Archive for voter suppression

WI GOP may allow cameras next: Poll watchers already allowed 3 feet from voters

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voter intimidation voter suppression

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill this year that let poll observers intimidate get within thirty-six inches of the voters they are hovering over monitoring. Nothing like having the rabidly right wing poll police breathing down your neck while you try to make private choices in what used to be a country that believed in democracy. Now Wisconsin may allow cameras. Now they want their "observers" to be able to record your personal information, too.

Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog on the original law:

The law would allow observers to stand 3 to 8 feet from the table where voters announce their names and addresses and are issued voter numbers, or from the table where people register to vote.

Gee, who could possibly mind if a total stranger, a fanatic extremist partisan with fervently opposing views, overheard your name and address? Or scrutinized and challenged your vote? What could possibly go wrong?

breathing down neck, intimidateImage via

Here's a video of Rachel Maddow explaining the original law in full back in April:

Clearly, that's not enough Dem harassment for Wisconsin Republicans. Now the election bullies observers would be able to unnerve their fellow citizens not just with their presence, but also with cameras and video recorders. If Americans exercising their voting rights happen to rub the monitors the wrong way, then hey, chill them to the bone. Document them. Record them. Use your cameras as weapons. Make them as uncomfortable as possible. Terrify them. Try to suppress their votes by causing them to avoid the polls in order to avoid the poll watchers.

Via the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Wisconsin officials may lift the ban on camera usage by election observers.

The state elections board will meet Monday to vote on proposed changes to election observer rules, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The Republican-controlled Legislature proposed the ban reversal.

Election observers have been prohibited from shooting photos and video at the polls for the past eight years.

If the ban is lifted, cameras can start being used during the August primary. So much for your privacy, Wisconsinites.

Via nutsandolts.com

This is going from "creepy" to downright scary.

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Black voters in South could play big role in midterm elections

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chris christie fear of black voters

Republicans don't treat black voters well at all. They disenfranchise them, they suppress their votes, they make it nearly impossible for them to get to the polls, they put up all kinds of obstacles to keep them from registering, and they do everything they can to make those Voter I.D.s they insist upon as inaccessible as possible.

Or as I like to call it, GOP outreach.

Thank you, Supreme Court, for your decision last year to gut the Voting Rights Act. How impartial of you.

Consequently, African American voters won't exactly flock to the Republican party any time soon. Nor will they be inclined to fill in a dot next to anyone with an R after their name on the ballot. Can the GOP be any more shortsighted?

Ironically-- with a twist of karma-- black Southern voters are about to play a prominent role in the November elections.

Via Nate Cohn for the New York Times:

Nearly five decades after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, black voters in the South are poised to play a pivotal role in this year’s midterm elections. If Democrats win the South and hold the Senate, they will do so because of Southern black voters. [...]

This year’s closest contests include North Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia. Black voters will most likely represent more than half of all Democratic voters in Louisiana and Georgia, and nearly half in North Carolina. Arkansas, another state with a large black population, is also among the competitive states. [...]

If Democrats win this November, black voters will probably represent a larger share of the winning party’s supporters in important states than at any time since Reconstruction. Their influence is not just a product of the Senate map. It also reflects the collapse in Southern white support for Democrats, an increase in black turnout and the reversal of a century-long trend of black outmigration from the South... Southern black turnout today rivals or occasionally exceeds that of white voters.

You know what this means, right? Say it with me:

gotv 3

As Cohn reminds us, black voters played a big role in Thad Cochran's primary win against a tea party candidate. Please read his chock full o' info, background, and history article in full, here.

And then help everyone you can to register, and in November, to get to the polls. Swarm the polling places. Vote in droves. Use your voices. Because it doesn't do much good to have winning numbers without access to the ballot box.

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Another CA city sues over voting rights law

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voter suppression voting rights

Voting rights, schmoting rights. Who needs 'em in this post-racial day and age? We've clearly evolved, says the Supreme Court. Says Republicans. Says anyone who doesn't want Democrats to have voting rights. After all, if you can't win on the merits of your arguments, on your policies (or lack thereof), your talent, or on your powers of persuasion, then hey, cheat.

