the law. Shauntay Nelson of the group Wisconsin Voices says part of the problem was just confusion, and she says events like National Voter Registration Day can cut through that. “Our intention is to partner with as many people as possible to educate individuals and to really begin to help them to understand that there really are avenues,” Nelson said. Read More

Wisconsin: Strict ID Law Discouraged Voters, Study Finds | The New York Times

Nearly 17,000 registered Wisconsin voters — potentially more — were kept from the polls in November by the state’s strict voter ID law, according to a new survey of nonvoters by two University of Wisconsin political scientists. The survey, summarized on Monday on the university’s website, is certain to further roil an ongoing debate over whether Donald J. Trump’s narrow victory in Wisconsin over Hillary Clinton was a result of efforts to depress Democratic turnout. Mr. Trump defeated Mrs. Clinton by 22,748 votes out of more than 2.9 million ballots cast. The November turnout in Wisconsin, 69.4 percent of eligible voters, was the lowest in a presidential election year since 2000. The study summarized on Monday specifically does not make that claim, its principal author, Prof. Kenneth R. Mayer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in an interview. But neither did he rule it out. “The survey did not ask any questions about how people would have voted or about their party identification,” he said. “But it’s certainly possible that there were enough voters deterred that it flipped the election.” Read More

Zimbabwe: Women Cut Out of Election by Zimbabwe’s Proof of Residence | New Deeply

As Zimbabwe prepares for a general election in 2018, rights activists are criticizing the government’s decision to reintroduce a proof of residence requirement for voter registration, saying it disenfranchises a large number of potential voters – many of them women. After proposals to relax the rules on proof of residence drew criticism from various political parties, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in June reinstated the requirement that all voters must produce a document confirming their permanent address before they can register to vote. But activists say the move disqualifies anyone who doesn’t have a fixed address, doesn’t own property or simply can’t get hold of the necessary documentation. Read More

Iowa: Groups express concern about rules for voter ID law | Associated Press

Proposed rules for Iowa’s new voter identification law will add unnecessary complications that could make it harder for people to vote, according to several voting advocacy groups. The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, the League of Women Voters of Iowa and six other groups offered a joint statement on the proposed administrative rules as part of a public comment period. They believe the rules could hurt people of color, low-income individuals, the elderly and the disabled. “We know that when it’s harder and more complicated for people to vote, that essentially disenfranchises them,” said Daniel Zeno, policy council for ACLU of Iowa. Read More

United Kingdom: Voters to be asked for ID in trials of system to combat electoral fraud | The Guardian

Voters in five local authorities will need to show ID before they can vote in local elections next May, in a move aimed at combating voter fraud but which Labour and the Liberal Democrats have warned could disenfranchise thousands of people. Voters in Woking, Gosport, Bromley, Watford and Slough will be asked to show ID at polling stations before being issued with a ballot paper, but the five local authorities are likely to trial a variety of systems, including showing photo ID or providing polling cards where individual barcodes could be scanned. The Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission said details were still being finalised of what photo ID would be required, as well as a system involving non-photo ID, but both would be trialled to see which was more effective and efficient. Read More