The Senate gave final approval Thursday to legislation setting the rules for the recently approved constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Sens. Joel Ford, D-Mecklenburg, and Don Davis, D-Pitt, joined the Republican majority in the 30-10 vote. Those two Democrats and Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke, also voted for the new rules in Wednesday’s 32-11 preliminary vote. The measure now heads to the House. There was little debate in the Senate on Thursday, but several Democrats repeatedly called Wednesday for slowing down the process, noting dozens of changes have already been made to the draft legislation that was first rolled out a week ago and suggesting people will be wrongly blocked from voting if IDs are required starting next year.Full Article: Senate gives final approval to voter ID rules :: WRAL.com.
The Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday to legislation setting the rules for the recently approved constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Sens. Joel Ford, D-Mecklenburg, Ben Clark, D-Hoke, and Don Davis, D-Pitt, joined the Republican majority in the 32-11 vote. A final vote is scheduled for Thursday morning before the measure heads to the House. Other Democrats repeatedly called for slowing down the process, noting dozens of changes have already been made to the draft legislation that was first rolled out a week ago and suggesting people will be wrongly blocked from voting if IDs are required starting next year. “A rollout period of five months is just too short,” said Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, noting some municipal primaries will be held in the spring. “Sometimes we don’t do a real good job as a state implementing big systems.”Full Article: Senate gives preliminary approval to voter ID rules :: WRAL.com.
The election is over but the battle over voter ID continued Tuesday as hundreds of people gathered to protest in front of the state Legislative Building. Legislators are drafting a voter ID bill after it passed as a constitutional amendment during the midterm elections earlier this month with more than 55 percent of the vote. A previous voter ID bill from 2013 was struck down in 2016 by a panel of judges who said it targeted African Americans with “discriminatory intent.” The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision. Some of the top questions that legislators will have to answer in the coming days include whether student IDs will be accepted at the polls, whether expired IDs will be allowed, and what the state will do to help people without an acceptable photo ID get one in order to avoid being disenfranchised.Full Article: Voter ID: NAACP protests, new bill out in legislature | News & Observer.
Emboldened by a referendum voters approved this month, North Carolina’s soon-dwindling Republican majorities at the legislature will scramble to approve their preferred voter identification law before Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper can stop it. The GOP-dominated General Assembly returns to work Tuesday to decide how a new amendment to the state constitution requiring photo ID to vote in person will be carried out. The amendment passed with more than 55 percent of the vote, giving Republicans confidence to move ahead despite years of controversy in the state over such a mandate. Meeting now is strategic. Democrats won enough legislative seats Election Day to end the Republicans’ veto-proof control come January. So Cooper, a longtime opponent of voter photo ID laws, won’t be able to stop any lame-duck session bills as long as Republicans remain united. New restrictions, on which courts probably will weigh in, would affect over 7 million voters in the anticipated 2020 presidential battleground state, which will also feature races for governor and U.S. Senate that year.Full Article: After Referendum, North Carolina GOP Tries Voter ID Again.
Editorials: 4 ways North Carolina lawmakers can make a voter ID bill less than awful | News & Observer
Voter ID laws are an awful way to protect the integrity of elections. They address a problem that isn’t a problem — the North Carolina board of elections found one case in 4.8 million votes cast in 2016 that photo ID would have addressed — and they disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of potential voters who don’t have the documents, money or time to obtain an ID. Voter ID is even more troublesome in the hands of North Carolina’s Republican legislators, who have shown a remarkable capacity to craft voting laws that are unconstitutional, racially discriminatory and inevitably slapped down by federal judges. Still, NC voters decided this month to give the legislature another try, approving an amendment to the NC Constitution that allows lawmakers to draw up a new voter ID law without having to get the governor’s approval.Full Article: 4 ways NC lawmakers can make a voter ID bill less than awful | News & Observer.
