President Trump is holding American election security hostage in a bid to suppress votes in his reelection campaign. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that “No debate on Election Security should go forward without first agreeing that Voter ID (Identification) must play a very strong part in any final agreement. Without Voter ID, it is all so meaningless!” In other words, he is explicitly acknowledging that he will allow known vulnerabilities in American election security infrastructure to remain as inviting targets to foreign adversaries of the United States — unless he gets his way on a long-standing Republican priority. But the evidence is clear: Foreign attacks on American democracy are an urgent, ongoing threat to national security that could result in the entire democratic process being rigged or hacked. On the other hand, voter fraud — the problem that voter ID legislation is ostensibly trying to solve — has already been solved. It’s a minuscule problem that poses virtually no threat to American elections.Full Article: Trump is holding election security hostage - The Washington Post.
United Kingdom: Voter ID trials are dangerous. That’s why I’m taking the government to court | Neil Coughlan/The Guardian
On Wednesday, I received a date to attend the high court to fight against the government’s dangerous voter ID plans. This case is particularly significant for everyone who lives in my community because next May, for the first time ever, we will be asked to show identification in order to cast our vote at the local government election. Braintree district council, my local authority in Essex, is one of 10 boroughs across England taking part in the government’s pilot scheme, before it plans to roll out voter ID at the next general election. At first glance, these measures could appear reasonable, fair and innocuous. But on closer inspection, voter ID discriminates against people who are unable to provide identification with the ease that ministers, civil servants and most people take for granted – and naively think we all possess. As the Windrush scandal clearly demonstrated, many British citizens do not have official documentation, in fact, 3.5 million electors (7.5% of the electorate) do not have any photo ID.Full Article: Voter ID trials are dangerous. That’s why I’m taking the government to court | Neil Coughlan | Opinion | The Guardian.
Usually when some sententious centrist talks about ending partisan polarization and just coming up with “solutions” based on “data” or “studies” or “expert consensus,” the appropriate response is to roll your eyes — the way people have been eye-rolling lately at Howard Schultz of Starbucks and his apparently substance-free vision for an independent presidential campaign. Usually where you find polarization, you also find some issue of great moment, some important conflict of interests or values, that can’t just be turned over to the smart people to solve because any “solution” would inevitably be a victory for one side and a defeat for the other. But there are occasional exceptions: Polarizing issues where you could essentially call a truce without anyone winning or losing, without it affecting the balance of power in America’s political debates and culture wars, without anything disappearing except a lot of nonsense, hysteria and panic.Full Article: Opinion | The Myths of Voter ID - The New York Times.
Rhode Island: Brown University study on Rhode Island voter ID law raises questions | Providence Journal
Opponents of Rhode Island’s eight-year-old voter ID law cheered this week when research showing the law stifled voting by low-income residents appeared to confirm their long-held fears. The study from Brown University academics published by the National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER] found that the photo ID law passed in 2011 and used for the first time in 2014 resulted in a “significant decline in turnout, registration, and voting conditional on registration (for more vulnerable groups of voters) in presidential elections after the law was implemented.” After making the rounds among national election law watchers Monday, the study was cited in a General Assembly press release Wednesday promoting Sen. Gayle Goldin’s package of voting reform bills, including one to repeal the voter ID law.Full Article: Political Scene: Brown academics' study on R.I. voter ID law raises questions - News - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI.
A proposal would set a shorter deadline for Mississippi voters to show photo identification if they forget it on Election Day. Since 2014, the state has required people to show government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, before voting. Anyone who forgets an ID may cast an affidavit ballot at the precinct but must go to a courthouse within five days to show the identification. If they don’t show up, their ballot is rejected. Senate Bill 2242 would shorten the five days to three days.Full Article: Proposal would make Mississippi voter ID law stricter | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
The Wyoming House of Representatives will debate a bill that would require voters to present photo identification at the polls. Sponsored by Casper Republican Chuck Gray, House Bill 192 seeks to prevent voter fraud in Wyoming. The bill passed a legislative committee Tuesday, even after a representative from the Secretary of State’s office told lawmakers that she was unaware of any recent reported cases of voter fraud in Wyoming. In addition to requiring identification to verify one’s identity at the polls, the legislation also grants authority to the secretary of state to set parameters for acceptable forms of photo I.D., something not currently outlined in state statute. Currently, 35 states require some form of photo I.D. to vote. Wyoming is not among them.Full Article: Bill would require Wyoming voters to present photo I.D. at the polls | Wyoming News | trib.com.
