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Voter ID Laws Are Completely Unnecessary


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#641 LFC

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 04:27 PM

Moscow Mitch folds on his protection of Russia ... a little bit.

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After weeks of being taunted as “Moscow Mitch” for his refusal to consider measures to strengthen election security, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has backed an amendment that would do just that.

“I am proud to have helped develop this amendment and to co-sponsor it in committee,” McConnell said from the floor of the Senate.

The McConnell-backed appropriations amendment would give states an additional $250 million to improve the quality of their voting systems and strengthen their protections against foreign interference, according to Politico. As a result, the total funding for election security would increase to $600 million after the last fiscal year.

However, McConnell has yet to back the bipartisan election security legislation which Senate Democrats have unsuccessfully attempted to bring to the floor. His efforts to obstruct that legislation earned him the nickname “Moscow Mitch.”

“Senate Democrats believe this new funding is not a substitute for passing the comprehensive bipartisan election security legislation that experts say is desperately needed,” a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters in an email. (Schumer did praise McConnell’s backing of the appropriations amendment as “a step in the right direction.”)


By simply giving more money to the red states instead of making them actually protect themselves against Russian attacks it allows them to maintain control without any unwanted eyes snooping in on them. If Moscow Mitch touches something it's corrupt.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#642 LFC

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:44 PM

Texass. They have an excuse but you know they expect this to suppress voters that they don't like.

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A newly implemented change to election law is leaving a trail of shuttered early voting polling places across the state.

The eyeglasses settled on Larry Quisenberry’s head slightly shifted as his eyes went wide and his back straightened from the lolled position he held by the checkout counter at the Cow Palace Emporium.

His reaction came upon learning that the one day of early voting he and his neighbors previously enjoyed was going away.

Quisenberry has been loyal to the ballot box for more than two decades, voting in elections big and small. He typically casts his vote on Election Day — he likes to spend those Tuesdays sporting the “I Voted” sticker — but his job as a pilot car driver for oversized loads sometimes forces him to vote early.

Like in other small towns in rural Williamson County, he previously had at least one day available for early voting when a temporary polling place was set up at City Hall — located just off Main Street, not far past the black and white awning that hangs over the front of the homegoods store.

But much to his dismay, especially regarding his elderly neighbors, communities like Florence will have no early voting starting this November; the nearest early voting polling location will be more than 10 miles away.

“I think we ought to get every opportunity,” Quisenberry said. “We’re a small community, but I don’t know why we wouldn’t be entitled to what others have.”

Florence’s one day of early voting was a casualty of a newly implemented Texas election law that lawmakers said they pushed to curb abuse in school bond elections. But the law was crafted broadly enough to upend a long-established practice of moving polling places during the early voting period to reach as many voters as possible near where they live, work or go to school. With a Nov. 5 constitutional election looming, the new law has left a trail of shuttered early voting polling places across the state, prompting unease among election officials about how far it’ll go in limiting access to early voting in next year’s high-stakes election.


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The Texas Democratic Party asked the committee to draw up an exemption for November general elections. The Texas Association of Election Administrators, led by Williamson County’s election administrator Chris Davis, warned against the change because it would limit the use of temporary voting sites to reach far-flung communities. Democrats offered up amendments in hopes of exempting rural communities, college campuses and long-term care facilities.

But the legislation that made it out of both the House and Senate with virtually unanimous Republican support didn’t address those requests. Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law soon after the end of the legislative session.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#643 LFC

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 12:40 PM

Mississippi has disenfranchised black voters for a century. It now makes it nearly impossible for a Democrat to win a state-wide office without a massive margin of victory. The rule allows them to wring the most out of their gerrymandering. Needless to say the Republicans are in no hurry to an unfair system that protects them.

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For statewide positions other than US senator, Mississippi uses a system similar to the electoral college. It’s not enough for a candidate to simply win the statewide popular vote. Rather, they must win both a majority of the popular vote and win a majority of the state’s 122 state house districts. If no candidate clears both of these hurdles, the state house chooses the winner from the top two candidates.

Hood, for what it’s worth, did win his attorney general races by large enough margins to overcome this system — in 2015, for example, he beat his Republican opponent by more than 10 points. A 2013 profile of Hood in Governing magazine argues that he’s able to do this, in part, because he’s a good cultural fit for the state. Hood “styles his hair like the late country singer Conway Twitty,” and he is both a gun owner and an avid hunter. His current job as attorney general also allows him to be the face of popular issues like locking up child pornographers or suing fraudsters who took advantage of Hurricane Katrina victims.

Yet, while Hood has resisted the political gravity of conservative Mississippi better than any other Democrat, he may not be able to escape it altogether. His 55-45 victory in 2015 was his closest election to date (he crushed his first opponent by nearly 26 points). Earlier this month, Hood’s campaign released a poll showing him with a 45-42 percent lead over Republican gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves. That’s not nearly enough to overcome Mississippi’s electoral college-like system.

