Feln News Center

Voting in the News – July 22, 2016

*NOTE: Due to staff schedules, clips will be suspended the week of July 25th. Clips will return on Monday, August 1st.* NEWS FROM NATIONAL OUTLETS Essence – “Federal Court Rejects Law That Would Prevent Thousands Of Blacks & Hispanics From Voting” With the 2016 presidential election heating up, ensuring that everyone is able to vote without the interference of questionable legislation is imperative. Think Progress – “How Ohio Democrats Are Responding To The GOP’s Efforts To Restrict Voting Rights” The state that hosted the Republican National Convention this week is in the midst of several legal battles over voting rights, as its Republican leaders attempt to slash the number of early voting days and purge inactive voters from its rolls. In Ohio, a crucial swing state, the fate of these policies could decide whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton sits in the White House next year. New York Times – “In Texas, Fixing Voter ID Law Ruled to Be Discriminatory Will Be Tricky Task” Ever since Texas’ strict voter identification law was passed in 2011, Democratic lawmakers and minority groups had focused on how to get it struck down. This week, after a federal appeals court ruled that the law discriminated against minorities, there is a new, equally vexing question: how to fix it. New Republic – “Republican-led voter suppression efforts just had a really bad week.” In a period of three days, restrictive voter ID laws passed by Republican statehouses in Wisconsin, Texas, and Michigan were all overturned in court. While the rulings are unlikely to affect the way those states vote in the presidential election in November—Wisconsin...

Voting in the News – July 21, 2016

  Forbes – “How We Vote, How It Has Changed” Last week, Google released a new tool to make the voter registration process in the United States easier. When people search for information about registration, Google will provide guides for each state with details about how to register, including requirements and deadlines. Because states and localities have central roles in election mechanics, policies can vary widely across approximately 10,500 election jurisdictions. It is important for people to know what their options are for registration and voting. NBC News – “OpEd: Restoring Voting Rights to the Disenfranchised” As the Republican National Convention comes to a close and the Democrats gear up for next week, there is one looming question about the focus each party will place on voting rights—an issue that was not front and center during the presidential debates but should be at the forefront of national discussion as we approach the general election. Bloomberg – “Political Reality Smacks Down Texas’ Voter ID Law” In time for the presidential election, an appeals court has determined that Texas’ voter identification law is discriminatory. Those without a government-issued photo ID will therefore have their votes counted on the basis of other evidence of residency. If Texas turns out to be in play in November, the result could have a small but meaningful effect in Hillary Clinton’s favor. The Guardian – “Florida Muslim group vows to fight removal of Islamic center as voting site” One of Florida’s largest Muslim advocacy groups says it plans to take legal action over the elimination of a prominent Islamic community center as a voting site for...

Voting in the News – July 20, 2016

Talking Points Memo – “Mosque Prez: Florida Pol ‘Surrendered To Bigotry’ In Relocating Polling Site” A south Florida Islamic center was looking forward to joining the almost 100 churches and synagogues that serve as polling sites for Palm Beach County in November. 2016 was the first year that the Islamic Center of Boca Raton had been invited to process voters, and officials at the center started preparing soon after the county elections supervisor first reached out to them in April. They planned to serve deserts and snacks and set out chairs for older voters waiting in line.   FOX News – “Wisconsin residents without ID can vote in November, judge rules” Wisconsin residents who can’t obtain photo identification will still be able to vote in November’s general election, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, carving out an exception to state law that requires all voters to show photo IDs at the polls.   The Hill – “Federal judge blocks Wisconsin voter ID law” A federal judge in Milwaukee on Tuesday blocked a Wisconsin state law that would have required voters to show a photo identification when casting a ballot in November’s presidential election.   USA Today – “Appeals court strikes down Texas voter ID law” A federal appeals court struck down Texas’ tough voter identification law as discriminatory Wednesday, giving civil rights advocates a crucial victory in advance of the 2016 election.   The Guardian – “Texas voter ID law is illegal and must change before election day, court rules” A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Texas’s strict voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act and ordered...

Voting in the News – July 19, 2016

The Hill – “GOP platform calls for tough voter ID laws” The Republican Party’s platform formally endorses laws requiring voters to show identification when they cast ballots.   CNN – “Voting challenges head toward the Supreme Court: 4 cases to watch” The looming election and the Supreme Court will converge in the coming months as voting rights challenges on issues such as Voter ID, early vote cutbacks and same-day registration make their way to the high court.   Associated Press – “ACLU Sues Kansas Over Voting Rule for State, Local Races” The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block a Kansas election rule that could throw out thousands of votes in state and local races by people who registered at motor vehicle offices or used a federal form without providing documents proving U.S. citizenship.   The New York Times – “Kansas Zealot Helps Shape the G.O.P.’s Right-Wing Platform” One of the most fervid ideologues expected at the Republican convention this week — the Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach — has been busy shaping extremist positions in the party platform to suppress immigration, gun controls and same-sex marriage. But he also found time last week to do actual damage to Kansans with a devious, 11th-hour policy that would disqualify 17,000 of them as state voters, even though they are allowed by law to vote in federal elections.   Fortune – “Google Is Making it Easier For You to Vote” Google wants to make sure that you stay informed about this election and make it to the polls this November.   US News & World...

Voting in the News – July 18, 2016

The Nation. – “As the GOP Convention Begins, Ohio Is Purging Tens of Thousands of Democratic Voters” Larry Harmon, a 59-year-old software engineer and Navy vet, went the polls in 2015 in his hometown of Kent, Ohio, to vote on a state ballot initiative. But poll workers told him he was no longer registered and could not vote.   Washington Post – “Need to register to vote? Google can help.” The Republican National Convention is kicking off in Cleveland on Monday, marking what feels like the true start of the general election. Amid all the coverage and images of confetti and balloons, the convention may stir a thought in the depths of your brain: Am I registered to vote?   Mother Jones – “Republicans Gather in State That’s Chipping Away at Democracy” On Monday morning in Cleveland, as the Republican National Convention prepared to convene and nominate Donald Trump for president, a group of Democratic lawmakers and lawyers hosted their own event a mile up the road to highlight Republican efforts to curtail the right to vote around the country—and to make sure that all Democrats who are eligible to vote turn up to cast a...

Voting in the News – July 14, 2016

Christian Science Monitor – “Why Florida pulled a mosque as a polling site” Some voters in Florida have cast their ballots in a mosque since 2010, but this year, the site in Palm Beach County proved too contentious.   STATE NEWS California: Los Angeles Times – “Appeals court sets September hearing in voting rights case” Thousands of felons serving time in county jails would be allowed to vote in California elections from behind bars under a bill moving swiftly through the state Legislature despite widespread opposition from law enforcement officials.   Indiana: Journal Review – “Citizen participation needed for redistricting reform” Redistricting reform was featured at three events attended by members of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County last week. Redistricting happens every 10 years after the federal census. The purpose is to equalize the population of congressional and legislative districts. In Indiana, like all but six states, the state legislatures draw the maps.   Kansas: Associated Press – “Appeals court sets September hearing in voting rights case” A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in September in an appeal that could affect the voting rights of thousands of voters in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama in upcoming elections.   Michigan: WWMT-TV – “Proposed constitutional amendment would change voting rules in Mich.” Michigan democrats are proposing a constitutional amendment to expand early voting.   The Detroit News – “Judge hears lawsuit to stop state’s straight-ticket ban” A judge is weighing a lawsuit seeking to prohibit the state from enforcing a new law that prohibits straight-ticket voting, allowing a party-line option on ballots this fall.   New York:...