Voter Suppression

Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2024 06:51 am
Voter suppression is different than voter fraud. Suppression happens pre-election and fraud happens present/post election. The 2 are sometimes (wrongly) conflated, however there are similarities.

Many claim there is no evidence to support voter fraud cases - or at the very least, there is not enough fraud to worry about.

What evidence is there of voter suppression? And is there "enough" suppression to be concerned about?
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Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2024 10:48 am
Yes, everyone should be concerned:

"In this report, we found 1,688 polling place closures between 2012 and 2018, almost double the 868 closures found in our 2016 report. Additionally, Democracy Diverted analyzes the reduction of polling places in the formerly covered Section 5 jurisdictions in the years between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. We found 1,173 fewer polling places in 2018 — despite a significant increase in voter turnout. To understand the discriminatory impact of these closures, we analyzed how voters of color were impacted at the precinct level. This analysis — precisely the kind that the U.S. Department of Justice conducted under preclearance — takes time and resources. Our hope is that journalists, advocates, and voters will use this county-level polling place data to scrutinize the impact of poll closures in their communities, to understand their impact on voters of color, and to create a fairer and more just electoral system for all" https://civilrights.org/democracy-diverted/
Real Music
Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2024 08:13 pm
Suppression happens pre-election and fraud happens present/post election.

1. Voter suppression occurs (pre-election) or prior to election.

2. Voter suppression occurs in the (present) at the time a person is actually attempting to cast a vote.

3. Voter suppression occurs after an election or (post-election), regarding how your vote is counted or if your vote will even be counted.

4. There is another term that is relevant and is used interchangeably on the topic of voter suppression.

5. There are voters who have been "Disenfranchised"?
0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Tue 26 Mar, 2024 12:59 am
1. Voter suppression tactics are often designed to depress or discourage voting of particular segments of the population.

2. Voter suppression tactics are usually implemented against segments of the population that the suppressor believes will be voting for the opposing party.

Some examples of voter suppression tactics that are designed to systematically depress or discourage voting:

1. Deliberately creating longer lines by having fewer voting booths in an area that predominantly votes for the opposing party.

2. Deliberately creating longer lines by ensuring fewer polling locations in areas that predominantly votes for the opposing party.

3. Deliberately ensuring that people have to travel much longer distance to the polls if they are from an area that predominantly votes for the opposing party.

4. Deliberately putting out disinformation such as what day is election day. Telling people who they don't want to vote that the election day is Wednesday, when election day is actually Tuesday.

5. Deliberately removing voters from the voter rolls from areas who predominantly votes for the opposing party.

6. These are just a few voter suppression tactics I've seen news reports on over the years.

7. Then there is also the issue of gerrymandering. That's a whole topic by itself.

8. Voter suppression and disenfranchisement is and continues to be an issue in our voting system.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 26 Mar, 2024 08:48 am
and @Real Music

These reports indicate issues of suppression - and I have no reason to disbelieve the info.

However, here's my dilemma: One clear political message on this forum has been "proof of evidence", "court findings", etc. In other words - if "the courts" have not found John Doe guilty, he is not guilty regardless of anything shown on reports, videos, testimony and so on.

Are you aware of court findings that provide proof of voter suppression? Thanks.
Reply Tue 26 Mar, 2024 11:01 am
Sure, tons of examples. Here's one for ya:

Case: Texas LULAC v. Abbott
1:20-cv-01006 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Filed Date: Oct. 1, 2020

Closed Date: March 24, 2021

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary
This is a case about access to absentee ballot drop-off locations in Texas during the 2020 election, which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 1, 2020, the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the League of Women Voters of Texas, and two individuals who vote in Texas filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. The defendants included Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Secretary of State Ruth Hughs, and the elections officials of four counties targeted in the action. The plaintiffs alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments, after Governor Abbott issued an order on October 1, 2020—with voting already underway in Texas—limiting absentee ballot return centers to a single location per county and giving county officials less than 24 hours to close the other ballot return centers. The case was assigned to District Court Judge Robert Pitman.

