YOU May Not Be Allowed to Vote in the Next Election

VoterIDThree bills that threaten OUR rights to vote were introduced this month at the Nevada Legislature.  They are unwarranted legislation in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.  We cannot let them become law!

SB 169, AB 253, and AB 266 require voters to show a limited number of acceptable forms of ID. These types of Voter ID laws impact vulnerable populations who are left struggling to obtain identification that will allow them to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

Introductions of AB 253 and AB 266 were held on Tuesday, March 17, in Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections at 4 p.m. Contact your Assembly member now and let them know that you oppose any Voter ID bills that will make it difficult for Nevada’s citizens to vote.

There is a false notion that every Nevadan has an ID and if they don’t, they can easily walk over to the DMV and get one. The “Let Nevadans Vote” coalition has been conducting surveys with vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless families and through that process, they’ve learned just how difficult it is to obtain an ID. Here are a few of their stories with names removed to protect their privacy:

One Reno woman moved here from another state and lacks a Nevada ID. Her supporting documents were lost to theft and she’s had difficulty just getting a copy of her birth certificate, saying it was “hard as heck” and she has to “jump through hoops.” She’s indigent and reports having both physical and mental disabilities, and relies on public transportation to get around.

A 2014 voter registered as a nonpartisan is currently jobless, homeless, and relies on public transit that he can barely afford. His birth certificate and social security card were stolen, a common occurrence when experiencing homelessness. The only ID he has is a Clarity Card issued by Catholic Charities, which doesn’t meet the requirements of this bill.

Another voter lives in a rural county, 90 miles away from the only DMV office in her county. Everybody in her local community knows her upon sight, but she doesn’t have the requisite ID prescribed by the legislation being proposed to allow her to vote.  She doesn’t drive.  She doesn’t own a car.  She doesn’t have a valid driver’s license (why would she?).  Now add to that, that there is no available public transportation she could utilize to make the hour and a half trip to the DMV to get the ID, nor to make the hour and a half trip back to her home.

Yet another man lives in a rural county in a group facility for those with disabilities. He’s a Vietnam War veteran and Agent Orange snuck up him some time ago.  He’s been voting by mail-in ballot for some time now.  Like the lady in the last example, it’s 90 miles to the nearest DMV facility.  He no longer drives and he also doesn’t have a car or a valid Driver’s license.  There’s no public transportation, and even if there was, just the 3-hour round trip would be exceptionally stressful given his current health conditions.  To be able to vote in future elections, he would not only need to make the trip to the DMV but to the Registrar of Voters office as well to present his ID for the record.

In each of these cases, an undue burden  is placed on each person who should clearly be qualified to vote.  Please contact your Assembly member and make it clear that, as their constituent, you oppose passage of Voter ID bills SB 169, AB 253, and AB266.  You can also use the “Opinions” app at the 2015 NV Legislative Session page to read the bills and comments from others as well as to leave your comments about each bill:  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/78th2015/A/

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ADVOCACY: Voter ID Bills NOW under Consideration

— by Roberta Lange, NVDems Chair

Temp072The first hearing on one of legislative Republicans’ Voter ID bills just started in the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee.  This bill is the latest attempt by Republicans to make it harder for you to vote.  Across the country, Republicans are engaged in a systematic effort to put as many roadblocks to voting as possible.  The Koch Brothers and their Republican puppets now know that if they are going to win the White House and keep Republicans in power in Congress and the Nevada legislature, they need to ensure as few people vote as possible.

If you care about protecting the right to vote, contact the members of the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee right now and tell them to oppose AB266:

Republicans in the legislature are determined to make it as hard as possible for minorities, seniors, and military families to vote.  Email them today and tell them you want them focused on improving education and creating jobs, not taking away our right to vote.

We’re Waiting … Will Sen. Heller Vote NAY on Yet Another High Profile Female?

Senate Republicans Must Stop Delaying Attorney General Confirmation

— by CAP Action War Room

It has been 124 days since Loretta Lynch was nominated to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General. In that time, the 50th anniversary of Selma reminded us that we have a long way to go to achieve equal voting rights; Ferguson re-entered the news with a report detailing egregious racism in the police department and its repercussions; a new coalition of groups working on criminal justice demonstrated a bipartisan commitment to reform; and a moving tribute at the Grammy awards proved that these issues go far beyond politics.

In all of these issues, the Department of Justice plays a vital role. And its head, as the top law enforcement officer in the United States, leads the way. Ms. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, is a highly qualified nominee for the position. While some Republicans used her confirmation hearing as a chance to voice their out-of-touch views on President Obama’s recent immigration action or the departing Attorney General, she excelled in answering questions and impressing a bipartisan group of Senators.

So what is the hold up? Here are 5 reasons to quit delaying and confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.

  1. She has been more than fully vetted. On top of her confirmation hearings, Lynch submitted detailed responses to 900 written questions and met individually with at least 59 senators.
  2. She is a proven, well-qualified leader. Lynch has a proven record of prosecuting hate crimes and corruption, and a reputation of being committed to protecting human rights and ensuring equal opportunity.
  3. She has a wide array of support. Senators from both sides of the aisle support Lynch, along with 25 former U.S. Attorneys from Republican and Democratic administrations. Rudy Giuliani said, “if I were in the Senate, I would confirm her.” Rudy Giuliani!
  4. She has waited longer than any other Attorney General nominee. Loretta Lynch’s nomination has been pending for 124 days, more than a month longer than any other in history
  5. She would make history. Loretta Lynch would make history by being the first African-American woman to become Attorney General. What better way for the Senate to celebrate Women’s History Month and the legacy of Selma than to confirm Lynch.