Thus, as a practical matter, Mississippi’s system all but ensures that Reeves will win November’s election, even if a majority of the state’s voters prefer Hood (the incumbent, Republican Phil Bryant, cannot run again due to term limits). Republicans currently control almost 60 percent of the state’s house of representatives. And state house districts are gerrymandered in a way that would make it very difficult for Hood to win a majority of those districts.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#644 LFC

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 01:12 PM

What a shock. The Ohio voter purge was brimming with errors, pretty much just like every single other Republican voter purge.

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Ohio’s government admitted that nearly 20 percent of voters targeted in the state’s looming purge of “inactive” were actually active voters.

Earlier this year, the Ohio secretary of state’s office issued a list of 235,000 names targeted for removal from the voter rolls because, the state purported, they had not participated in the last three election cycles. The purge is part of an effort to remove names of people who have passed away or moved. The state is required to send notices to people it plans to remove to give them a chance to verify that they should still be on the rolls.

Voting groups soon reported thousands of names that had been erroneously included on the list and claimed that thousands of people included on the list were not notified that they would be removed.

The problem was far larger than anyone realized at the time: Ohio officials have since determined that roughly 40,000 people on the list, nearly one in five, were put on the list in error, The New York Times reports.

Among the names wrongly targeted for removal was the head of an Ohio voting rights group that is trying to counter the purge.

Jen Miller, the director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, went through the list as part of her group’s effort to contact targeted voters and help them verify their registrations. She was surprised to find her own name on the list.

“I voted three times last year,” Miller told the Times. “I don’t think we have any idea how many other individuals this has happened to.”

The list was released for the first time this year after previous efforts to purge the rolls were done in secret. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, insisted that discovering tens of thousands of errors on the state’s list was a feature, not a bug.

“We’re talking about crowdsourcing, in simply putting the list out there,” he told the Times.

But the error-plagued list highlights problems frequently raised with such voter purges, which are also carried out in key battleground states like Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas.

Among the issues were a software vendor error that wrongly included more than 1,600 people, counties that used different processes to identify inactive voters, and the unexplained targeting of around 20,000 people who voted in recent elections. All of those 20,000 voters were in Franklin County, a Democratic-leaning area of the state.

Steve Tingley-Hock, a volunteer who runs the Ohio Voter Project and first discovered the issues, told the Times that these were easy errors to catch using a basic database management system.

“A guy at his dining room table can figure this stuff out,” he said. “It’s not rocket science.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#645 LFC

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 03:44 PM

We haven't heard about ALEC in a while but they're still at it, trying to subvert democracy at every turn.

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In the early August heat, nearly 200 Republican lawmakers gathered in an Austin, Texas, hotel to learn about what one panelist described as a “political adult bloodsport.” The matter at hand — gerrymandering — could lock in Republican power in the states for another decade if successfully carried out again in 2021.

The lawmakers were attending the 46th annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a powerful conservative group known for its secrecy.

Yet this year, parts of the meeting were a little less secret. Several reporters attended the session on gerrymandering and were able to shine light on the organization’s plans ahead of the upcoming redistricting cycle in 2021. Then, in October, journalist David Daley published a recording of the conference’s two-part session on gerrymandering in Slate. This unprecedented level of reporting on the panel uncovered the tactics conservatives plan to employ as they seek to maintain the Republican hold on state legislatures across the country in the crucial redistricting wars to come.

During the panel, experts stressed to state lawmakers the importance of maintaining their power during the next round of redistricting. Led by Phil King, the Texas House redistricting chair and one of ALEC’s most influential members, and Hans von Spakovsky, a conservative attorney and voter fraud alarmist, the speakers prepared attendees to be on the defensive and ready for litigation when they draw districts.

The conservative experts gave attendees a range of tips on how to approach gerrymandering, from legislative actions to legal preparedness. The panelists scoffed at the idea of appointing independent commissions in states to draw districts, a solution to partisan gerrymandering gaining traction in some states, instead urging state lawmakers to secure as much control over the process as possible. One panelist suggested Republican lawmakers work with black and Latino lawmakers to pack minority voters into districts, and another urged them to exclude noncitizens from the population numbers used to determine districts, a move that would dramatically redistribute power away from blue areas. Yet, ALEC also warned state lawmakers to be careful — to avoid using the word “gerrymander” and drawing lines too heavily based on race.

“You should not be discriminating on the basis of race, but engaging in partisanship because you want to benefit your political party is perfectly acceptable under the law,” von Spakovsky told attendees, per Slate’s transcript of the panel. Importantly, the Supreme Court has ruled that racial gerrymandering is illegal, but, in recent decisions, avoided setting limits on partisan gerrymandering.

ALEC is known for its focus on writing model bills of interest to its corporate members and disseminating them to conservative state lawmakers across the country. Yet the recording of the panel suggests that the group is now prioritizing legal preparedness as lawmakers ready themselves for the next round of redistricting following the 2020 census. The panelists seemed bolstered by a recent Supreme Court ruling but spooked by leaks from the files of a deceased conservative gerrymandering expert; they urged lawmakers to be careful to build lawsuit-proof politically gerrymandered maps and to be sure not to put anything in writing they wouldn’t want a judge to see.