Iowa: Voter ID: Judge strikes rule on absentee ballots as ‘irrational, illogical and wholly unjustifiable’ | Des Moines Register
An Iowa judge struck down part of a 2017 voter ID law dealing with absentee ballots — a decision opponents of the law say will make it easier for voters to get ballots and Secretary of State Paul Pate said will make it “easier to cheat.” Polk County District Court Judge Karen Romano called the rule unlawful and blocked it from taking effect in a Wednesday ruling. The rule had prevented county auditors from using an existing statewide voter database to look up missing voter information when processing absentee ballot requests. Romano wrote that limiting auditors’ use of the database was “irrational, illogical, and wholly unjustifiable.” The decision was part of the larger legal fight over Iowa’s 2017 voter ID law, which went into full effect this year. A separate lawsuit seeks to overturn the entire law.Full Article: Iowa Voter ID: Judge strikes down part of state rules on absentee ballots.
With record turnout for the 2018 midterm election in Wisconsin, voting across the state went smoothly, according to a report released Thursday. But some issues were reported, including issues in Racine County. The report, compiled by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Election Protection group, found problems in voting to be site-specific and limited, while issues around accessible voting equipment, staffing levels and questions about separate addresses for IDs and voter registration were observed at similar levels to the 2016 presidential election. The League of Women Voters had 217 volunteer observers submit observations from 388 polling sites across the state, consisting of 331 urban polling locations, 57 rural locations, 31 locations with a student population and eight locations that served tribal communities.Full Article: State midterm report: Issues reported at Racine, other polls | Government and Politics | journaltimes.com.
Republican legislators want a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s new voter identification rules thrown out, saying accusations that they violate several portions of the state constitution aren’t true. The offices of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger confirmed their dismissal motion was filed in Wake County court late Tuesday.
Lawyers for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a motion in federal court Monday to intervene in a lawsuit challenging rules to implement North Carolina’s new requirement that voters present photo identification at the polls. Voters approved adding the ID requirement to the state constitution in November, and lawmakers adopted rules last month outlining what IDs would be accepted. The NAACP quickly sued to block the legislation, naming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the State Board of Elections as defendants. Cooper vetoed the voter ID rules, and the elections board has since been dissolved by a court order in a separate case, Berger and Moore noted. Also, both parties would be represented in court by Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein’s office, they said.Full Article: Legislative leaders want to be part of voter ID lawsuit :: WRAL.com.
North Dakota has asked a federal judge to dismiss a Native American tribe’s lawsuit challenging the state’s voter identification requirements, saying in part that tribal members named in the complaint weren’t impeded from voting on Election Day. The attorney general’s office in a Monday filing also argued that the state is immune from such lawsuits in U.S. District Court and that the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe doesn’t have standing to sue for several reasons, including that it’s unclear how the tribe might be affected by the inability of any members to vote. Even if that were clear, attorneys said, the tribe “is not representing the interests of all of its members, merely a select few.”Full Article: North Dakota asks judge to dismiss tribe's voter ID lawsuit | National | dailyjournalonline.com.
Virginia: Northam proposes repeal of Virginia’s voter ID requirement, reform campaign finance laws | WTVR
In an effort to remove barriers to voting, Governor Ralph Northam is proposing a repeal of the law that requires Virginians to show a photo ID when they vote. “Participation makes our democracy strong—we should encourage every eligible voter to exercise this fundamental right, rather than creating unnecessary barriers that make getting to the ballot box difficult,” said Governor Northam. The legislation will be patroned by Senator Mamie Locke and Delegate Kaye Kory. Kory said lawmakers should protect the constitutional right of every American citizen, not inventing ways to keep voters away from the polls. “The photo ID requirement prevents the most vulnerable Virginians from voting and silences the voices of those who most need to be heard,” said Kory.Full Article: Northam proposes repeal of Virginia’s voter ID requirement, reform campaign finance laws | WTVR.com.
he North Carolina law detailing a new voter photo identification requirement got challenged in court Wednesday mere moments after the Republican-led General Assembly completed the override of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the measure. Six voters filed the lawsuit in Wake County court less than 15 minutes after the state House finished the override in a mostly party-line 72-40 vote. The Senate already voted to override Tuesday. The photo ID law implements a constitutional amendment approved in a referendum last month that mandates photo identification to vote in person, with exceptions allowed. Still, the plaintiffs contend the law violates the state constitution and should be blocked, saying it retains requirements within a 2013 photo ID law that federal judges struck down.Full Article: New voter ID law immediately challenged in N Carolina court - The Washington Post.
The state Senate voted Tuesday to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a voter ID bill, one of the final steps needed before the state requires voters to show photo identification at the polls. The Senate voted 33-12 to override. In order to enact the law over Cooper’s objection, the House will also have to vote to override his veto. The House and Senate passed the bill with veto-proof majorities before the Democratic governor vetoed it. The measure would require certain forms of photo ID to vote in person. Republican legislative leaders said Cooper’s veto defied the will of the voters. Photo voter ID was added to the state constitution this year with support from 55 percent of voters.Full Article: Voter ID: NC Senate overrides Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto | News & Observer.