It's the 'Murican way!

the american way

Unless, of course, you get called out. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the city of Bellflower, right here in my home state of California, is getting sued. Why? Voting rights are being violated... allegedly:

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and two law firms filed a Superior Court complaint Monday afternoon, on behalf of three minority Bellflower residents alleging the city is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.

The act seeks to ensure that minorities have an opportunity to elect leaders of their choice.  The suit alleges that Bellflower's practice of electing council members citywide instead of by geographic districts has hindered Latino and African American candidates.

The plaintiffs said they have found patterns of racially polarized voting in the southeast Los Angeles County city of about 77,000. They want the city to switch to by-district elections to give voters in strongly minority neighborhoods an opportunity to elect at least one representative to the City Council.

What? Restricting the rights of not-white voters? In this day and age of GOP outreach? Don't be ridiculous...

It's not like Bellflower's population is 66% Latino and African American, but the council members are monochromatically pale. Come on.

Bellflower's population is 52% Latino and 14% African American, according to the city's website.  All five council members are white.

Oh.

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Scott #Walker supporter committed voter fraud... a dozen times!

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jim crow voter suppression voter fraud smaller bad memory

Scott Walker's been salivating over imposing strict Voter ID laws in Wisconsin. But unfortunately for him, his photo ID law was ruled unconstitutional a few months ago. Altogether now: Awwww. The thing is, voter fraud is virtually non-existent, but ironically, it's Republican voters who seem to be the ones who commit voter fraud.

But now Scottie and company can do a Happy Dance, because finally! FINALLY! someone has been charged with multiple counts of voter fraud in Wisconsin!

gif happydance

And that someone is-- say it with me-- a Republican Scott Walker supporter.

irony is not deadVia CBS:

A Wisconsin voter allegedly cast five ballots in the 2012 recall election that Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., survived, but the voter says he doesn't remember that day due to a temporary form of amnesia.

Robert Monroe, a 50-year-old health insurance executive, was charged last week with 13 felonies related to voter fraud, WisPolitics.com reported. Monroe was a supporter of Walker and Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling.

We have a winner!

But Mr. Fraudie McVotesALot had a perfectly legit excuse. Yes, Robert Monroe claimed amnesia was the real culprit. The dog ate his homework, too. And he also goes by the name Sgt. Schultz:

Oh, but I kid the serial voter. And by serial, I mean voting around a dozen times in five elections in 2011 and 2012.

So congratulations, Scott Walker! You found your voter fraud. And he's a big fan of yours, your kind of guy. Too bad he ignored your self-righteous indignation about following the law at the ballot box(es), all so he could keep his favorite governor in office.

tweet voter suppression

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Karma: GOP gubernatorial nominee forgot his Voter ID, turned away

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karma police

Karma can be a bitch, especially if you're a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arkansas. Especially if you support Voter ID laws that suppress mostly Democratic votes. Especially if those same Voter ID laws end up humiliating you because you failed to present an ID just as you're about to vote for yourself for governor.

Karma bit pro-Voter ID candidate Asa Hutchinson in the ass when he arrived at the polls and was turned away.

MSNBC:

Asa Hutchinson, who won the Republican nomination in the race for Arkansas governor Tuesday, forgot his ID when he went to the polls, despite backing the state’s new voter ID law, according to the Associated Press.

Christian Olson, a spokesman for the Republican candidate, told the AP that Hutchinson believed the situation was a “little bit of an inconvenience” and that a staffer retrieved his ID so he could cast a ballot. Olson said the former congressman still believes voters should be required to show an ID.

His campaign refused to comment, but that doesn't mean we can't. How many voters out there can send their (non-existent) staffers to fetch their IDs for them under the same circumstances?

Come to think of it, how many voters are unable to afford the cost of an ID or can find transportation to the nearest agency that provides them?

How many voters are being denied a chance to participate in elections because of Republican laws intended to prevent them from using the only power they have left: their voices?