The plaintiffs argued that reducing the number of ballot drop-off locations to one per county impermissibly restricted the ability to vote in violation of the First Amendment. The plaintiffs also claimed that the change arbitrarily disenfranchised voters in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment by imposing disparate burdens based on where people lived, which would have a particularly harmful effect on the elderly; voters in large, rural counties; and voters in highly-populated counties. The plaintiffs argued that, given the size of Texas counties, voters may have already requested absentee ballots they would no longer be able to submit on time. The plaintiffs further alleged that minority groups, such as Latinos, residing in certain counties would face particular difficulties voting, which they asserted amounted to a violation of the Voting Rights Act. The plaintiffs sought declaratory relief, an injunction enjoining enforcement of the Governor's order, and attorneys' fees and costs.

The defendants argued that, because they had expanded voting timeframes to allow the drop-off of ballots up to forty days in advance, instead of only on election day, they had expanded voting rights access. They also pointed to security concerns with multiple drop-off sites.

On October 2, 2020, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction. They renewed their motion with a full brief on October 5, arguing that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their claims because the order imposed a significant and discriminatory burden on voters and election officials that was not justified by its purported interest in advancing election security. The plaintiffs asserted that voters would suffer irreparable harm absent injunctive relief because the order violated the plaintiffs' fundamental constitutional right to vote and that an injunction was in the public interest. Also on October 5, 2020, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding as plaintiffs the Mexican American Legislative Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and otherwise maintaining the substance of the original complaint.

On October 6, 2020, the court consolidated this case with Straty v. Abbott—another case challenging the same ballot drop-off restrictions—for the limited purpose of resolving the pending motions for preliminary injunction.

On October 6, 2020, Governor Abbott and Secretary of State Ruth Hughs filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. They argued that the plaintiffs' constitutional claims were barred by sovereign immunity. They also argued that the Ex parte Young exception to sovereign immunity did not apply because, although it allows suits for injunctive or declaratory relief against state officials, it does so only for those officials tasked with enforcing an action. Governor Abbott and Secretary Hughs asserted that local law enforcement and the Attorney General were responsible for enforcing the executive order. They further argued that neither the organizational nor the individual plaintiffs had standing to bring the suit and that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Finally, they argued that the court should abstain under Pullman because the order presented an unsettled issue of state law and there existed a possibility that a state law determination would moot or alter the federal constitutional questions raised. Governor Abbott and Secretary Hughs pointed to In re Hotze, No. 20-0739, a case then before the Supreme Court of Texas on the question of whether the Texas state constitution permitted the Governor to suspend the Election Code.

On leave of the court, The Lincoln Project, Disability Rights Texas, and Travis County filed amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction on October 8, 2020, the same day the court held a hearing on the matter.

On October 9, 2020, Judge Pitman granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss. First, the court found that all of the plaintiffs had sufficiently demonstrated standing. Relying on an earlier Fifth Circuit decision in a case challenging a Texas abortion law, In re Abbott, the court found that the Ex parte Young exception to sovereign immunity did not apply to the Governor since he was not empowered to enforce the law and dismissed the claims against him. On the other hand, the court found that the Ex parte Young exception did apply to Secretary Hughs and declined to dismiss the claims against her, noting that the Texas Election Code clearly tasked the Secretary with enforcing election laws and that the Fifth Circuit had previously held that suits challenging Texas voting laws could be proprly brought against the Secretary of State. Judge Ptiman declined to abstain under Pullman, finding that abstention was inappropriate because the alleged violation of the plaintiffs' right to vote was of sufficient importance for the court to issue a ruling without delay.

The court issued a preliminary injunction, barring county clerks and other state actors from restricting ballot drop boxes to one location per county. Judge Pitman found that the plaintiffs had established a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claims, that the violation of a fundamental constitutional right constituted irreparable harm, and that injunctions preventing the violation of constitutional right are always in the public interest. Secretary Hughs immediately appealed the court's decision to the Fifth Circuit.