Editorials: Don’t use voter ID to make voting harder in North Carolina | Colin Campbell/News & Observer
I’ve got a confession to make: Back in 2006, I didn’t vote. It’s not that I didn’t want to. I’m one of those people who feels strongly that it’s a basic duty of citizenship to vote in every election. I judge people who don’t vote. My excuse was that I was a UNC-Chapel Hill student still registered to vote in my Virginia hometown. The absentee voting deadline slipped by me, as I’m sure it did for other busy college students. The following year, I moved my voter registration to North Carolina to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. But under the state’s 2013 voter ID, that switch would have been a lot harder. That’s because the legislature refused to allow student ID cards at the polls. It didn’t matter that IDs issued by public universities are effectively government-issued IDs. There had been no reports of fraudulent student IDs. GOP legislators didn’t include student IDs because they know the majority of college students tend to vote for Democrats.Full Article: Don’t use voter ID to make voting harder | News & Observer.
North Dakota: Few voters verify ID under North Dakota’s new ‘set aside’ ballot system | Grand Forks Herald
Less than a fifth of North Dakotans who marked a “set aside” ballot during last week’s midterm election followed up with a valid identification and had their vote counted, a state election official said Friday, Nov. 16. Under state law, voters who don’t have sufficient identification on Election Day may mark a ballot that’s separated from the rest. If a voter returns with an adequate ID within six days, the ballot would be included in the tally. The new procedure was introduced in the latest iteration of North Dakota’s voter ID law, which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature and was signed by Gov. Doug Burgum in 2017. Across the state, 1,110 voters marked a set aside ballot, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum said. Only 141 of them, or 13 percent, returned to verify their ID, but several counties had not yet reported their figures to state officials by 8 a.m. Friday. At most, 219 people returned to verify their ID.Full Article: Few voters verify ID under North Dakota's new 'set aside' ballot system | Grand Forks Herald.
Arkansas: Ballots mixed in few state elections; some voters hit ID snags at polls | Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Phillips County voters said they cast the wrong ballots in the Marvell mayoral election Tuesday because ballots for people inside and outside the city limits were mixed up. In the highly contested race for Marvell mayor, rural voters received city ballots and city voters got county ballots. The county ballots did not include candidates for mayor. Amanda Moody, who lives in the city, said she went to vote about 8 a.m. and realized after voting that she hadn’t been able to vote for mayor. There are three candidates in this year’s election. “I just hope something gets rectified,” Moody said.Full Article: Ballots mixed in few state elections; some voters hit ID snags at polls.
North Dakota: Federal judge rejects lawsuit, lets North Dakota disenfranchise Native American voters | Salon
federal judge has rejected a North Dakota tribe’s emergency motion to stop a voter ID law that it argued disproportionately affects Native Americans in Tuesday’s midterm elections. “The federal courts are unanimous in their judgment that it is highly important to preserve the status quo when elections are fast approaching,” U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland wrote in his order. The judge said the lawsuit by the Spirit Lake Tribe gives “great cause for concern” and will need a “a detailed response from the Secretary of State as this case proceeds,” but decided that “a further injunction on the eve of the election will create as much confusion as it will alleviate, and is foreclosed by precedent which is hesitant to permit ‘eleventh-hour changes to election laws.’” The Spirit Lake Tribe sued to block the state from enforcing a voter ID law that they argued would disenfranchise hundreds if not thousands of Native Americans ahead of next week’s elections. The law requires all voters to present an ID with their street address, but many Native Americans who live on reservations do not have traditional street addresses and rely on post office box addresses.Full Article: Federal judge rejects lawsuit, lets North Dakota disenfranchise Native American voters | Salon.com.
Appeals court judges on Tuesday said a lawsuit can move forward that alleges Missouri lawmakers didn’t spend enough money on implementation of a new voter photo identification law and it consequently should not be enforced. The decision by the Western District Court of Appeals panel reversed a circuit court judge’s January ruling to dismiss the case , meaning the legal challenge can continue. The American Civil Liberties Union, Advancement Project, Missouri NAACP and League of Women Voters filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that state lawmakers didn’t budget enough money for the state to properly educate voters on the changes, provide free IDs and birth certificates, and train poll workers. As a result, the groups argued that the heart of the law should not be carried out.Full Article: Appeals judges OK lawsuit on Missouri voter photo ID funding | The News Tribune.
