An appeals panel of the Seventh Circuit ruled yesterday (pdf
) that Wisconsin may immediately implement a photo ID law,
for the November 4th election. [more inside]
On Aug. 26, 1920, with the formal adoption of the 19th Amendment, women won the right to vote. Now, a newly discovered collection of Susan B. Anthony letters will help show how.
'The letters were written by Anthony
to her “most cherished young lieutenant” Rachel Foster Avery from 1881 through the turn of the century
. Acquired last week by the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries, the historic collection will help bring to life the suffrage movement
through the eyes of two of its most important members
Anthony and Avery were connected through the National Woman Suffrage Association and the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The new collection includes more than 60 autographed and typed letters, signed cabinet cards and photographs, and other related material.' [more inside]
How Birth Year Influences Political Views
A new model of presidential voting suggests President Obama’s approval rating — currently in the low 40s — will inform not only the 2016 election, but also the election in 2076. Events at age 18 are about three times as powerful as those at age 40, according to the model.
The Upshot: Why Teenagers Today May Grow Up Conservative [more inside]
Clarity Campaign Labs invites you to use TargetSmart U.S. voter data
to discover, via seven yes/no/don't care questions, What town matches my politics?
Business Insider uses it to determine the most liberal and conservative towns in each state
Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier.
Things did not turn out
exactly as predicted
. [more inside]
What would US House electoral districts look like
without any gerrymandering?
was selected by President Obama to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The Senate, aided and abetted by seven Democratic senators, killed his nomination
. Why? Because
for civil rights
Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million, might just have the most technologically forward-thinking government around
Dan LeBatard of ESPN gave away
his baseball Hall of Fame vote
to Deadspin, and talking heads
had a lot
The GOP's new target for voter disenfranchisement: women.
As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name
. Only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo ID of this nature, as many women have not updated their photo IDs with either their married names or their name after a divorce. This disenfranchises 34% of women voters, while 99% of men are home free. Similar laws now exist or are in the process of being passed
in numerous other states.
It all started with a simple tweet
. Nova Scotia commentator Parker Donham wanted to show his support of a local candidate by taking a picture of his marked ballot and posting it to his Twitter followers. Elections Nova Scotia
took a dim view of this violation of the Elections Act, and tweeted a reply: "please be advised that your action is being referred to the RCMP for investigation"
, stating it is illegal to bring a recording or communication device into the polling station. Donham defends his action
, and much controversy ensues
. [more inside]
Want to start your Monday with the sadness of ineffectual activism? (slHTML5)
Apathy attempts to simulate social networking (not in a bad way) and activism in bicameral politics.
The North Carolina Board of Elections
has unanimously overturned a decision Pasquotank County Board of Elections barring barring an Elizabeth City State University senior Montravias King
from running for local office. The County Board had ruled
that King's on-campus address couldn't be used to establish local residency. [more inside]
It's that time of the year again, when the (television network) continent of Europe
comes together to sing, wear interesting clothing, and gyrate
before an enthusiastic/baffled world. [more inside]
The turnout rate of black voters surpassed the rate for whites for the first time on record in 2012,
as more black voters went to the polls than in 2008 and fewer whites did, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday. (SLNYT)
"Ours are aging, consumption-based societies, focused on today. We need to find a way to build for the future. Maybe enfranchising our children is the answer.
In 2012, 40 percent of Americans didn’t vote. The research on this website is an attempt to determine why so many citizens opt out of this fundamental civic duty, using extensive survey research as well as interviews with nonvoters to give a voice to those who are often ignored or marginalized by politicians and the news media
. [via this phys.org article that provides a nice summary]
Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010
: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority
, undermined Obama's mandate
, set the terms of the sequestration fight
, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade
. It's not a new problem
. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act
, it could get a whole lot worse
. And the electoral college may
. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
Exit polls for the 2012 presidential election (CNN).
The most likely bottom line from AP: "Overall, 53 percent had a favorable opinion of Obama, while only 47 percent felt that way about Romney. And 53 percent felt Obama was more in touch with people like them than Romney was."
Initial reactions among the disappointed
The possibility of voter fraud in the US has spawned a number of state laws requiring particular kinds of identification at the polls, as well as grassroots organizations that search public records to challenge certain voters' registrations
. Much of the modern debate about potential voter fraud has been driven by Hans von Spakovsky
, a Heritage Foundation
senior legal fellow, former member of the Federal Elections Commission, and former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, where he worked on voting issues. Writing for the New Yorker, Jane Mayer describes von Spakovsky's influence
on conservative groups like True the Vote, various state attempts to disqualify registered voters, and the lack of evidence for many claims made in support of voter ID laws.
California begins its "top two primary" runoff.
Called a blanket primary
, open primary, jungle primary, the top-two primary seeks to end partisan gridlock
by having one primary for all voters in June, where the top two candidates face off in November, regardless of party affiliation. Said to favor moderates while hurting small parties, Arizona votes on a similar measure next week. [more inside]
Computing Texas Hold'em
- Dr. Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins professor
, computer security
and electronic voting security
expert, writes about learning and playing poker. [more inside]
Finland is about to start using croudsourcing to create new laws
: Earlier this year, the Finnish government enabled something called a "citizens’ initiative", through which registered voters can come up with new laws – if they can get 50,000 of their fellow citizens to back them up within six months, then the Eduskunta (the Finnish parliament) is forced to vote on the proposal.