On October 10, 2020, less than a month before election day, the Fifth Circuit granted Secretary Hughs's motion for an emergency stay pending resolution of her appeal. Two days later, on October 12, the Circuit Court issued an opinion granting a temporary stay of the injunction. The Fifth Circuit found that Secretary Hughs had sufficiently shown she was likely to succeed on her argument that the district court erred in analyzing the plaintiffs' voting rights and equal protection claims. As to the voting rights claims, the Circuit Court agreed with Secretary Hughs that (1) the order was part of the Governor's expansion of opportunities to cast ballots in Texas and did not appear to burden voting at all and (2) Texas had an important regulatory interest in policing how ballots were to be collected and counted, especially mail-in ballots, which the court noted are particularly susceptible to fraud. As to the equal protection claims, the Circuit Court found that Secretary Hughs was likely to prevail because the order applied a uniform rule to every Texas county as part of the expansion of voting access. Turning to irreparable harm, the Fifth Circuit found that an injunction preventing Texas from effectuating its own election procedurs would impose irreparable harm. The Court also found that a stay would not substantially injures the plaintiffs because voters retained numerous avenues for casting their absentee ballots. Finally, the Circuit Court concluded that public interest favored Secretary Hughs, because the interests and harm of a State-appellant merge with the interests and harm of the public. 978 F.3d 136.

The Fifth Circuit decision effectively left each county with a single absentee ballot drop-off location under Governor Abbott's executive order through the entirety of the election process.

On February 22, 2021, the Fifth Circuit vacated the district court's October 9th order issuing a preliminary injunction, denied the plaintiffs' motion to vacate the Fifth Circuit's October 12th opinion, and remanded the case to the district court with instructions to dismiss it as moot. 2021 WL 1446828. The Fifth Circuit provided no additional reasoning in this second opinion. The district court dismissed the action as moot on March 24, 2021.

This case is now closed.
0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2024 10:23 pm
Marc Elias, voting rights attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about why Americans can't rely on the courts to defend voting rights against Republican infringement indefinitely, and why he thinks the Arizona election misinformation operation is violating federal law.

Published June 3, 2021

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2024 10:38 pm
State GOPs have already introduced dozens of bills restricting voting access

Published January 29, 2021

In 2020, voters turned out at the highest level in 100 years, thanks in part to expanded vote-by-mail. In response, state-level Republicans are introducing an unprecedented amount of legislation to restrict voting rights, according to a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice.

State legislators in 28 states have filed 106 bills restricting the franchise thus far in 2021 — and the overwhelming majority have come from Republicans. Compare that to last year at this time: Then, only 35 such bills had been filed in six states.

“We are seeing a backlash,” says Eliza Sweren-Becker, the report’s lead author. “Rather than going out and trying to persuade voters, we’re seeing legislators trying to shrink the electorate in order to ensure job security for themselves.”

The proposed legislation largely falls into two categories: bills that either increase the difficulties individual Americans would face absentee voting or that give officials greater leeway to shrink the voter pool. Some are attempts to roll back voting rights expansions necessitated by the pandemic; others are retreads of policies Republicans have pushed before, like expanded voter identification laws.

The passage of these laws will, essentially, depend on whether Republicans control both the statehouse and the governorship in the states in which they’ve been introduced — a reality in 18 of the 28 states. And while Sweren-Becker says their constitutionality would hinge on the way each bill is written and implemented, a lot of them have a decent chance at sticking around.

The news isn’t all bad: A whopping 406 bills have been introduced in 35 states that would expand access to voting, including permanently codifying the absentee voter policies that allowed voters in some states to cast their ballots early and remotely. Some states will consider both expansive and restrictive voting rights bills; which path the state follows will likely hinge on which party controls the legislature.

