Following the 2014 implementation of a strict photo voter ID law and a 54% increase in the cost of a driver license earlier this year, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency cited budget cuts as the instigating factor for the recent closure of 31 driver license bureaus across the state. As of last week, every county in Alabama where black citizens currently comprise more than 75% of registered voters has had its driver license office closed. [more inside]
Richard Posner last week issued a remarkable dissent destroying every rationale for photo voter ID laws. This is particularly notable because Judge Posner, a brilliant but conservative Ronald Reagan appointee to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, authored a 2007 decision later affirmed by the United States Supreme Court which upheld Indiana's voter identification law -- a decision he appears now to regret. Read Posner's powerful and persuasive dissent decimating the rationale for such laws here (beware, pdf format.) [more inside]
Debo Adegbile 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 he’s fought for civil rights.
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.
The history of voter's rights in America is treacherous. In this upcoming election, voter suppression continues and as before, it is racialized, and targets traditionally marginalized & left-leaning individuals. The ACLU's Laura Murphy on voter suppression this year. The NAACP and Project South both have a hand in the fight to be counted.
For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates, according to former department lawyers and a review of written records.