In the News: Voting Rights Updates From Around America

Our ability to vote is under siege by Trump and the Republican party. It’s critical that we pay attention to what is happening so we can push back when warranted, and celebrate the voting rights wins when they happen.

With that, here’s some recent voting rights news:

In North Carolina, a panel of judges denied the Republicans attempt to reinstate the voter ID law. Although some lawsuits are still outstanding, there will be no voter ID required for the November election.

Arkansas voters will see a ballot measure this fall which is seeking to establish an independent redistricting commission to redraw congressional and legislative district lines (which happens in 2021, following the census.) There is ongoing litigation that might take this measure off the ballot, but for now, voters will have the opportunity to vote for it.

In Georgia, two nonprofit organizations have mailed absentee ballot applications to roughly 2 million voters. They focused on people of color, unmarried women and young people.

A federal court in West Virginia has struck down the law that gives the party that has won the most recent presidential election the top spot on the ballot. The court agreed with the Democrats who said that the law gave an unfair advantage to the Republicans.

In Indiana, a federal court has ruled that voters must be notified and given a chance to fix any problems with their mail ballot signatures instead of rejecting them without notice.

Maryland is setting up 270 drop boxes across the state so voters have the option to deliver their ballots without relying on the postal service.

Utah’s GOP-led state legislature has passed a bill that expands access to the ballot in time for the November election. Counties will have the authority to create drive-through voting centers as well as establish drop boxes for voters who want to return their absentee ballots that way.

NBA Superstar Lebron James has launched a major campaign with his new voting rights organization, More Than A Vote, to recruit poll workers for vulnerable Black communities.

It’s important to be in contact with your local state representatives if you want to see further voting rights reforms in your state. You can find the contact information for your reps in your state legislature HERE, and your election officials HERE.


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15 replies

  1. It is so good to see the states and the courts picking up the ball that the federal government dropped and the republicans in office have attempted to kick out of the park! Thanks for sharing these stories, and I hope you’ll continue to do so as more cross the radar!

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Today, our friend TokyoSand gives us some important updates on how various states are working to ensure our right to vote, to have our voice heard and counted, despite the republicans’ best efforts to disenfranchise half of the country! Thank you, TS … great work!

  3. So glad to see some of the courts attempting to make it a fair race. Maybe there will be enough results for it ti be a genuinely fair race..
    Cwtch

    • The Democrats are fighting in the courts tooth and nail. These were only decisions that have been made — there are many more lawsuits still pending.

  4. TokyoSand, good post. Living in NC, the judges were right to deny this request. It was “Jim Crow-like” and the judges who called it unconstitutional used the term “laser-like precision” in its discrimination. But, the Buncombe county GOP director let the cat out of the bag in an interview on “The Daily Show.” He said the law was designed “to kick Democrats’ butts.” The interviewer said “You know we are taping this?” He resigned after its airing. This interview was included in the court case. Keith

    • I’m not surprised to hear that, Keith. My organizer friends in NC say they are seeing a battle over voting in every sense of the word in the state.

      • TokyoSand, it was not just the Voter-ID law, it is the unconstitutional gerrymandering that was passed when the GOP had a supermajority (meaning they could overturn a governor’s veto). But, what may not be getting much press outside our state are three convictions of fraud of GOP politicians or operatives – Dems are not without sin, but these are telling.
        (1) Two weeks ago, the GOP state party chair and former Congressman was found guilty in a plea deal that convicted two donors of fraud in trying to bribe the insurance commissioner to remove an insurance auditor on their company’s account. The bribe was funneled through the GOP party; the insurance commissioner contacted the FBI.

        (2) Just today, a state congressman, who actually wrote the gerrymandering and Voter ID laws, was convicted of fraud. He had siphoned off $65,000 from his campaign funds, by sending it to a personal account identified as a GOP Party account. He had unexpectedly resigned last month.

        (3) These stories just happened. Then, last year we had a minster running from Robert Pittenger’s old seat (he had resigned due to unreported conflict of interest), who got in bed with an absentee ballot voter fraud scheme in one county. He had won, but resigned after being taken to court. 98% of the absentee ballots went for the Republican.

        Keith

        Again, Dems are not without sin, but these three cases are telling. Keith

      • So I heard. You’ve likely seen this NC-focused cartoon? https://twitter.com/dennisdraughon/status/1298419592935743488?s=21

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