Rick Hasen: “Today a federal court decided Kobach v. United States Election Assistance Commission.The upshot of this opinion, if it stands on appeal, is that states with Republican legislatures and/or Republican chief election officials are likely to require documentary proof of citizenship for voting, making it harder for Democrats to pursue a relatively simple method of voter registration.”
Wisconsin Republicans narrowly approved bills to end weekend voting before elections and allow lobbyists to make political donations earlier in the political season, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
“National Democrats are launching a program to expand voter access to
polls, with a Thursday announcement aided by former president Bill
Clinton,” USA Today reports.
“The Democratic National Committee says it will fund and staff a
permanent effort in battleground states to work for early voting and
online voter registration, and against voter identification laws,
combating what it calls Republican efforts at voter suppression.”
“There’s that group of people who say, ‘I’m only voting if someone drives me down after church on Sunday.’ … Really? Is that the person we need to cater to when we’re making public policy about elections? A lot of those people would have voted anyway, except they waited till Sunday because it’s convenient for them.”
Venture capitalist Tom Perkins suggested that “only taxpayers should have the right to vote — and that wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes,” CNN Money reports.
Said Perkins: “The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes. But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”
“The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking.”
New Hampshire legislators are considering a bill that would add “none of the above” to election ballot each November and if “NOTA,” as it’s called, wins, then a new election would be held, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.
The sponsor said “he believes the ‘none of the above’ option would lead to cleaner and more positive elections, free of the constant attacks that Granite Staters have become so accustomed to. After all, he said, no candidate wants to suffer the ultimate embarrassment of being beaten by, literally, no one.”
Peter Weber: “That’s just what our democracy needs.”
Colorado Republicans “launched their bid to undo a new elections law that allows same-day registration, saying they’re still not convinced the change isn’t a recipe for possible voting fraud,” the Denver Post reports.
“Republicans say the law is riddled with problems, such as conflicting residency deadlines between state and local races. Their main gripe, though, is same-day voting registration, which makes voting more convenient for people who forget to register but could also make it more difficult to determine who’s eligible to vote in an election.”
“A state court judge on Friday struck down a Pennsylvania law requiring that voters to show photo identification at the polls,” the AP reports.
Rick Hasen: “This is a clear victory for opponents of voter id laws, with a finding that the implementation of the voter id law violated the law’s own promise of liberal access to voter id, that the implementation exceeded the agency’s authority to administer the program, that the voter education efforts were woefully inadequate, and that as a whole the Pa. voter id program violated the Pa. constitutional’s fundamental right to vote. In this regard, it is important to note that the court rejected Pa’s argument that the law was aimed at preventing voter fraud. The judge found that the state presented no evidence the law was necessary either to prevent fraud or to keep public confidence in the fairness of the election process.”
“Several months after the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, a bipartisan contingent of lawmakers plans to introduce a legislative fix on Thursday afternoon,” Roll Call reports.
“The effort does not yet have full buy-in from Republican leadership, said a senior GOP aide. Leaders are wary of push back from conservative members and are skeptical that the bill could attract the support of a majority of the Republican Conference. They are also concerned that Democrats would politicize the issue to make gains in the 2014 midterm elections.”
Aaron Goldfarb notes that “if I lived in Alaska, Kentucky, or South Carolina, I wouldn’t be allowed to imbibe whatsoever because alcohol cannot be served on Election Day until the polls close. (This is still a relic of a century ago when bars actually served as polling centers.)”
The American Civil Liberties Union “is suing Kansas over the state’s refusal to allow residents to vote in state elections without showing proof of citizenship,” USA Today reports.
“Under a new law, Kansas requires new voters to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote. A Supreme Court ruling in June, however, requires that states accept federal standards for voter registration: Voters must swear they are U.S. citizens but aren’t required to show a document. As a result, nearly 18,000 voters in Kansas who registered to vote for the first time this year can vote in federal elections but not in state or local contests because they have not submitted documents proving citizenship.”
Former House Speaker Jim Wright (D) was denied a voter ID card at a Texas Department of Public Safety office, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports.
Said Wright: “Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn’t give me an ID.”
“After the difficulty he had this weekend getting a proper ID card, Wright, 90, expressed concern that such problems could deter others from voting and stifle turnout. After spending much of his life fighting to make it easier to vote, the Democratic Party icon said he is troubled by what he’s seeing happen under the state’s new voter ID law.”
“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Supreme Court decision in
Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, is
leading to a new era of voter suppression that parallels the pre-1960s
era–this time affecting not just African-Americans but also
Hispanic-Americans, women, and students, among others.”
Both Wendy Davis (D) and Greg Abbot (R) will have to attest to their identities in order to vote in next year’s gubernatorial race, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
That’s because both candidates have a different name on their drivers license than that on the voter rolls. Although Davis opposed the law, an amendment she sponsored is what actually allows both to vote since their recorded names only differ slightly.
Said a Davis spokesman: “If it weren’t for Wendy Davis’ leadership, Greg Abbott might have nearly disenfranchised himself.”
PolicyMic: “The new Texas law requires all voters to provide a photo ID that reflects their current name. If they cannot, voters must provide any of a series of other acceptable forms of identification all of which must match exactly and match the name on their birth certificate.”
“Supporters of these new laws insist that requiring voters to have an ID that matches their birth certificate is a reasonable requirement. As Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has repeatedly said, ‘Almost every single person either has a valid photo ID … or it is very easy to get one.’ What they don’t say, however, is that the people who don’t are largely married women who have taken their husband’s name.”
“In fact, only 66% of women have an ID that reflects their current name. If any voter is using name different than what appears on their birth certificate, the voter is required to show proof of name change by providing an original or certified copy of their marriage license, divorce decree, or court ordered name change. Photocopies aren’t accepted.”
Reid Wilson: “The latest game of political chicken that drove Washington to a government shutdown and the very edge of the debt ceiling gave new life to the omnipresent complaint of elder statesmen and centrist wise guys: If only Congressional districts weren’t so gerrymandered in the decennial redistricting process, moderation and across-the-aisle deal-making wouldn’t be so rare.”
“But there’s another solution to the partisan extremism that seems to dominate Congress today, one that’s already in practice in two states: A top-two primary system, one that incentivizes candidates in even the most conservative or liberal districts to appeal to the vast middle that otherwise plays a limited role in picking members of Congress.”
John Sides: “I too would like less partisan warfare. But political science suggests that reforming primaries isn’t likely to work.”
“The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the ‘Motor Voter’ law, requires government agencies to offer individuals the opportunity to vote–and that includes the newly opened Obamacare exchanges,” National Journal reports.
“That gives some Republicans one more reason to oppose the law. If low-income applicants lean Democratic, the argument goes, the exchanges could boost the party’s voter rolls.”
“Barred by the Supreme Court from requiring proof of citizenship for federal elections, Arizona is complying — but setting up a separate registration system for local and state elections that will demand such proof,” the New York Times reports.
“The state this week joined Kansas in planning for such a two-tiered voting system, which could keep thousands of people from participating in state and local elections, including next year’s critical cycle, when top posts in both states will be on the ballot.”