Nobody in the squat yellow house serving as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s get-out-the-vote headquarters knew its address. It was on Red Tail Hawk Avenue; they knew that much. But the number was anyone’s guess. Phyllis Young, a longtime tribal activist leading the voter-outreach effort, said it had fallen off the side of the house at some point. Her own home has a number only because she added one with permanent marker. This is normal on Native American reservations. Buildings lack numbers; streets lack signs. Even when a house has an address in official records, residents don’t necessarily know what it is. “We know our communities based off our communities,” said Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn, a Standing Rock spokeswoman and tribal judge. “We know, ‘Hey, that’s so-and-so’s house; you go two houses down and that’s the correct place you need to be.’”Full Article: In North Dakota, Native Americans Try to Turn an ID Law to Their Advantage - The New York Times.
Native American residents of North Dakota have been left scrambling to meet a controversial voter ID requirement that could render many ineligible to vote in the upcoming November mid-term elections. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court declined to overturn the GOP-backed voter law, which requires North Dakotans to show identification with their current street address. As many Native American reservations do not use physical street addresses, the law makes it difficult for thousands of people to cast their ballots. While Native American residents do often use PO boxes as mailing addresses, PO boxes do not qualify as proof of residency under the voter ID law. As a result, many voters will have to make the effort to obtain identification or documents, such as a tribal voting letter issued by tribal officials, that provide proof of a residential address.Full Article: GOP-backed ID Law Could Stop Native Americans From Voting in Key Senate Race.
A Missouri judge on Tuesday made clear that local election workers cannot enforce a core requirement in a new voter photo identification law, taking away the teeth of the law in advance of a marquee U.S. Senate election on Nov. 6. At issue is a new law that had directed voters to present a valid photo ID or sign a sworn statement and present some other form of identification in order to cast a regular ballot. Senior Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan earlier this month struck down the requirement that voters without proper photo ID sign a sworn statement. But Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who supports a photo ID law, said the ruling caused “mass confusion” just weeks before the pivotal election between Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican rival, Attorney General Josh Hawley.Full Article: Missouri judge clarifies voter ID ruling ahead of key Senate contest | PBS NewsHour.
The Supreme Court declined this month to overturn a North Dakota law that requires voters to present an ID listing their residential address at the polls. The decision could have a negative impact on tens of thousands of rural voters — many of them Native Americans who live on one of the states five reservations, where residents are not required to have a street address. Native Americans have long faced unique challenges relating to voter suppression. They were the last to gain suffrage in 1924 and couldn’t vote in states like Arizona, New Mexico and Utah until 1948.Full Article: North Dakota Voter ID Law Could Keep Rural Native Americans From Voting | Here & Now.
Two events occurred in 2008 that help explain why we live today in a new age of voter suppression. Everyone talks about the second occurrence, the election of Barack Obama in November and the wave of explicit white racism that followed it, when explaining why so many Republican officials now are so eager deny their fellow citizens the ability to vote. Too few people ever talk about the first event that occurred in 2008 that led us to today’s desperate fight for voting rights: the Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford v. Marion County that upheld Indiana’s voter ID law. The Crawford decision was wrong the day it was decided. Wrong because it validated state lawmakers who had ginned up onerous new voting restrictions without offering any credible evidence that such restrictions were necessary. Wrong because widespread in-person voter fraud, then and now, is a myth fabricated by conservative ideologues who seek to use it as justification to disenfranchise millions of poor, elderly, or minority voters. Wrong, according to 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Richard Posner, the Reagan-nominated judge who wrote the appellate decision the Supreme Court upheld in Crawford. To his credit, Judge Posner determined years ago that he had made a terrible mistake and wasn’t afraid to say so.Full Article: Voting Rights on Life Support in the Age of Trump | Washington Spectator.