It’s rare to have this kind of look inside an ALEC conference, as the most defining characteristic of the group is its secrecy. During the conference, von Spakovsky and others encouraged legislators to throw away their notes and to avoid discussing the issue of redistricting in emails that could be leaked or obtained by the press.

“I have no doubt that there were a million things happening behind closed doors that we didn’t know about,” said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, one of the groups leading the push against Republican gerrymandering efforts in that state.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#646 pnwguy

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 03:50 PM

 LFC, on 21 October 2019 - 03:44 PM, said:

We haven't heard about ALEC in a while but they're still at it, trying to subvert democracy at every turn.
I think it was best stated earlier with this cartoon

Mexico may have powerful drug cartels, but they are no match for our wealth cartels. For the most part, they don't seem to be worried about hiding things anymore.
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#647 LFC

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 10:50 AM

Kansas Kris Kobach has resolved the disciplinary action he incurred from completely f***ing up the defense of voter suppression in his state. And let's not forget that this is one of Trump's "best people" who tried to take his incompetent fascism national. Thank heavens the Trumpies are incompetent and generally stupid. If they were sharp they could have destroyed this nation's democracy ... like Moscow Mitch has done so effectively.

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Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach acknowledged that he did not properly supervise his trial team during their disastrous performance in the proof-of-citizenship voter registration case.

The acknowledgement was part of an agreement that resolved a disciplinary claim filed against Kobach for his conduct in the case. After the 2018 trial, a judge struck down the requirement while ordering Kobach take legal education classes.

His agreement with the Kansas Disciplinary Administrator’s Office also said that “There was no finding of dishonest conduct on the part of Mr. Kobach.”

Though these kinds of agreements, known as a diversion agreements, are usually kept confidential, the disciplinary office and Kobach agreed to make a portion of the agreement public.

The diversion agreement was first reported Monday by the Topeka Capital-Journal. The full findings of the agreement, which was reached on Oct. 10, remain confidential and only a small portion was publicly released.

In addition to U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson’s order that Kobach take legal ed classes, a magistrate judge slapped Kobach with sanctions including an $1,000 penalty for misleading the court about key evidence he was withholding in the litigation. The evidence was a proposal he presented then President-elect Trump — as captured in an infamous photograph — that pitched the incoming administration on changing the voting rights law that was at the heart of the legal battle over his proof-of-citizenship requirement. Robinson also held Kobach in contempt for not complying with orders she issued over the course of the case.

During the March 2018 trial, Kobach and his trial team struggled with the basics of court procedures, earning several verbal corrections by Robinson as well as her chastisement in her final order of Kobach’s “repeated and flagrant violations of discovery and disclosure rules.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#648 LFC

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 12:02 PM

North Carolina's fascist Republicans had their gerrymandering smacked down by a panel of judges.

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In a big victory for anti-gerrymandering activists, a panel of three judges ordered North Carolina’s state legislature on Monday to draw up new U.S. congressional maps in time for the 2020 elections.

The ruling was decided by the same panel that had struck down Republican-drawn state legislative maps for North Carolina’s Senate and General Assembly last month.

Though the judges didn’t establish a hard deadline, the panel warned that it would delay the 2020 primaries if new maps haven’t been drawn up by then.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#649 LFC

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 04:46 PM

Georgia, one of America's worst states for Third World style sham elections, is at it again only bigger and "better." Hey, it worked the last time and they got away with it so why not? Is it any wonder Moscow Mitch grasps the importance of packing the court with unqualified but GOP-loyal judges?

Quote

Voting rights advocates in Georgia vowed to fight for the rights of more than 300,000 people in the state whose registrations may be purged from the rolls in the coming weeks by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Monday that about 330,000 voter registrations may be canceled in early December if the voters do not confirm that they still live in the state. The purge is targeting people who have not voted in the last five years and could affect about four percent of the state’s eligible voters.

“Having a long history of voter suppression, the Georgia secretary of state’s office has a responsibility to guarantee that not a single voter is wrongly included on the purge list.”
—Lauren Groh-Wargo, Fair Fight Action

“Voters should not lose their right to vote simply because they have decided not to express that right in recent elections,” Fair Fight Action’s Lauren Groh-Wargo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The group was founded by Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the state.

While Kemp was serving as secretary of state in 2017, his office oversaw the largest purge of voter registrations in U.S. history, kicking more than 534,000 people off the rolls. Voting rights groups condemned Georgia’s Republican leaders for what they saw as massive voter suppression effort—especially after Kemp went on to win the 2018 election by 1.4 percentage points.

“Having a long history of voter suppression, the Georgia secretary of state’s office has a responsibility to guarantee that not a single voter is wrongly included on the purge list,” Groh-Wargo told the Journal-Constitution.

This year, election officials will have to notify voters before their registrations are purged—a requirement that wasn’t in effect in 2018. Notifications warning of the purge will be sent out to voters’ last known addresses in early November and recipients will have 30 days to respond before their names are removed from state records.


Has there been even one case of a Republican voter roll purge that wasn't filled with "errors?"
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#650 Traveler

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 08:38 PM

At least the list is publicized so real folks can be checked. Be interesting to see how many legitimate ones are found.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire





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