At the national level, Democrats in Congress are pushing a number of voting rights bills. Last year, the House passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would provide for federal oversight in states with a recent history of racial discrimination in voting laws. On Thursday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) reintroduced his annual Vote From Home bill with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), which would mandate universal absentee voting — or the ability to vote by mail without an excuse — for federal elections and disallow states from imposing “additional conditions or requirements on the eligibility of the individual,” save for the postmark deadline.

“Last year we saw a widespread expansion of vote-at-home access as a safe and secure way to participate during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Blumenauer said in a release. “We should continue to make voting easier, not harder.”

At each level of government, the fight over the future of how America’s democracy operates is in full effect — and states are moving quickly.

What Republicans are trying to pass, briefly explained

State legislators’ proposals run the gamut from seemingly reasonable to downright offensive, but they all aim to lower the likelihood of a vote getting cast or counted.

Legislators have introduced bills in Republican-controlled Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Wyoming; and divided Alaska, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, according to the Brennan Center report.

They’ve also introduced them in Democratic-controlled Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Washington, though those bills are less likely to succeed.

The bills contain a number of tactics to increase the individual cost of voting. With mail-in voting, three states would strengthen the excuse requirement — in Missouri, for example, the coronavirus would no longer be an excuse to vote absentee, while in Pennsylvania, a proposed bill would eliminate no-excuse absentee voting after it was passed with bipartisan support in 2019.

State legislators have proposed further limiting who can assist voters with their absentee ballots and adding cumbersome witness requirements, such as mandating witnesses to give identification information.

In Arizona, where President Joe Biden became the first Democrat to carry the state in more than two decades, Sweren-Becker said state legislators introduced a particularly egregious “voter-suppressive hat trick,” which restricts who can assist voters in delivering absentee ballots, requires all mail-in ballots to be notarized, and adds a voter ID requirement for returning ballots in person.

Legislators in 10 states introduced new voter ID laws, including creating them for the first time in six states.

In one particularly absurd example, Georgia Republicans want to require that absentee voters provide a photocopy of their ID two times throughout the voting process.

State legislators in Mississippi and New York are trying to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote, explicitly targeting noncitizens. And to increase the challenges associated with obtaining a ballot, legislators in four states introduced bills to cut election day registration.

Legislators are also trying to give election officials more opportunities to throw out ballots or purge voters from the rolls. According to the Brennan Center report, one common tactic is to make it easier for officials to remove voters from the permanent absentee list and throw out votes due to signatures mismatches — a measure introduced in Pennsylvania despite the state supreme court explicitly ruling that a mismatched signature could not be the sole reason for rejecting a ballot. Republican state lawmakers also want to increase poll watcher access to ballot-counting processes, move up ballot postmark deadlines or remove secretaries of states’ discretion in setting those deadlines, and allow officials to be more proactive in purging voter rolls, to the point of allowing practices that courts have deemed improper.

It’s an unprecedented deluge of bills, but it’s not coming out of nowhere.

The GOP’s proposed laws are directly tied to Trump’s election fraud lies
Many of the bills being introduced this year aim to tackle the very practices that former President Donald Trump decried as unfair while peddling various false election conspiracies — but enacting some of his preferred reforms might actually backfire.

In the dozens of lawsuits the Trump campaign filed and saw thrown out by courts, they falsely claimed that Biden only won due to the votes of noncitizens, illegally cast absentee ballots whose signatures could not be verified (conveniently only in counties Biden won), and ballots miscounted because Trump-friendly poll watchers weren’t allowed in to watch. All of these claims were proven false by recounts and in courts, where no evidence of widespread ballot fraud was found, and it was proven that poll watchers were indeed present.

But that hasn’t stopped state GOPs from seizing the opportunity to try to justify new restrictive proposals based on Trump’s lies.

“We are certainly seeing state [legislatures] take up the mantle of this voter fraud lie and use it as a justification to restrict access to voting, to essentially enact voter suppression,” Sweren-Becker said.

