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Encomposing Civil Rights of All Voters
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Florida Official Behind Gov. Rick Scott's Voter Purge Linked To $1 Billion Campaign Effort Against Obama

Florida Official Behind Gov. Rick Scott's Voter Purge Linked To $1 Billion Campaign Effort Against Obama | Voters Rights | Scoop.it

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice asked officials in Florida to suspend the controversial voter purge conducted by Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) administration, citing possible violations of voting rights law. Florida officials had been purging a list of suspected non-citizen voters, estimated at one point to include at least 180,000 people, despite evidence that the list is riddled with errors. Thousands of targeted voters are in fact American citizens. As ThinkProgress and the Miami Heraldhave reported, a great deal of the individuals also happen to be Hispanics and Democratic-leaning voters, suggesting the effort is deeply partisan.

 

The plan for the purge, according to a story from the Associated Press, was initiated last year by then-Secretary of State Kurt Browning after a meeting with the governor. Browning said he was motivated by a “Spidey sense tingling” to undergo a massive project to develop the list now being used to send letters to registered Florida voters informing them that they have been flagged as non-citizens. Although both Gov. Scott and Browning have downplayed accusations that the purge is political, a donation from a secret money group may fuel growing suspicions that the effort is partisan.

 

Just before Browning was selected in 2011 by Scott as Secretary of State, Browning led a group called “Protect Your Vote Inc,” which was set up to oppose fair redistricting. 

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Risk of non-citizen voters at center of election year struggle in Florida and Colorado

Risk of non-citizen voters at center of election year struggle in Florida and Colorado | Voters Rights | Scoop.it

By Tom Curry, msnbc.com National Affairs Writer

The Justice Department entered the long-running struggle over voter eligibility Thursday, warning Florida that its program to check the citizenship status of registered voters violates both Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

   In a battleground state in a presidential election year, the voter eligibility scuffle may have big implications, especially when you consider that George W. Bush won Florida in 2000 by a mere 537 votes in a case ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. People wait before Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich visits a voting precinct at the First Baptist Church of Windermere January 31, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The state said its initial check found 180,000 potential non-citizens who may be registered voters. 

   Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch referred to the citizenship verification process as Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s “blatant campaign to suppress the vote immediately in advance of the presidential election.”

The struggle over who should be eligible to vote and who shouldn’t – not only in Florida, but in another battleground state, Colorado, and in other states as well – raises important policy questions: 

Why is there no national registry of American citizens that state and local election officials could check to see if someone is eligible to vote? Solicitor General Donald Verrilli confirmed in the oral argument before the Supreme Court on the Arizona immigration law that “there is no reliable way in the (DHS) database to verify that you are a citizen, unless you are in the passport database.”

Is the attempt to remove non-citizens from the list of voters simply impossible – due to lack of accurate data on citizen status, or is it possible to do, but will have the side effect of inadvertently striking some citizens from the rolls?
For those citizens who are mistakenly struck from the list of voters, do states have adequate notice and appeal processes in place to protect their ability to vote?
Rather than leaving this task to elected state officials, would it be efficient for Congress to create a federal agency to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a ballot and that non-citizens can’t vote?
Since early May, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, an appointee of Scott’s, has been leading an effort to use data from the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to verify that registered voters are U.S. citizens.


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State Lawmaker: Reaction To Epic Outburst 'Mostly Positive'

State Lawmaker: Reaction To Epic Outburst 'Mostly Positive' | Voters Rights | Scoop.it


By DAVID MERCER 05/31/12 04:34 PM ET

Mike Bost Meltdown: Illinois Lawmaker Says Reaction To His Epic Outburst 'Mostly Positive' 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- An Illinois lawmaker screamed profanities and referenced the Bible during a videotaped tirade directed at the state's powerful House speaker. And it's creating a stir online.

Republican Rep. Mike Bost said Thursday he's been surprised by the mostly positive reaction he's received. He says his frustration has been building for years.

Bost's outburst came as House members were preparing to vote Tuesday on a contentious plan to overhaul Illinois' pension system without a chance for debate or amendment.

Bost says that's standard procedure in the Democrat-controlled House, but it shouldn't be.

In reference to House Speaker Michael Madigan, Bost yelled: "You should be ashamed!"

Madigan chalked up the outburst to late-session frustration.

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Parsing demographics and the 2012 presidential race

Parsing demographics and the 2012 presidential race | Voters Rights | Scoop.it

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll highlighted just how much the coalitions of the two political parties have changed over time and continue to shift during Barack Obama’s presidency. What advisers to the president and Mitt Romney are trying to calculate is how that may affect the electoral college.

The poll’s results were not truly surprising, but they captured something that reflects current social realities. The survey found that the most economically stressed white voters in this country view Mitt Romney far more favorably than the president when it comes to handling the economy.