Bonus: The movie Goodfellas was based on one of Loretta Lynch’s cases. She’s got what it takes.

BOTTOM LINE: When issues of racial inequality, voting rights, criminal justice, and more are front and center in our nation’s dialogue, it is no time to be playing games with our nation’s top law enforcement officer. Loretta Lynch has proven herself, and the Senate has had ample time to deliberate. Now its time to bring the nomination to the floor, and vote to confirm.

 


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.  Like CAP Action on Facebookand follow us on Twitter.

States Act To Expand Voting Rights For Citizens

There have been a number of positive developments in the states on other issues, including efforts to expand voting access.  Here’s a run-down of some of the best from the last few weeks:

retro-voting-sign1. Wisconsin: Federal Judge Strikes Down Voter ID Law, Finds That ‘No Rational Person Could Be Worried’ About Voter Fraud. The April 29 decision, in an overwhelming win for plaintiffs who argued that the voter ID law suppresses ballot access in the state, could still be overturned on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. But U.S. district judge Lynn Adelman did not hold back: he found not just that the law disproportionately deters minorities and low-income individuals from voting; but also that purported instances of voter impersonation are so infrequent, if they exist at all, that “no rational person could be worried about it.”

2. Hawaii: Aloha State Enacts Strong Voting Rights Law Including Same Day Registration. In 2012, even with its native son Barack Obama atop the ballot, just a paltry 44 percent of eligible Hawaii voters showed up to vote–the worst turnout rate in the country. On April 29, though, Hawaii lawmakers passed legislation to fix that, allowing citizens instead to register to vote when they show up to cast a ballot. Academic studies have found that allowing same-day registration increases turnout between 7 and 14 percentage points.

3. Minnesota: One Day After Judge Orders Online Voter Registration Shut Down, Legislature Passes Law To Revive It. This Monday, a district judge ordered Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to shut down the state’s online voter registration portal by Tuesday night because he lacked legislative authority when he launched it in September. On Tuesday, the Minnesota state legislature passed and Gov Mark Dayton signed into law a bill giving him that authority. Minnesota becomes the 23rd state to have online voter registration, which makes it easier for anybody with access to a computer to register and is simply common-sense for the 21st century.

4. Georgia: 12,000 Citizens Use New Online And Mobile Voter Registration System, More Than Double Than Expected. The new online system rolled out in the end of March, expecting around 5,000 users in the first month. Instead, more than 12,000 enrolled, including 7,000 newly registered voters, according to Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
On a side note:  Last week was also a busy week for the minimum wage news:  first, Senate Republicans in Washington, D.C. blocked increasing the federal minimum wage; then, a coalition of business, labor, and community leaders in Seattle, Washington announced a deal to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15.

And be sure to keep an eye out for…

5. Delaware: State Senate Set To Vote On Same Day Registration After Passing The House. The bill is an important step for expanding access to the polls in Delaware. But its not clear right now whether it’s a sure thing to pass.

BOTTOM LINE: Like we see with minimum wage legislation and so many other important issues for a more prosperous and just nation, cities and states are taking the lead while Congress stalls. When it comes to voting rights, at a time when some conservative-run swing states are doing whatever they can to roll back access, other states are showing the way forward for ensuring that voting is not a privilege, but a right.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Republican Secretary Of State in Indiana Convicted Of Voter Fraud

BY JOSH ISRAEL

Though President Ronald Reagan called the right to vote the “crown jewel of American liberties,” many Republicans around the country have begun demanding increased voting restrictions in the name of fighting “voter fraud.” Though actual cases of voting fraud are so rare that a voter is much more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit fraud at the polls, one Republican official in Indiana has proved that lightning can strike himself.

Yesterday, a jury found Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (R) guilty on six felony counts of voter fraud, theft, and perjury. The conviction cost White his job, though he plans to ask the judge to reduce the charges to misdemeanors and hopes to perhaps regain the position.

In a statement, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) announced White’s deputy will take over on an interim basis:

I have chosen not to make a permanent appointment today out of respect for the judge’s authority to lessen the verdict to a misdemeanor and reinstate the elected office holder… If the felony convictions are not altered, I anticipate making a permanent appointment quickly.

But a second court case could ultimately give the job to Democrat Vop Osili, who lost to White in November 2010. A judge’s December 2011 ruling — currently on hold, pending appeal — held that due to the voter fraud charges, White’s election was invalid. Should that ruling survive the appeals process, Osili would assume the office.

Ironically, White’s now-removed 2010 campaign website listed election integrity as among his top concerns, and promised he would “protect and defend Indiana’s Voter ID law to ensure our elections are fair and protect the most basic and precious right and responsibility of our democracy-voting.”

NOTE:
In 2005, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed “the strictest voter ID requirements in the nation,” and Republicans said at the time that it was “needed to guard against voter fraud.”


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.


Editor’s Note:  The irony in this entire situation is that one of their own got caught and now, instead of being outraged and going after Mr. White, instead they want to downplay his heinous actions to mere misdemeanors, slap him on the hand, and put him back in the job that is responsible for policing such actions!  Had that been a Democratic Secretary of State committing such actions, they would be attempting to elevate his actions to the equivalent of treason and calling for his execution!