Though there’s a renewed vigor to the suppression efforts in 2021, the strategy is nothing new. As Emory University historian Carol Anderson explained to Vox’s Sean Illing, America has a long history of “conservative whites continually finding new ways to rob minorities of their right to vote.” In recent decades, that’s meant state GOPs have attempted to discourage traditional Democratic voters — most notably Black voters and immigrants — from turning out.

Trump’s court challenges and Twitter rants, too, were targeted at throwing out votes in the cities of states Biden flipped, such as Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Atlanta — all of which have significant Black populations.

Trump’s issue with mail-in voting was conceptual, and he railed against it on Twitter and discouraged his followers from partaking in it. By following him on his crusade, state-level Republicans could be making the same mistake the former president did.

Historically, vote-by-mail had a nonpartisan benefit — it juiced turnout for both parties. Vote-by-mail did benefit Democrats more in 2020, but there’s no guarantee that continues to be the case. Last year, Trump discouraged his voters from taking advantage of it; his misinformation made it a partisan game. And considering his propensity for turning out new voters and low-information voters, making voting more difficult may mean his base could skip future elections where obtaining a ballot that Trump is not on requires more work.

So despite the rash of new restrictive proposals, there’s no guarantee these laws work out exactly as state Republican parties hope, if they even pass in the first place. But Trump is giving Republicans a whole new voter suppression playbook to work with — and as long as state GOPs follow his mold, restrictive voting bills are likely to feature prominently on their agendas.

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2024 10:47 pm
Published Jul 29, 2016

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2024 10:57 pm
Courts Strike Down Voter Restriction Laws That Target African Americans with "Surgical Precision"

Published August 1, 2016

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2024 11:01 pm
(Voter suppression), (Voter intimidation), and (Invasion of privacy).

Published June 29, 2017

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2024 11:07 pm
Washington, DC (CNN) — Forty-four states have refused to provide certain types of voter information to the Trump administration's election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states.

The following link has each of the fifty States responses broken down by the 50 individual States

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2024 11:21 pm
Despite High Black Voter Turnout In AL, Voter Intimidation & Voter Suppression Efforts Were Reported.

In Alabama’s Senate race, Black voter turnout was critical in the election of Doug Jones. Despite the high voter turnout there were instances where individuals attempted to suppress the vote and keep Black voters from getting to the polls.

Published December 13, 2017

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 28 Mar, 2024 01:51 am
Bills Targeting Local Officials Could Allow GOP to (Overturn) Election Results.

PUBLISHED April 24, 2021

Republicans in at least 14 states have introduced legislation that would seize power from election officials or limit their authority, apparently in response to unfounded attacks from former President Donald Trump and allies who sought to overturn his election loss.

Republican state legislators across the country have responded to Trump’s baseless election challenges, which were roundly rejected by dozens of judges, by rolling out more than 360 bills aimed at restricting voting access in nearly every state. But while much of the attention has focused on measures that would limit ballot access, like Georgia’s sweeping election bill, which Democrats have compared to Jim Crow-era restrictions, some of the proposals include provisions that would strip election officials of power and even impose criminal penalties for officials who defy the new restrictions.

Coverage of Georgia’s massive bill has largely focused on provisions that would restrict absentee ballot access and make it a crime to provide water or food to voters in long lines. But the bill also includes more insidious measures that could allow Republicans to give “themselves power to overturn election results,” Sylvia Albert, director of the voting and elections program at the nonpartisan voter advocacy group Common Cause, said in an interview with Salon.

For instance, the new law would allows the Republican-led state legislature to replace Georgia’s secretary of state — currently Brad Raffensperger, who pushed back on Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat — as chair of the state elections board, and then fill a majority of the panel with their own appointees. The bill further allows the newly-appointed election board majority to suspend and temporarily replace local election officials and take over county election offices. County boards determine voter eligibility and certify election results, meaning the state board appointee would theoretically have the power to disqualify certain voters or to refuse to certify the results, according to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The law also bars local election officials from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications or accepting grant money that is used by some cash-strapped counties to run elections. Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams decried the provision as an “unprecedented power grab” intended to “alter election outcomes.”

