Verified account @LisaDNews
A BIG DEAL: The Supreme Court 5-4 just upheld Ohio’s voter rolls law which automatically dropped voters who had not voted for two years or confirmed desire to vote.
7:14 AM – 11 Jun 2018
As always, my go-to person to check in with when it comes to Voting Rights is Ari Berman. He’s always going to tell it to you straight, and what evil is being perpetrated.
Verified account @AriBerman
10h10 hours ago
Breaking: In 5-4 decision Alito reverses 6th circuit & upholds Ohio’s purging of infrequent voters. Ohio has purged 2 million voters since 2011, more than any other state. Black voters 2x as likely as whites to be purged in state’s largest counties
Republicans Are Trying to Kill a Key Voting Rights Law
The Supreme Court could soon make it harder to register to vote.
Jan. 8, 2018 6:00 AM
Thirty years ago, the United States had a big problem. Barely half of eligible voters had cast a ballot in the 1988 presidential election—the lowest voter turnout since the 1920s. In an effort to increase participation, Democrats in Congress—backed by a few Republicans— drafted the National Voter Registration Act, a bill that would require states to allow voters to register at Department of Motor Vehicle offices and other public agencies.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, led the opposition to the legislation. “This bill wants to turn every agency, bureau, and office of state government into a vast voter registration machine,” McConnell said in 1991. “Motor voter registration, hunting permit voter registration, marriage license voter registration, welfare voter registration—even drug rehab voter registration.” That same year, McConnell, who is now the Senate majority leader, wrote that “low voter turnout is a sign of a content democracy.”
The NVRA passed Congress in 1992, but President George H. W. Bush vetoed it. Congress passed it again a year later, and this time President Bill Clinton signed it into law, calling it “a sign of a new vibrancy in our democracy.” The “motor voter” law, as it became known, was an immediate success. In its first year in effect, more than 30 million people registered or updated their registrations through the NVRA. Roughly 16 million people per year have used it to register ever since.
But in recent years, Republicans have sought to gut the law. In 2013, the Supreme Court weakened a key part of the Voting Rights Act, ruling that states with long histories of voting discrimination no longer needed to clear their election changes with the federal government. After winning that fight, Republicans are now going after the NVRA in what voting rights advocates say is a thinly veiled effort to make it more difficult for Democratic-leaning constituencies to register to vote—and far easier for state officials to remove them from the voter rolls. “We’re seeing a coming fight over how voter rolls are maintained,” says Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “It’s a new front in the voter suppression battles.”
Even as Republicans are seeking to weaken the NVRA, three conservative lawyers who worked in the George W. Bush Justice Department are turning the law on its head by attempting to use it to force states and localities to engage in Ohio-style voter purges. As my colleague Pema Levy reported, they’ve targeted nearly a dozen states, along with small counties in places like Mississippi and Texas with large minority populations:
The letter to Noxubee County [Mississippi] alleged that the county was violating a federal law that requires states to keep their rolls up to date. The commissioners maintained that they were following the law. In fall 2015, the ACRU’s [American Civil Rights Union] attorneys began to push the commission to sign a consent decree that would commit the county to vigorous vetting of its registered voter list in order to avoid a lawsuit. Among its provisions, the draft decree would require the commission to send a non-forwardable notice to all registered voters asking them to confirm their eligibility. Every voter who did not fill it out and return it would be put on a list of inactive voters, and anyone on that list who failed to vote in two federal elections would be removed from the rolls.
From Jennifer Rubin, of all people:
Republicans show they don’t trust the voters
by Jennifer Rubin
June 12 at 11:30 AM
President Trump tweeted triumphantly on Monday, “Just won big Supreme Court decision on Voting! Great News!” The great news in his book is a 5-4 decision allowing Ohio to remove people from the voting rolls who haven’t voted in every election. Specifically, if they haven’t voted in two years, they get a postcard in the mail, and if they don’t respond, they have four more years to vote. Then they are taken off the rolls.
What if they throw away the postcard thinking it is junk mail? Too bad. What if for six years they cannot find someone worth voting for? Too bad. Off they go. You would think the Trump administration and the five conservative justices didn’t want just anyone who wishes to vote to be allowed to do so.
Let’s take a step back from the legal arguments for a moment. As the Republican Party narrows its appeal to white voters and fans the flames of white grievance, it is becoming less attractive to everyone else. Rather than broaden its appeal, the party increasingly seeks to narrow the electorate in ways that, by gosh, just happen to decrease minority participation. The strategy reveals a party’s lack of self-confidence in itself and in democracy itself. When the president celebrates depriving people of the right to vote, something is seriously amiss.
There is a solution (other than a statutory amendment): a full-out, no-holds-barred effort to register every eligible voter. Some states are passing automatic registration. Florida has a ballot measure to restore voting rights to those who have fully served their criminal sentences. I’d add two more suggestions: First, instead of running vanity ads (looking at you, Tom Steyer), wealthy donors should commit to registering millions of voters. Second, the Democratic National Committee, which increasingly seems irrelevant to the national debate, should for the foreseeable future use its resources primarily for voter registration. If there is a better use of the DNC’s money, I’ve yet to find it.
If you live in a GOP Controlled State, get yourself some voter registration applications, and ask everyone you know to fill out a new registration. Tell them it doesn’t matter if they think that they are registered. It doesn’t even matter if they KNOW they are registered. The GOP is coming for your voting rights. Don’t let it be election day November 2018, when you find out that they succeeded. And, no, you aren’t exaggerating. No, you aren’t overstating things.