Now this crowdsourced law-making system is about to go online through a platform called the Open Ministry. The non-profit organization has been collecting signatures for various proposals on paper since 1 March, when citizens’ initiatives came in, but a couple of days ago the government approved the electronic ID mechanism that underpins the digital version of the platform. That means it can now go live on 1 October.
"The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state.
" Former Bill Clinton political director Doug Sosnik
offers an 8-page analysis of the U.S. election that discusses the likelihood of an Obama win, the chances of a complete Republican takeover of Congress, continued Republican dominance of governorships and state legislatures for the rest of the decade, and more. There's also a related slideshow
. [more inside]
In 2008, the National Journal
released The Hidden History of the American Electorate
, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections
. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis
with a pdf
of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
"I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,'' - Jim Greer
, former state party chair of the Florida G.O.P, in a deposition for his lawsuit against the party. Scott Horton at Harper's covers
the NYT's pox-on-both-your-houses story
on vote suppression
With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania
and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws.
to a nonproblem
] [more inside]
Voting via clicker
with real time data visualization
is happening in schools, churches, and loads of other organizations throughout the world. This NY Times piece
examines how clicker voting is shaking things up.
Attacking the Washington, D.C. Internet Voting System
(PDF). "When we inspected the terminal server’s logs, we noticed that several other attackers [from Iran, New Jersey, India, and China] were attempting to guess the SSH login passwords." J. Alex Halderman
, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan, describes how thoroughly he and his team were able to penetrate a pilot Internet voting system run by the District of Columbia, as part of an open public test in 2010. An earlier report
on the attack. Via comp.risks
. [more inside]
If you believe the US government is too heavily influenced by corporations, perhaps apps like No More SOPA
are the future of "voting". Will technology enable us to directly push back on corporations influencing government policy?
Since 1977, Nikon has held a Small World Photomicrography Competition
, to showcase that which cannot be seen with the naked eye. This year's winner will be announced in November, but until October 31, we have been invited to vote for one of this years' 115 finalists to receive the 'Small World Popular Vote Award.' [more inside]
After weeks of fake primaries
, fraudulent mailers
, special interest moneybombs
, and last-minute attempts at voter suppression
, Wisconsinites went to the polls yesterday in an unprecedented
round of six recall elections targeted mainly at Republican state senators for their support of Governor Scott Walker's controversial union-busting agenda
. Five of the six races were called by Tuesday evening, with Democrats taking two of the three they'd need to regain control of the state senate. The lone holdout? A dead heat between incumbent Alberta Darling and challenger Sandy Pasch in District 8 -- the very same district that saw suspicious vote-counting
by conservative Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus unexpectedly tip the balance
towards Walker ally David Prosser late in the crucial state supreme court race this past April
. The protracted count and late-night shift toward Darling coupled with Nickolaus's questionable history
soon prompted Democratic officials to make accusations of fraud
). Control of the senate now lies in the defense of two Democratic seats up for recall next week and the possible wooing of GOP Senator Dale Schultz
, the only Republican to vote against Walker's bill. Walker himself will be eligible for recall next spring
. [more inside]
After creating legislation that requires voter ID in order to vote, Wisconsin Governer proposes closing 10 DMV Offices.
Requiring voter ID puts a disproportionate burden on elderly, low income and disabled voters who may not be able to wait in long DMV lines. The new Wisconsin laws are expected to potentially disenfranchise millions of voters
across the state. [more inside]
Voters Have Up to Five Times More Influence in Early Primaries.
'Voters in states with early primary races such as Iowa and New Hampshire have up to five times the influence of voters in later states in selecting presidential candidates, according to research by Brown University economist Brian Knight. The paper, the first to quantify the effects of early victories in the race for the presidential nomination, is co-authored by Nathan Schiff and published in The Journal of Political Economy
."Evidence that early voters have a disproportionate influence over the selection of candidates violates 'one person-one vote' -- a democratic ideal on which our nation is based."' [more inside]
On May 23, 1861, Spotsylvania County, Virginia voted 1323 - 0 in favor of succession from the Union. Historian John Hennessy provides an explanation
of how that vote came to be a perfect 100% in favor of succession. So people rebelling against "Northern tyranny" themselves used tyranny to rig a vote that was undoubtedly going to go overwhelmingly in their favor anyway?
2012 Presidential Candidates
- Comparing the 2012 Presidential Candidates on the issues
with profile, issue and trivia comparisons. [more inside]
New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state - and effectively keep some from voting at all. "Voting as a liberal. That's what kids do," [State Speaker William O'Brien] added, his comments taped by a state Democratic Party staffer and posted on YouTube. Students lack "life experience," and "they just vote their feelings."
. Yick Wo
It's Election Day in America
, and as is so often the case in this fickle
land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive
, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide
and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense
. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting
process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]