Voter identification has been a longstanding goal for North Carolina Republicans. In 2013, just after the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act, the state legislature controlled by Republicans passed a bill substantially rewriting election laws. It included a voter identification requirement that was among the strictest in the nation, accepting only a narrow set of government issued identification. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down the law. Instead of enacting another bill, Republicans placed a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year. The measure simply stated that a photo identification would be required to cast a ballot in North Carolina elections but left the details up to the legislature. Voters approved the measure 55.5 percent to 44.5 percent, so the question is not if there will be voter identification in North Carolina, but rather how it will look.Full Article: Battle over North Carolina voter identification law moves ahead | TheHill.
The Senate voted 33-12 Tuesday to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of legislation to implement the state’s new requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls. The House is expected to complete the override process on Wednesday, and if that does indeed happen, voters would have to start showing IDs during municipal elections next fall. Cooper issued his veto last Friday, calling the bill “a solution in search of a problem.” He said the whole voter ID effort had “sinister and cynical origins,” citing a 2013 state voter ID law that federal courts later threw out after determining it was targeted at suppressing minority voting. “The cost of disenfranchising those voters or any citizens is too high, and the risk of taking away the fundamental right to vote is too great, for this law to take effect,” Cooper said in his veto message.Full Article: Voter ID rules one override vote away from taking effect :: WRAL.com.
Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would require voters to show a form of photo identification before voting in person, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.” The bill passed this month largely along party lines. A handful of Democrats voted for it, and the bill passed with veto-proof margins in both the state House and Senate. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said in separate statements that the legislature will override Cooper’s veto. “We are disappointed that Gov. Cooper chose to ignore the will of the people and reject a commonsense election integrity measure that is common in most states, but the North Carolina House will override his veto as soon as possible,” Moore’s statement said. Voter ID has been a years-long goal for Republicans. A 2013 law that included a photo ID requirement to vote was overturned by federal courts in 2016. The GOP moved to add photo ID to the state constitution this year, and the amendment passed with 55 percent of the vote. In late November, Cooper said voter ID was “wrong for our state.”Full Article: Voter ID: NC Gov. Roy Cooper vetoes voter ID bill | News & Observer.
A voter photo identification bill won state House approval Wednesday, a proposal now also altered to try to improve absentee ballot security in North Carolina in light of fraud allegations in a congressional district. The House version of legislation detailing how a new constitutional amendment mandating photo ID to vote in person is carried out starting in mid-2019 also directs the state elections board next year to figure out how people requesting mail-in absentee ballots also must offer ID. The measure now returns to the Senate, which approved an earlier version last week that didn’t address the mail-in requests. That was before attention to absentee ballots soared with word that election officials and prosecutors are investigating claims of fraudulent absentee ballot activities in the 9th Congressional District.Full Article: Latest voter ID bill tries to address absentee ballots | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
Editorials: Good Time To Point Out Voter ID Would Not Stop Republican Election Fraud | Elie Mystal/Above the Law
I believe that people who push voter identification requirements are cynical racists who believe in voter suppression as the best way to ensure Republican control and prop up the policies of white supremacy. But… maybe they’re just stupid. I argue with a lot of people who claim that voter ID laws are just a “common sense” solution the “dangerous” problem of voter fraud. That position is demonstrably ignorant, but centrists tell me that people who believe it need not be self-consciously malignant. Happily, the honest attempt at actual voter fraud by North Carolina Republicans will give us all a chance to test our hypotheses. If I’m right, the racists will ignore this attempt at fraud. If the centrists are right, these pro-voter ID people will actually learn something.Full Article: Good Time To Point Out Voter ID Would Not Stop Republican Election Fraud | Above the Law.
Australia: Coalition pushes for voter identification laws and launches attack on GetUp | The Guardian
Coalition MPs and senators have called for voter identification laws but Labor has warned such a push would amount to “a pathway to voter suppression”. The recommendation is contained in joint standing committee on electoral matters report on the 2016 election, which also calls for a higher bar to register a minor party and consideration of higher penalties for non-voting and tax deductibility of political donations. The Liberal chair, James McGrath, also used his foreword to the report to launch a stinging attack on GetUp, accusing it of providing “misleading information”. He said this was a “potential contempt of the parliament”, a claim rejected on Wednesday by the Speaker of the House. The Coalition-controlled committee recommended voters be made to verify their identity or their address at polling places by producing documents such as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or utilities bill.Full Article: Coalition pushes for voter identification laws and launches attack on GetUp | Australia news | The Guardian.