Always assume that your voting rights are under attack. The best way to counteract it is to pay attention and also be on the offensive. Here’s what’s going on in six states–some of it is good news, and some of it isn’t.
An Arizona state Senate committee advanced a couple of voter suppression bills that would restrict how absentee ballots can be returned and institute more voter ID rules. Now is the time to push back on these efforts, i.e. before the full legislature votes on them. Call your state legislators to tell them to vote No on these bills, and get involved with the Arizona Voters group to stay on top of voting rights efforts.
Brennan Center just posted an article about a new poll that indicates that 2/3 of Kentuckians are “in favor of re-enfranchising people with past felony convictions who have completed their sentences.” Currently, only Kentucky and Iowa permanently disenfranchise former felons. Over 9% of the state is ineligible to vote for this reason. Want to help? Reach out to the ACLU of Kentucky or the Louisville branch of the NAACP.
In the midterms, Michigan voters flipped the Secretary of State, which was won by Jocelyn Benson. She immediately moved to settle a gerrymandering lawsuit but of course, the GOP-controlled state legislature has now appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene to stop her.
Although everyone thinks of New York as a blue state, the state Senate had been controlled by the Republicans for the last 4 legislative sessions. Well, voters flipped the Senate in November and the new legislature wasted no time in passing a series of bills to advance voting rights. Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed them into law. Congratulations, New York!
Virginia’s state legislature has elections in off-years, and that means 2019. So the news that a “panel of federal judges this week ordered Virginia to adopt new state legislative district lines that are likely to significantly aid Democratic efforts to reclaim control of the House of Delegates” comes at a great time.
Remember when the Wisconsin state legislature called a special lame duck session in the final days of Scott Walker’s tenure as governor to take power away from the incoming governor and curb voting rights? Well, the good news is that a few progressive organizations sued, and a federal judge ultimately agreed and blocked the reductions in early voting that the Wisconsin Republicans wanted to make. A good day!