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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: Despite hopeful signs from Governor Rick Snyder’s office, the fight against voter suppression is far from over in Michigan. Senators Darwin Booher and David Robertson have introduced SB 1219, identical to the vetoed SB 803. The ballot coaching provision in HB 5061 was referred back to the House Committee on Redistricting and Elections. SB 754 is also likely to return.
UPDATE: Though July 1 has now passed, Governor Rick Snyderstill has yet to sign the voter suppression package. The Michigan chapter of the National Action Network is planning a march from Detroit to Lansing on July 23-27 to protest these and other measures, should the Governor come down on the wrong side of civil rights. Chapter president Rev. Charles Williams II, a supporter of PFAW Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council, says that the bill’s proponents are "playing games" and "we’re standing against it."
A series of voter suppression bills, whose ALEC ties include Representative Dave Agema and Senators David Robertson and Darwin Booher, have now made their way to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Supporters claim that the legislation is necessary to combat voter fraud, but there is a reason the Right Wing has been so eager to invent such a problem and then offer gratuitous solutions: to disenfranchise the voters least likely to back conservative politicians.
UPDATE: The Michigan House has voted a trio of voter suppression bills out of committee, sending them to the floor for votes expected in the coming week. The bills have already passed the Senate and could soon go before Governor Rick Snyder. Part of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s so-called Secure and Fair Elections package, they echo the nationwide attack on the right to vote. A fourth (House Bill 5061) is moving in the Senate.
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.
Last month we reported on the citizenship question that came up during Michigan’s primary. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for voter suppression in the Great Lakes State.
My Super Tuesday in California started this morning at 4:15am with the usual shower and phytonutrient-filled multivitamins. But, this was no ordinary Tuesday. Yes, it is Fat Tuesday aka Mardi Gras (which justifies my trip with a fellow poll worker to Coldstone), but it is also Super Tuesday. Oh, the joys of running a precinct as the rest of the nation watches you, the Golden State, anticipating your decisions.
My "what I saw at the polls" story is a short and frustrated one. I'm a registered absentee voter, and when my ballot arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago I promptly looked it over and decided how I planned to vote.
Only one catch: In my home state, California, if you've declined to state a party affiliation you don't get to vote in the primaries. Unless you return your ballot and request a ballot from one of the parties that allows decline-to-state voters to vote on their candidates.