American elections feature an epic struggle between actual people trying to express their views in the face of fictional "people" (i.e., Corporations) trying to buy influence. I want to highlight topics such as corrupt money in politics, campaign lies and dishonesty, voter suppression.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman significantly weakened a key provision of Wisconsin’s stringent voter ID law, prohibiting the state from
Daniel Mayeda's insight:
Great news! And brilliant use of recent Supreme Court precedent in the Texas anti-abortion case:
<<The state surely has an interest in preventing voter fraud—but these interests “do not justify disenfranchising voters who cannot with reasonable effort obtain ID.” And, Adelman adds, “there is virtually no voter-impersonation fraud in Wisconsin” despite GOP lawmakers’ clamoring to the contrary. Adelman even cites Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court’s recent abortion decision, to support his contention that “where a state law burdens a constitutional right, the state must produce evidence supporting its claim that the burden is necessary to further the state’s claimed interests.” In other words, Wisconsin may not cite a phantom threat to justify revoking a real constitutional right.>>
A former top staffer for a Republican legislator in Wisconsin suggested this week that GOP legislators were motivated to pass the state’s tough photo voter ID law because they believed it would help them at the ballot box, an account he expanded on in a Wednesday interview with TPM.
Todd Allbaugh, who served as chief of staff for state Sen. Dale Schultz (R) until the legislator retired in 2015, first made the claims in a Tuesday Facebook post that caught the attention of national voting rights experts.
A federal appeals court Monday blocked the move earlier this year by a federal election official to approve a proof-of-citizenship requirement on the federal voting registration forms in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.
Brian Newby (pictured above), the executive director of the Election Assistance Commission who was formerly a local elections official in Kansas who worked under Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, had approved of the form change over the objections of other members of the commission. He had become the commission's executive director after the Supreme Court had refused to take up a case brought by Kansas and Arizona to force the EAC to change the voter registration form.
On April 5, the day of Wisconsin’s presidential primary, Anita Johnson picked up Dennis Hatten at his new apartment in West Milwaukee and took him to the polls. “We’re going to complete your journey and make sure you vote today,” Johnson told him.
Having police come to your home wielding weapons and asking questions about your voter registration status just days before an election sends a clear signal.
That signal wasn't lost on residents of Hmong communities in rural northern California, who said police came to their doors doing just that earlier this month. They said authorities also set up a roadway checkpoint to target Hmong drivers, threatening to arrest and prosecute them if they voted illegally.
Following those allegations of flagrant voter intimidation in the lead-up to Tuesday's state primary, the sheriff of Siskiyou County, where just about 43,000 people reside, told TPM his deputies played only a “minor” role in a state-led gumshoe probe into potential voter registration fraud. Sheriff Jon Lopey (pictured right) said deputies accompanied investigators to provide security in an area he described as potentially dangerous and “inundated” with what he estimated to be 2,000 illegal marijuana grow sites.
But the accounts of voter intimidation were serious enough that investigators from the Secretary of State’s Office, joined by staffers from the state Attorney General's Office, were dispatched on June 7 to monitor polling places across Siskiyou County.
“What began as an investigation of alleged voter fraud quickly evolved into an investigation of potential voter intimidation,” a spokesman said in a statement emailed to TPM.
Ironically, the Secretary of State's Office was being forced to look into acts of alleged voter intimidation performed in service of its very own probe.
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