“This bill is a tragedy for democracy, and it is built on the lie of voter fraud,” Lauren Groh Wargo, who heads the Abrams-founded voter advocacy group Fair Fight Action, said in a press call last month. “It means that radical, right-wing legislators, if they don’t like how elections are being run … can wholesale replace those election administrators and put folks from the other side of the state in charge.”

It remains to be seen how this would work in practice. Some election experts have noted that there are guardrails that could prevent officials from overturning election results. The law limits such takeovers to four counties at a time and includes measures requiring the board to show multiple violations in at least two election cycles and a process that would drag out for at least 30 days. But it would be easy for the board to find multiple violations in “any county,” argued Marilyn Marks, the executive director of the nonpartisan Coalition for Good Governance.

The law could “absolutely” be used to overturn election results, Albert said, given the repeated attempts by Trump supporters, including many Georgia Republicans and even Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, to overturn the state’s results last year. “Politicians will look to use any avenue available to them to maintain power. Just because it might have a few steps doesn’t mean that they won’t do it or figure out ways to get around those steps.”

But it’s more likely this law would be used to “ensure that their suppression measures are successful,” Albert added. “What this is doing is saying, ‘Hey, we enacted suppressive state laws and we want to make sure no local election official actually attempts to help people overcome the burdens of those state laws.'”

Some of the provisions in the Georgia law appear directly aimed at heavily Black and Democratic Atlanta-area Fulton and DeKalb counties. Texas lawmakers have introduced their own sweeping set of proposed voting restrictions that similarly target Harris County, the state’s most populous, including the city of Houston, where Democratic officials expanded ballot access last year.

Texas Senate Bill 7 explicitly bans 24-hour early voting, drive-through voting, and the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications, all of which were measures taken or attempted by Harris County officials last year. Texas House Bill 6 would make it a felony for election officials to mail pre-filled absentee ballot applications or even encourage eligible voters to cast ballots by mail or take any action to change election rules without the consent of the state’s Republican secretary of state.

While those two bills have already advanced in their respective chambers, a third proposal that is still pending would shift all power over voter registration and voter roll maintenance from county officials to the Republican secretary of state.

Republicans in Arizona also pushed a proposal that would have allowed the GOP-led legislature to overturn election results and appoint their own electors, though that effort was ultimately quashed. But the state legislature, which has introduced two dozen restrictive bills, is still looking at bills that would bar the secretary of state from sending unsolicited mail-in ballots and another proposal that would shift approval of the state’s election manual to the legislature.

“They don’t serve any purpose, except for the Legislature just trying to insert themselves into the process, create obstruction, and say that they did something in the name of election integrity without actually doing anything that does that,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, told The New York Times. “The Legislature wasn’t interested in control over elections until I got here and happened to have a ‘D’ by my name.”

Iowa Republicans have already passed a package of voting restrictions that include measures making it a felony for election officials to disobey any guidance from the Republican secretary of state and imposing $10,000 fines for any “technical infractions” of the state’s election laws. It also bars county officials from sending unsolicited absentee-ballot applications and restricts their ability to open satellite early-voting sites.

“This is a total takeover of elections by the state,” Linn County Auditor Joel Miller, who was among several local election officials in Iowa targeted by Trump and Republicans, told the Associated Press. “We did everything we could to increase participation and engagement in the democratic process, and evidently some people thought that more people participated than they wanted and they decided to put limitations on it.”

Arkansas Republicans have advanced bills that would give partisan county election boards total power over local election officials, move oversight of election law violations from county officials to the state election board, and ban officials from mailing unsolicited absentee-ballot applications. A pending proposal would also allow the state election board to take over local election offices.