The voter ID measure could make it harder for minorities, students, and people from low-income communities to cast ballots.

Or as I like to call them, Democrats.

Here's one for you: How much of that evil, threatening-to-upend-our-elections voter fraud is actually taking place? Think Progress:

[S]uch fraud is virtually non-existent. Indeed, Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz recently completed a two-year investigation into voter fraud within his state. He was unable to find a single case where one voter impersonated another at the polls — meaning that his own investigation discovered zero cases where a voter ID law would have prevented a fraudulent vote from being cast.

Yet Asa Hutchinson had to tap his foot and look at his watch while waiting for his flunky to deliver his ID to him so that he could vote. Because, karma.

Via onamatopoeia.wordpress.com

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Cartoon o' the day: GOP Putin envy

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Putin envy Chris Hayes

If you suffer from Putin envy, you might be a Republican. In fact, you're most likely a member of the official GOP Chicken Hawk Coalition, one that should be quarantined stat and treated for any number of related Obama Derangement disorders. Caution: Putin envy can be contagious and is difficult to cure. Side effects include:

  • riding horses bare-chested in sub-zero weather
  • applauding aggression that threaten world peace
  • starting fraudulent wars with sovereign countries that never attacked us
  • resorting to voter suppression in order to win elections
  • Pavlovian frothing at the mouth when television cameras are turned on
  • chronic gerrymandering
  • calling reporters "idiots" and generally sidestepping their questions
  • annoyingly loud over-talking and hyperbole
  • demeaning women
  • demeaning the LGBT community
  • demeaning Latinos
  • demeaning African Americans
  • demeaning the first African American president
  • chronic obstruction
  • chronic hypocrisy
  • acquiring an inexplicable resemblance to dogs:

Putin dog

Via The Star Tribune, here is an excellent political cartoon by Steve Sack that addresses Putin envy and a few of its degenerate symptoms:

GOP Putin envy russia Steve Sack cartoon via Star Tribune dot com

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Time to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

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nina turner portia boulger equal rights amendment voter suppression event

Back in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment, which guaranteed equal rights for women, passed both houses of Congress but couldn't get enough states to ratify it. As a result, women today are still struggling for equal rights. In 2014. Still struggling to be treated equally. Um what? But... but... Republicans say there's no War on Women.

Luckily, women who are abandoning their binders have discovered they have many strong allies, including one with a particularly effective voice: Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who is currently hoping to unseat Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted.

My Twitter pal Portia Boulger took part in a kickoff event at which Sen. Turner was the keynote speaker, a fundraiser calling for voters' rights and the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. She emailed me this enthusiastic comment:

Power! Unity! Magic! That’s what we all experienced as we sat spellbound listening to Ohio Senator Nina Turner speak. Those who were fired up when they entered were ablaze when they left. The lady is on FIRE! Because of her willingness to join us, there are many more who are joining our fight to build a nationwide campaign to extend Voter Rights and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Regular readers know how important fighting voter suppression and standing up for women are to The Political Carnival (scroll). The Progressive Democrats of America are helping us fight these battles:

equal rights amendment event voter suppression

Via Progressive Democrats of America (PDA):

Turner also supported the PDA in its efforts concerning the Equal Rights Amendment, calling it “a beautiful thing” and noting that the best way people can get their voices heard is when they go to the polls.

“We are all equal when we go to vote,” Turner said. [...]

“Women have been relegated to second-class citizens,” Turner said.

Tammy Simkins, co-founder of ERA Action, told attendees that people must be united and that her grassroots organization is seeking to “bring attention to the fact that women are not equal in 2014.”

She added that she believes voting rights “are under attack” and that change is needed.

The Tea With The Friends Of Alice Paul took place on March 22nd. At about 9:40 in the video below, Tammy Simkins said that 9 of the 15 unratified states are pushing ERA legislation at the state level. She also said that Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown are backing federal legislation, which brings the total number of senators supporting the bill to 34:

More at The Chillicothe Gazette.

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