Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
Desiline Victor, you are not alone.
A report released on February 12, 2013 by the Election Protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, pledges to address the “endemic yet solvable problems [that] continue to plague our system of elections and prevent too many eligible voters from fully participating in our democracy.”
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.
UPDATE: Attorneys for both sides gave closing arguments last Friday after a weeklong trial. Experts expect the ruling, which could come before November, will hinge on whether the defendants have successfully shown that the law has a disparate impact on minorities. Representative Fischer highlighted the hurdles that many Texans would have to clear in order to acquire valid ID, pointing out that some "would have a 200-mile round-trip drive." Attorney General Eric Holder described the ID requirement as a "poll tax." As the New York Times editorialized, "People died to achieve [the Voting Rights Act], but 47 years later, the discrimination has not disappeared."
On May 9, Representative Paul Broun tried to prohibit the use of Department of Justice (DOJ) funds for enforcing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
You heard me right.
Representative Broun, a Republican whose home state of Georgia is covered by Section 5 of the VRA, tried to stop DOJ from enforcing the requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discrimination have their voting laws and regulations precleared by the federal government or a federal court before they may be changed. It is widely known that the deterrent effect of Section 5 continues to prove significant in protecting minorities against potentially discriminatory electoral changes.
I had a good understanding of why the Voting Rights Act is so important, but doing some research, I learned an interesting thing. In addition to the poll tax/literacy test stuff, I learned something from this Wikipedia article
Let's not let Republicans take credit for a bill they wanted to kill. The leadership were sure to drag their feet as long as they could on this bill before pushing it through the house in a matter of hours.
These are my thoughts on why they did it, how it went down, and what it means for the Progressive movement.
Friday morning café always tastes the best.
Welcome one and all this morning to the new launch of the website, the blog, and of course Café Con Leche, Con Shawn!
The new capabilities on this blog are amazing - you can upload videos, files, conduct polls, and tons of other things - use it!
On to the News.
Jon Stewart on Ted Stevens on Net Nuetrality
Now, I don't want to step on the toes of Blog Team member Brendan Ballou-Kelley who often talks about net nuetrality, but you MUST see this video of Jon Stewart talking about Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and his outrageous comments regarding net neutrality - an issue which he is in charge of! Clearly he had one too many meetings with corporate lobbyist.
House Reauthorizes Voting Rights Act
Yesterday the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a measure put in place to ensure equal access to the ballot for all voters. Although one might think the reauthorization would have been a no brainer, some southern conservatives like Representative Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia actually argued against the reauthorization saying it amounted to punishment for past mistakes made in the south. "By passing this rewrite of the Voting Rights Act, Congress is declaring from on high that states with voting problems 40 years ago can simply never be forgiven," said Rep. Westmoreland.
Hmmm...that's an interesting argument from a man who represents a state that recently passed a harmful voter id bill that would suppress votes in Georgia by requiring all citizens to have a government issued ID in order to vote.
Have a great weekend!
It may be stormy, but things never cool off here in DC in the summer.
Congress is in recess, but they're giving us plenty to work on.