Sandy and the Election

By: Sunday October 28, 2012 9:30 am

What matters more, the right to vote or adherence to local voting rules and schedules even if a force of nature intrudes? We might find out the answer to that question if a perfect storm disrupts voting in the Northeast or Midwest or both.

As a twitter follower reminded me, in 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court basically decided that the right to vote was secondary to process. Of course, the Court’s political desire to appoint George W. Bush was so obvious the justices took the trouble of stating that their opinion could not be used as precedent.

Supreme Court Will Not Interfere With Ohio Early Voting Ruling

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 2:15 pm

The Supreme Court will not step in to block early voting hours in Ohio, delivering a win to voting rights advocates and the Obama campaign, which needs the help as polling starts to turn away from them.

Hard-Working Vote Suppressor Jon Husted Appeals Ohio Early Voting Ruling to Supreme Court

By: Tuesday October 9, 2012 4:10 pm

I doubt that the Supreme Court would choose to intervene here, though of course you never know. But that won’t stop Husted’s well-earned gold star as the hardest-working voter suppressor in America.

Rep. Cummings Asks True the Vote for Documents About Voter Registration Challenges

By: Friday October 5, 2012 12:40 pm

I’ve written previously about the Texas-based Tea Party group “True the Vote” involving themselves in voter suppression efforts in swing states. Some state laws allow any individual to challenge another’s voting status, and this has been put to use by True the Vote’s spinoff organizations in Ohio and at least three other states, to a disproportionate degree against minorities, students and other traditional Democratic constituencies. True the Vote claims they are merely trying to clean up voter rolls and prevent voter fraud.

Pennsylvania Voter ID Halted, but in Very Narrow Fashion

By: Tuesday October 2, 2012 8:11 am

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth court judge has delayed enforcement of the state’s voter ID law for the November election, ruling that the difficulty experienced by voters trying to obtain a valid ID made disenfranchisement too likely. However, despite the injunction, poll workers will still be able to ask for ID from voters, and voters without ID will apparently have to cast a provisional ballot, which could lead to a lot of confusion at the polls.

In the ruling, Judge Robert Simpson followed the guidelines handed down by the state Supreme Court two weeks ago, charging him with determining whether the state offered “liberal access” to IDs to any eligible voter who lacked one and wanted to participate in the election. After hearing a litany of stories about long lines, difficulty with paperwork and other hurdles, Simpson wrote that, despite the state trying to implement changes on the fly to remedy the situation, “I cannot conclude the proposed changes cure the deficiency in liberal access [to ID's] identified by the Supreme Court…. I accept Petitioners’ argument that in the remaining five weeks before the general election, the gap between the photo IDs issued and the estimated need will not be closed.”

Confused About Voter ID in Pennsylvania? You’re Not Alone

By: Thursday September 27, 2012 11:05 am

The eyes of the nation are truly turned to Pennsylvania as the ACLU is back in court today challenging Pennsylvania’s strictest-in-the-nation Voter ID Law. The Commonwealth Court is hearing evidence to determine whether the new Department of State voter ID will do the trick to ensure that anyone who needs an ID can get one, for free, in time to vote in November. If the state fails to make that case, the judge could issue an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect.

Early evidence seems to indicate that could happen.

Pennsylvania Judge Hints at Injunction of Voter ID Law

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 12:50 pm

The Commonwealth judge asked to further scrutinize the voter ID law in Pennsylvania to determine whether eligible voters can obtain IDs just dropped a huge hint about his expected ruling in the case. Yesterday, the judge, Robert Simpson, asked both counsels what an injunction of the law should look like. This ought to be seen as a precursor to blocking at least some of the law.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Returns Voter ID Case to Lower Court; Must Enjoin Law if It Could Result in Disenfranchisement

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 2:58 pm

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has returned the controversial voter ID law back to the Commonwealth Court for review in a move that could put an end to voter ID in the state for the year.

The initial reports claimed that the state Supreme Court threw out voter ID, but actually they just remanded it back to the Commonwealth court judge. The nub of the matter concerns the ability for Pennsylvania officials to get a valid ID in the hands of any eligible voter who wants one between now and the election.

New Hampshire Requires ID on Primary Day, Despite Law Not Yet in Effect

By: Friday September 14, 2012 10:30 am

The signs were everywhere. They told New Hampshire residents participating in Tuesday’s primary election to bring ID to the polls.

There’s only one problem: voter ID was not required for the primary election in the state of New Hampshire.

Pennsylvania Voter ID Case Heard Before State Supreme Court

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 10:50 am

Pennsylvania’s voter ID law got debated in the state Supreme Court today. Despite the fact that the state admits there have been no recent prosecutions or even investigations of in-person voter fraud, the state passed a restrictive voter ID law that critics say could disenfranchise up to 750,000 eligible voters in a state with few options besides in-person voting on Election Day.

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