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This week, voting rights supporters in Pennsylvania filed suit against HB 934, the state’s voter ID law whose original sponsor, Daryl Metcalfe, is an ALEC member. They claim that it deprives citizens of their basic and fundamental right to vote. Witold Walczak, Legal Director of the Pennsylvania ACLU:
UPDATE: Having passed the Senate, SB 289, which would require voters to present valid photo identification, and SB 318, which would alter residency requirements and make other voter registration changes that could have a profound impact, especially among the student population, received House hearings on April 10 and next week are due for committee votes. Tabled was a bill (HB 1301) concerning oaths for vote challengers and the voters they challenge.
Wisconsin appellate decisions typically take nine to 12 months, according to Lester Pines, an attorney with the League of Women Voters. The Department of Justice has asked the appeals panel to expedite the League's case, but Pines said even if it agrees to do so, he does not believe it would issue a ruling before the recall elections.
The Supreme Court has been deeply divided in pivotal cases in recent years, with conservatives claiming a 4-3 majority. Pines said Monday's rulings shows the justices do not always make decisions along ideological lines.
Two separate injunctions are currently blocking enforcement of Act 23 (aka AB 7), the voter ID law originally sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Stone and several others with ties to ALEC. A trial is underway before Dane County Circuit Court Judge David Flanagan.
But McDonnell, often mentioned as a possible vice presidential contender, sent the measure back to lawmakers, saying voters should be given more time - until the Friday after an election - to present proper identification.
McDonnell also proposed allowing officials to validate provisional ballots given to those without proper identification by comparing their signatures at the voting booth with those on file with the state election board in the absence of valid identification.
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McDonnell's proposals in Virginia also include broadening acceptable identification to include community college identity cards and removing a clause relaxing the voter ID requirements if an election officer recognizes the voter.
The Virginia General Assembly will consider the amendments when the session reconvenes next week.
UPDATE: Former congressman, voting rights coalition, Marine speak out on voting problems in Tennessee
Voting rights and voter suppression, especially voter ID, continue to make headlines in many states. Below is a sample of the latest. For more information, click here and also check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.
UPDATE: After more than 9 hours of floor debate, at just after 2 am yesterday, the Minnesota House passed its version of the voter ID constitutional amendment (HF 2738), sponsored by ALEC State Chairwoman Mary Kiffmeyer. The Senate moved on its version earlier this month, and now a floor vote appears imminent. Once both chambers agree, rules state that the question will bypass Governor Mark Dayton and go to the voters in November.