"THE TAKE" | Obama and Romney campaigns try to assess impact of white working-class voters’ declining share of the electorate.

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Only in Nebraska, Birth of the Unicameral - Nebraska Stories

In the first half of the 20th century, George Norris was Nebraskas best-known, best-loved, and sometimes most-hated politician.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSPZOY0SPeM

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Voter rights group alleges 'mass voter confusion' during Tuesday's primary

Voter rights group alleges 'mass voter confusion' during Tuesday's primary | Voters Rights | Scoop.it

A group of community leaders have detailed problems they discovered at polling places during Tuesday's primary election.

 OMAHA, Neb. - A group of community leaders led by Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray and activist Preston Love Jr. held a news conference Thursday to detail problems they say they discovered at polling places and with the Douglas County Election Commission during this week's primary.

The group says that closed polling places, lack of communication, a lack of poll worker preparation and other factors were to blame for "many north Omaha voters" being denied the opportunity to vote Tuesday.

"This was a disaster looking for a place to happen -- and it happened here," Gray said.

"What occurred on Tuesday was absolute and total chaos," said state Sen. Brenda Council.

Read more: http://www.ketv.com/news/local-news/Voter-rights-group-alleges-mass-voter-confusion-during-Tuesday-s-primary/-/9674510/13435758/-/wpc2ptz/-/index.html#ixzz1w7izYPAa

 

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Parsing demographics and the 2012 presidential race

Parsing demographics and the 2012 presidential race | Voters Rights | Scoop.it
By Dan Balz, Published: May 26


The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll highlighted just how much the coalitions of the two political parties have changed over time and continue to shift during Barack Obama’s presidency. What advisers to the president and Mitt Romney are trying to calculate is how that may affect the electoral college.


The poll’s results were not truly surprising, but they captured something that reflects current social realities. The survey found that the most economically stressed white voters in this country view Mitt Romney far more favorably than the president when it comes to handling the economy. Obama and Romney campaigns try to assess impact of white working-class voters’ declining share of the electorate.

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Florida Voting Provision Blocked For Being 'Harsh And Impractical'

Florida Voting Provision Blocked For Being 'Harsh And Impractical' | Voters Rights | Scoop.it
MIAMI, May 31 (Reuters) - A Florida election law requiring third-party groups to turn in voter registration forms within 48 hours is "harsh and impractical," a federal judge ruled on Thursday. 

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle blocked enforcement of that provision, but left intact most of the election law passed last year by the state's Republican-controlled legislature.

The League of Women voters had challenged the law, which carried a $1,000-a-day fine for failing to meet the time requirement. The group said the requirement was so onerous that it stopped holding voter registration drives in Florida. (Reporting by Jane Sutton; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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Holder On Voter ID Laws: Discrimination Not Yet Relegated To Pages Of History

Holder On Voter ID Laws: Discrimination Not Yet Relegated To Pages Of History | Voters Rights | Scoop.it

Attorney General Eric Holder told members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Conference of National Black Churches on Wednesday that the right to vote was threatened across the country.

"The reality is that in jurisdictions across the country, both overt and subtle forms of discrimination remain all too common and have not yet been relegated to the pages of history," Holder told the audience, made up of black church and political leaders, during a faith leaders summit in Washington.

He also reaffirmed the Justice Department's commitment to the Voting Rights Act, and in particular, the section of the law which prohibits certain states from making changes to their election laws without first getting federal approval, and which has been the focus of several recent court challenges.

"Between 1965 and 2010, nearly half a century, only eight challenges to [the provision] were filed in court," Holder said. "By contrast, in the last two years alone, we've seen nine lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of that provision."

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Bill Bradley - Big Money, Lobbyists, and American Politics

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/fora/showthread.php?t=1124

Former New Jersey Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Bradley criticizes the inflence of...

"A Troubling Nexus: Big Money and Politics" with Senators Bill Bradley and Alan Simpson speaking at The Commonwealth Club of California.

Two former senators reach across the aisle to take an inside look at the impact of big money on our political system. They discuss how money influences who runs for office, who gets elected and the ability of elected representatives to remain in office, and they explain why they now support public funding of federal elections and the reasons behind their affiliation with Americans for Campaign Reform. -- The Commonwealth Club

William Warren "Bill" Bradley (born July 28, 1943) is an American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and former U.S. Senator from New Jersey and presidential candidate, who challenged Vice President Al Gore for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in the 2000 election.

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New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot? - Senate Judiciary Hearing 9-08-2011

New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot? - Senate Judiciary Hearing 9-08-2011 | Voters Rights | Scoop.it

Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing on New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot? September 8th, 2011.

http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=2072649339b2bb3b19d320ce6...

Thursday 9/8, 2:00pm
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Chair: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Ranking Member: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

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