Five million. That’s the number of eligible voters that could find it harder to cast their ballot in the 2012 elections. It’s also the figure that advocates against state voting law changes repeatedly echoed during a Capitol Hill forum on new state voting laws that several House Democrats, including Representatives John Conyers, Steny Hoyer, Robert Brady, Jerrold Nadler, and Keith Ellison called Monday.
The NAACP, ACLU and League of Women Voters, among other research and advocacy organizations asked lawmakers to pass legislation to protect voters’ rights. They also wanted Congress to pressure the Department of Justice to deny approval to the states that need it for their new laws to take effect. So far, this includes Alabama, South Carolina and Texas, which are among the nine states that need federal approval for any changes to voting laws under the Voting Rights Act. Read More
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) on Wednesday night said Republican governors and legislatures are purposefully pressing for the enactment of voter identification laws in order to suppress Democratic voter turnout in the 2012 election.
“State legislatures are attempting to impose voting restrictions that are the modern day equivalent of poll taxes and literacy tests,” she said on the House floor. “We cannot allow state legislatures to drag… Read More
The Jefferson County Commission is mulling its first round of cutbacks since filing the nation’s largest governmental bankruptcy last week. In committee on Tuesday, commissioners discussed cutting up to $880,000 from its budget for the March 2012 primary election and the potential April runoff election.
To achieve the cuts, the council will consider next week eliminating proposed contracts with Election Systems & Software that would provide about 20 experts to manage and troubleshoot the upcoming election. Read More
A congressional panel has agreed to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s request to investigate new voting laws passed by Florida’s Legislature. Sen. Dick Durbin sent the Florida Democrat a letter Tuesday, saying that he agrees the new laws will disenfranchise a wide swath of Florida’s young, minority, senior, disabled, rural and low-income voters. Durbin chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.
Durbin says he is planning to hold a field hearing with his subcommittee to take a closer look at new voting laws in Florida and other states. Some of the new voting laws would reduce early voting days, impose new rules on voter registration drives and make it tougher to get citizen initiatives on the ballot. Read More
New York has failed to come up with an effective plan to send election ballots to military personnel overseas, the Defense Department said Wednesday in rejecting the state’s request for more time to meet absentee-ballot requirements.
The decision raises the stakes for a legal showdown between federal lawyers and the state, which last year violated a federal law requiring that ballots be mailed at least 45 days before an election. Read More
Lee and Phyllis Campbell never thought a trip to the Murfreesboro driver’s license testing center would take them all the way to Washington. But that’s what happened Monday, when the couple testified before a panel of House Democrats on their experience with Tennessee’s new voter identification law.
A staffer on the House Judiciary Committee invited the Campbells to testify at the forum on new state voter laws after hearing about the ordeal Phyllis Campbell experienced while trying to get a photo ID at the Murfreesboro testing center in September. Read More
King County Elections officials attributed the cause for late ballots to more than 11,000 Eastside voters — including more than 900 in Issaquah and Sammamish — to a computer “hiccup” in the days before the office sent out ballots.
The elections office sent ballots to the impacted voters in late October, about a week after other voters received ballots in the mail. Officials traced the delay to the glitch from late September. Read More
The City of Madison Clerk’s Office and the Associated Students of Madison held a mock election Tuesday in Memorial Union, where they examined potential problems that could arise from the new voting laws.
Following the passage of the new law requiring a photo ID to vote, current Wisconsin student IDs will not be an acceptable form of identification. The university plans to issue new Wiscards that comply with voter ID laws. Read More
The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) wishes to point out some potential dangers associated with the biometric verification system (machine) being suggested for adoption by the National Electoral Commission of Ghana for voter verification in the upcoming general election.
Off the bat, we ask that the independence of the Electoral Commission be respected by all members of our society; especially the political parties. As a nation, we cannot honestly fault the Electoral Commission in its conduct of our national elections since the inception of the fourth republic. Read More
Al Fatah and Hamas, the two rival Palestinian factions, appear to have reached an accord today to hold inter-Palestinian elections in May for the formation of a provisional government.This should be preceded by the resignation of the current Prime Minister of the Palestine National Authority, (PNA), Salam Fayyad. The story was revealed to Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper by Azzam al-Ahmad, one of the Al Fatah negotiators.
There is yet to be official confirmation of the news, and this may not come until the last word is spoken by the leaders of the two rival formations: Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Khaled Meshaal of Hamas – at their next meeting, which several sources say will be in Cairo next week. Read More