In case you hadn’t heard, there is a contentious presidential election coming up in November. Each side will do everything in its power in hopes of claiming victory. For some Republicans, the playbook includes making it more difficult for nonwhite people to get to the polls.
The Economist – “North Carolina voter ID law is struck down as racially discriminatory”
IF IT walks, quacks and swims like a duck, the saying goes, then it probably is a duck. On July 29th, three judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals used essentially this reasoning when they issued an 83-page ruling saying it is no accident that North Carolina’s voting law looks, sounds and functions like an effort to suppress the voices of black voters. Many provisions of the 2013 bill “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision”, Judge Diana Motz wrote. North Carolina Republicans’ “true motivation” behind the law, she went on, was not to combat voter fraud but to keep reliably Democratic black voters—a “major electoral force” whose “registration and turnout rates had finally reached near-parity” with those of whites—away from the polls.
The Nation – “5 Major GOP Voting Restrictions Have Been Blocked in 10 Days”
In the past 10 days, courts have issued six major decisions against GOP-backed voting restrictions in five different states.
Fresno Bee – “Three victories for voting rights worth celebrating”
The tide may just be turning on voting rights, just in time for the November election that is one of the most consequential in decades.
Tampa Bay Times – “99 days out, taking stock of Florida’s level of election readiness”
Voting experts from Florida and across the country met at UF in Gainesville Monday to assess a quadrennial topic of interest: the state’s level of readiness for the 2016 presidential election.
A group of volunteers hopes to change Florida’s policy for restoring the right to vote to convicted felons.
In North Carolina, a law imposing severe restrictions on voting was struck down by a federal appeal court on July 29, and this ruling could be considered a huge win for proponents of democracy and racial equality. The law in question could have been best described as comprehensively discriminatory by enacting numerous restrictions and stipulations that would have ultimately made it difficult for impoverished, minority voters to engage in the democratic process.
Wichita State University – “A $3,600 award will help student video game company encourage people to vote”
Hoping to engage Sedgwick County voters, Quickdraw Studios — a video game and application company started by three current Wichita State students — will create a Wichita-specific interactive video game.
A formal federal court ruling’s unusual reference to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” has left North Carolina Republicans again distancing themselves from a former party official who made racially charged remarks back in 2013 about the state’s voter ID law.
Asheville Citizen-Times – “Our view: An epic smackdown to N.C. voter law”
Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law that required voters to present one of eight forms of photo ID at the polls.
Wilkes Journal-Patriot – “Court ruling blocks voter ID requirement”
Unless there is “alternative guidance from the courts,” said State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach, North Carolina voters won’t be asked to show photo ID in this year’s general election as a result of a federal appeals court ruling Friday.
Laurinburg Exchange – “Scotland County Democrats call ID ruling ‘a victory’”
The leader of Scotland County Democrats called last week’s decision to block a North Carolina’s voter ID law, “a huge victory.”
Providence Journal – “R.I. secretary of state: Voter registration is easier with new online system”
The state’s new online voter registration was unveiled today on Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea’s website.
NECN-TV – “Online Voter Registration Launching in RI”
For the first time, Rhode Island residents will be able to register to vote online beginning this week.
Associated Press – “Things to know about voting rights lawsuit”
U.S. District Judge James Peterson issued a ruling last week loosening Wisconsin’s voter ID law and striking down a host of other state election laws that Republicans have passed over the last five years.
Daily Tribune – “Dexter man faces voting fraud charge”
A 43-year-old Dexter man charged with voting twice in the April 5 election made his initial appearance Monday in Wood County Circuit Court.