FDL Book Salon Welcomes Gavin Wright, Sharing the Prize: the Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South

By: Saturday October 26, 2013 1:59 pm

Today we have the privilege of holding a conversation with Professor Gavin Wright on his book on the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South, Sharing the Prize. To many of us who came of age before Vietnam (BV), the Civil Rights Movement was a defining moment of moral and political consciousness. I participated in sit-ins in autumn 1960 and spring 1961; in 1963 Gavin was in North Carolina registering black voters. As a nation, the two great Civil Rights laws of 1964 and 1965 represent one of the few things we did right in the past half century, and in this autumn of our discontent, it’s good to remind ourselves that we still may be capable of doing the right thing. But what difference did the Revolution make to the people most directly affected by it?

Look What They Done To My State, Ma

By: Monday June 17, 2013 4:19 pm

The Roberts court just took a big steaming poop on Dead William Rehnquists’s youthful hijinks in his home state of Arizona.

The Theft of Voting Rights in Arizona

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 2:53 pm

What’s happening in Arizona right now, relatively under the radar in the traditional media (with a few notable exceptions), approaches the kind of thing you’d expect out of a banana republic. The short version is that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio didn’t want to lose re-election, so he and his colleagues tried to make sure that nobody of the Latino persuasion would be allowed to vote. And they used a variety of tactics to ensure that result. That’s pretty much what’s going on.

Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge to Voting Rights Act

By: Friday November 9, 2012 3:20 pm

Part of the success in beating back efforts to limit election participation in a number of Republican-led states came from the work of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, which used its pre-clearance authority under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to block measures that could have disenfranchised minorities, like district-level maps in Texas and a stringent voter ID law in South Carolina. Nine states and several localities with a history of discrimination are subject to pre-clearance rules that force them to get approval from DoJ for any voting law changes. And now, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Section 5.

In Candid Moment of Acceptance Speech, Obama Vows Voting Reform

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 7:00 pm

When people can vote, liberals win. I think that’s one of the major takeaways of the night. Take a look at the historic victories for marijuana legalization, a blow against thirty years of the war on drugs. The measure passed in Washington and Colorado. What’s the unifying thread? Washington is 100% vote-by-mail, and Colorado has enough vote-by-mail and early voting options that 80% of the electorate voted before Election Day. Marriage equality and LGBT rights got validated at the ballot box for the first time ever in four states. What’s the unifying thread? Maine and Minnesota have Election Day registration. Washington, as noted before, is 100% vote by mail. Maryland has ample early voting. Expanding the voter universe with online voter registration completely changed the political landscape in California.

Vote By Mail Clearly the Best Solution to Getting Hundreds of Millions of Americans to Vote

By: Tuesday November 6, 2012 2:00 pm

So, I voted. I don’t remember the exact day, but it was sometime in early October. California allows residents to sign up for permanent vote-by-mail. They get their ballot a month in advance and can then mail it back in. You can vote with all the materials in front of you, you don’t have to wait in line, you can mull over your vote for a while and hold your mail-in ballot until the final weekend if you want, or even the final day (you can turn it in to any polling place). And it works extremely well.

New York, New Jersey Attempt to Expand Voting Options to Compensate for Hurricane Sandy’s Impact

By: Monday November 5, 2012 8:45 am

In contrast to Florida and Ohio, two states suffering from the worst effects of Hurricane Sandy are working to ensure the maximum voter turnout tomorrow. Of course, both states suppress their voters by not holding early voting options. But New York and New Jersey, concerned about Election Day just one week after Superstorm Sandy, have made changes to their voting processes due to the storm.

Voter Suppression In Action in Florida, Ohio Over the Weekend

By: Monday November 5, 2012 8:00 am

Polls predicting a narrow victory for President Obama in tomorrow’s Presidential election are only “skewed” in the sense that they don’t take into account the persistent attempts at voter suppression in key battleground states controlled by Republicans.

Bracing for the Impact of Hurricane Sandy on Election Day

By: Friday November 2, 2012 9:45 am

We’re four days out from an election, and four days behind a hurricane that smashed into the Northeast. Millions of homes remain without power, though it’s slowly coming back online. Minds are focused on rescue and recovery. How exactly will this region shift into an election footing next Tuesday?

The first question concerns the logistical aspects. Brad Friedman credibly connects the multitude of power outages to the fact that electronic voting machines require, you know, power.

Appeals Court Stays Ruling, Potentially Allowing Ohio to Disenfranchise Voters Because of Poll Worker Error

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 6:35 am

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted may get his wish of disenfranchisement after all. A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday placed a stay on a lower court ruling that would allow voter disenfranchisement based on poll worker error.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
Chat with Mark Ebner about his new book. Hosted by Beth Karas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War
Chat with John White about his new book. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah J. Nelson.


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