Missouri voters shouldn’t be asked to sign an affidavit if they attempt to vote without a photo ID in the Nov. 6 general election, after the Missouri Supreme Court on Friday denied Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Attorney General Josh Hawley’s request to overturn a ruling striking part of the state’s new voter ID law. The state’s lawyers had asked the court to stay the immediate effectiveness of Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan’s order, which said the state can’t require voters who are “otherwise qualified to cast a regular ballot” to sign an affidavit — if they don’t have one of the photo IDs lawmakers included in the new law, which went into effect July 1, 2017. Missouri voters, by a 63 percent margin in November 2016, added an amendment to the Missouri Constitution allowing lawmakers to create requirements for voters to identify themselves when voting at their polling place, including using photo IDs.Full Article: Part of Missouri's voter ID law still suspended | Central MO Breaking News.
North Dakota is home to one of the most important Senate races of 2018, and less than three weeks before Election Day, it’s embroiled in a fierce battle over who will be able to participate. nOn Oct. 9, the Supreme Court allowed a new state voter identification requirement to take effect, meaning North Dakotans will be voting under different rules than in the primaries just a few months ago. The change disproportionately affects Native Americans, and tribal leaders and advocacy groups have spent the past week and a half scrambling. In a recent letter to the North Dakota secretary of state, one group called the state’s current process unworkable and proposed a solution, but the secretary of state would not endorse it. It is an extraordinary situation: the electoral process thrown into chaos at the last minute in a state that will help decide which party controls the Senate. Here’s a look at where things stand.Full Article: A Look at Where North Dakota’s Voter ID Controversy Stands - The New York Times.
Students, public officials and action groups are asking Iowa State to make voting easier for students as Iowa’s new voter ID laws will be in partial effect for 2018’s midterm election. The law, signed in 2017 by former Gov. Terry Branstad and championed by Secretary of State Paul Pate, adds a requirement for voters to present a valid form of identification in order to ensure their eligibility, amongst other regulations, but some say this could pose a threat to the integrity of the system it was designed to protect. However, most of the law’s provisions won’t be in effect for this election, due to an injunction filed by Taylor Blair, president of Iowa State’s College Democrats, alongside the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa.Full Article: Advocacy groups fear Iowa voter ID laws disenfranchise students | News | iowastatedaily.com.
Missouri: St. Louis Democrats urge Attorney General to drop voter photo ID appeal | St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis area Democrats are using an appeal of a court ruling against Missouri’s voter photo identification law as a rallying cry in the state’s competitive race for U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, joined Democratic members of the Missouri General Assembly Monday to demand that Attorney General Josh Hawley drop his defense of the law. A Cole County judge last week declared unconstitutional the sworn statement voters who used non-photo identification like a utility bill had to sign to cast a ballot. “Instead of stepping up to protect the voting rights of these Missourians who are most at risk of being disenfranchised, our AG, Josh Hawley, is appealing Judge [Richard]Callahan’s ruling in order to suppress the vote of minorities, the disabled and the rural poor who are most likely to vote for his opponent,” Clay said.Full Article: St. Louis Democrats urge Hawley to drop voter photo ID appeal | St. Louis Public Radio.
Missouri: Voter ID ruling has election authorities worried about confusion at polls | Columbia Missourian
As the Nov. 6 general election approaches, a new shake-up regarding voter identification laws has election authorities across Missouri — including in Boone County — on their toes. Cole County Judge Richard Callahan on Tuesday blocked provisions of the voter ID law that require people with a non-photo ID to sign an affidavit before casting a ballot. Callahan issued the ruling in a lawsuit filed against the state by Priorities USA. Although an affidavit requirement could be reasonable, the one used for voters who present an ID without a photo is “contradictory and misleading,” Callahan ruled. “The affidavit plainly requires the voter to swear that they do not possess a form of personal identification approved for voting while simultaneously presenting to the election authority a form of personal identification that is approved,” Callahan wrote.Full Article: Voter ID ruling has election authorities worried about confusion at polls | Elections | columbiamissourian.com.