Missouri lawmakers recently advanced a bill that would allow the secretary of state to audit and purge voters from any local election office’s voter rolls. The bill threatens to cut funding to noncompliant offices and restricts mail-in voting. Another pending proposal would impose misdemeanor penalties on election officials who failed to purge voters within 10 days of their death.

South Carolina Republicans have rolled out a bill that would give the state legislature more oversight over the members appointed to the state’s independent election commission.

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight identified 14 states with bills aimed at undermining election officials, including proposals to ban the mailing of unsolicited absentee-ballot applications in Michigan, Tennessee, Connecticut and South Dakota and bills restricting the mailing of absentee ballots in New Jersey, New York, Illinois and Wisconsin.

While the measures are not expected to get far in Democratic-led states — except in Michigan where Republican state lawmakers are plotting to subvert Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vow to veto any voting restrictions — they are likely to advance in states where the GOP has attacked “election officials who did not support Trump’s lies,” Albert said.

Republicans have justified the proposals by arguing that election officials overreached in their efforts to expand mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic and took “the law into their own hands” against the wishes of elected state lawmakers.

“It’s a bunch of BS,” Albert said in response to the Republican argument. “It is clearly an attempt to take power away not just from local election officials, but from Americans.” Republicans, she added, are effectively giving themselves “the power to eliminate democracy in elections … what they’re saying they want to do is take away the rights of Americans to elect their representatives.”

Some advocates have also warned that many of these measures are aimed at counties with quickly changing demographics after record turnout among voters of color in 2020.

“The part that I think is so concerning is the retaliation,” Myrna Pérez, director of the Voting Rights and Elections Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told FiveThirtyEight. “Look at who on the ground would actually be impeded [by these laws]. That suggests to me a real opposition to an expanded electorate.”

Democrats have responded to the voting restrictions proposed in dozens of states by championing the For the People Act, also known as H.R. 1 and S. 1, a massive legislative package including voter protections, anti-corruption measures and other provisions. It is unlikely to pass in its current form unless Democrats can reform the filibuster and convince conservative Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., to back it. But while the bill could protect voters from some restrictions, it would do little to prevent partisan power grabs of local election powers.

That issue has been raised as the bill goes through the Senate, but “off the top of my head, I honestly don’t know what type of provision one would add to H.R. 1 that would address this,” Albert said.

Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus have urged Democrats to focus instead on passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore the Voting Rights Act requirement for states with a history of racial discrimination to pre-clear any electoral changes with the Justice Department, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Albert argued that there may be a legitimate way to address these attacks on local authorities through pre-clearance. “A strong argument could be made that changing the power of local election officials is definitely a change to election law that would have an effect on Black and brown communities,” she said.

Albert compared the Republican push to take over local election powers to authoritarian regimes in Russia and North Korea.

“America is one of the only democracies that does not have elections run by a nonpartisan government entity,” she said. “What you’re seeing right now is the danger of politicians running elections. We should all be very much on guard.”

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 28 Mar, 2024 02:07 am
Marc Elias discusses a major new lawsuit against the gerrymandered maps in North Carolina.

Published December 26, 2023

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 28 Mar, 2024 02:21 am
A panel of three federal judges struck down Alabama's latest congressional redistricting plan because it likely violates the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of Black voters. Deuel Ross of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund joins Katie Phang to discuss the next steps in the legal battle.

Published September 9, 2023

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 28 Mar, 2024 02:28 am
Georgia can ban giving food and water to voters in line this November, court rules.

Published August 19, 2022

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 28 Mar, 2024 02:52 am
Despite an especially aggressive class of Trump-supporting election deniers, election workers in Arizona are determined to make sure things run smoothly for the state's voters. Adrian Fontes, Arizona secretary of state, talks with Rachel Maddow about the extra preparation and precautions taking place ahead of this year's election.

Published March 25, 2024

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 28 Mar, 2024 05:46 pm

I hope the postings made here on this thread are informative and helpful.
0 Replies

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