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UPDATE: Shortly after the election, several voting rights advocacy groups released reports or statements detailing problems voters encountered at the polls. Demos put out a report describing how all the various voter suppression tactics affected the 2012 election. The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement addressing the problems voters faced and the steps that should be taken to prevent future problems. Project Vote also released a statement praising diligent voters for overcoming adverse voting circumstances.
Despite the concerted efforts by conservative legislators to suppress voters’ rights throughout 2011 and 2012 using a number of tactics in the supposed interest to combat voter fraud, millions of Americans took time last week to cast their vote on Election Day. However, a number of problems for voters still occurred, shedding light on some obvious inadequacies within our voting process.
Back in 2004, Arizona voters passed Proposition 200, which required people in the state to produce proof of citizenship in order to vote and use public services. Two years later, PFAW Foundation joined voting rights supporters in filing suit against its voting-related provisions. In 2010, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit struck down the law’s requirement that voters provide proof of citizenship, but upheld its voter ID provisions. In April of this year, the full Ninth Circuit ruled the same.
Last week, the US Supreme Court refused to continue a stay of the Ninth Circuit’s decision, which had previously been granted by Justice Kennedy at the request of Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. Horne had sought to keep the citizenship provisions in place pending appeal.
This morning I joined other PFAWF and PFAW interns and staff in front of the Supreme Court in support of the Affordable Care Act. Progressives, tea partiers, anti-choice, and women’s groups alike gathered in the DC heat to voice their opinions on the ACA.
This morning I skipped the office and headed straight over to the Hill to witness history as the Supreme Court handed down its ruling upholding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act legislation. (Click here for the PFAW statement.)
When I tell someone I’m from Arizona I usually get one of two reactions. The first one is a strange look of slight disgust as if they are trying to hold back, “you must be a racist.” The second response takes a little more courage, but doesn’t involve many words.