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The past two years saw a dramatic rise in states attempting to enact voter suppression, the impact of which was certainly felt on Election Day. Under the guise of combating voter fraud and saving money, we saw strong pushes for ID and early voting and voter registration restrictions.
Florida was among the worst offenders.
Last year Florida passed HB 1355, or what’s commonly referred to by voting rights advocates as the “Voter Suppression Act” for its disenfranchising impacts, including its reduction of early voting hours and its harsh new restrictions on community groups seeking to help register voters – restrictions that caused the Florida League of Women Voters to drop its registration efforts. DOJ concerns have been filed as part of ongoing litigation. (Click here for more from the Brennan Center.)
Stephen Colbert shed light on the part of the Florida law that mandates community groups turn in voter registration forms within 48 hours of completion, instead of the previous 10 days, and attaches a fine for non-compliance. The Colbert piece features Representative Rich Glorioso, who attended last year’s ALEC meeting. Representative Dennis Baxley, the bill’s lead sponsor, also has ties to ALEC.
As my colleague Paul recently pointed out, the trouble with voter fraud is not that voters are committing fraud – it’s that we’re constantly being told that voter fraud is a pervasive national problem when it simply isn’t.
And you think all you need to do is make sure you register in time? Well, there’s a case being argued in the Supreme Court tomorrow that could have a lot to say about how many hoops the government is allowed to put you through when you show up at the polls. It’s called Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (actually, it’s two cases that have been combined; the other one is Indiana Democratic Party v. Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State). The case has to do with whether an Indiana statute, which contains the most restrictive voter ID barriers in the nation, places an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote.
Read more below.
With only two weeks to Election Day problems with voting machines have already started popping up, and in close races none-the-less.
Today, officials in Virginia announced that electronic ballot machines are flawed and won't contain the entire name of Democratic candidate Jim Webb when voters are instructed to confirm their vote. The ballot will simply have the candidate's first name.
I've said it before, and I will say it again, I am not a conspiracy theorist...BUT, the reason election officials gave for the glitch is that his name is too long. JIM WEBB, are you kidding me? If two one syllable names won't fit on the page, maybe you should explore bigger ballot pages.
Okay, okay, so the problem doesn't just affect Jim Webb. Other down-ballot candidates will also have their names cut off in the confirmation ballot as well. So, go ahead and disregard my non-conspiracy-theory theory.