voting rights

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Texas Voting Maps Discriminate: US Court

Victory for minority activists, but state plans to appeal

(Newser) - A federal court says Texas' new voting maps, redrawn by a Republican legislature, violate the Voting Rights Act. They contain signs of discrimination against minorities, judges said in a 154-page opinion. "The three-judge panel unanimously found intentional discrimination across the state. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about... More »

Ohio Voting Official: Why Accommodate Blacks?

GOP official calls for 'fair and reasonable' voting hours

(Newser) - An Ohio Republican Party county chair who also happens to be an elections board member wants voting to be "fair and reasonable"—but his definition of "fair" isn't likely to sit well with many voters. Amid controversy in the state over the decision to kill some... More »

Biden to NAACP: GOP Attacks Civil Rights

Veep: 'This ain't your father's Republican party'

(Newser) - Joe Biden's reception at Houston's NAACP convention was a far cry from Mitt Romney's . Amid much audience enthusiasm, Biden warned the crowd that today's GOP is threatening the very thing the NAACP was created to protect: civil rights. "Remember what this (group), at its core,... More »

Saudi Women Get Right to Vote

But let's not rush into things: Wait til 2015, says King Abdullah

(Newser) - Good news for the ladies of Saudi Arabia: You can vote and even run for office, Saudi King Abdullah said today in an announcement that many are hailing as major progress for women's rights. Of course, there's a caveat: Abdullah's announcement won't take effect until after... More »

America Risks a Return to 'Jim Crow Voting Laws'

States are rigging the 2012 election: EJ Dionne Jr.

(Newser) - After electing its first African American president—thanks in part to a surge of new voters—the US is in danger of seeing “a subtle return of Jim Crow voting laws,” writes EJ Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post . New laws being passed here, supposedly to prevent voter... More »

German State Lowers Voting Age to 16

Teenagers pushing for voting rights, conservatives quake

(Newser) - Politicians in Bremen are reaching out to a big bloc of new voters: The city-state's 16- and 17-year-old citizens. Bremen has become the first German state to extend state level voting rights to 16-year-old residents, but several more of the other 15 states—mostly those led by center-left parties—... More »

GOP Sparks Fight Over College Kids' Voting Rights

NH, Wisconsin, North Carolina could make it trickier for students to vote

(Newser) - Republican state legislators across the US are stirring up controversy with proposals to tighten voting laws in ways that would affect college kids. The Washington Post points to a particularly heated bill in New Hampshire that would bar out-of-state students from voting in their college towns. Opponents say the efforts,... More »

You Need a License to Drive, Why Not to Vote?

The nation is falling behind in civics education

(Newser) - We require drivers to take classes and test them on the rules of the road. Why? Because we believe that when the stakes are high, competence is essential. “Yet when it comes to voting, we let everyone participate once they turn 18,” complains Alexander Heffner of the Christian ... More »

Tea Party Boss: Only Property Owners Should Be Able to Vote

Suggests return to 18th-century rule

(Newser) - The president of the Tea Party Nation says it “makes a lot of sense” to limit voting rights to those who own property. On the group’s radio show two weeks ago, Judson Phillips noted that the Founding Fathers stuck “certain restrictions” on voting rights; while some “... More »

Pat Sajak: Limit Public Employees' Right to Vote

Sometimes there's too much of a conflict of interest, he says

(Newser) - Pat Sajak says he doesn't allow family or friends to play Wheel of Fortune because it would be a conflict of interest. By the same logic—and this is where the slope gets very slippery—he wonders whether state and federal employees should be allowed to vote in elections on... More »

Give 10-Year-Olds the Vote

Politicians need to be held accountable for future constituents

(Newser) - Politicians kiss babies all the time, but it's time that they had to kiss their asses, writes Matt Miller for the Washington Post. The best solution to Washington's insistence on selling every 5th-grader's future down the road for the sake of political expediency is to make every politician accountable to... More »

Texas Pol to Asians: Make Names 'Easier for Americans'

(Newser) - A Republican Texas state legislator has drawn the ire of Democrats, and others, for suggesting Asian voters change their names to ones “easier for Americans to deal with,” the Houston Chronicle reports. The comments from Betty Brown came Tuesday, when the legislature heard testimony from a Chinese-American group... More »

Tiny Town's Move May Redefine Voting Rights Act

Provision in 1965 act prevents moving polling station

(Newser) - A Supreme Court case may soon bring about a momentous change in the nation's voting laws, all because a Texas town of 3,500 moved a polling station three blocks, the Wall Street Journal reports. A local official made the switch to a more convenient location, galled that he needed... More »

Voting Could Get Ugly, Warn Watchdogs

Ballot denial, long lines likely in battleground states

(Newser) - With record-shattering turnout anticipated, voter-rights groups predict contentious voting in battleground states, where Republicans are accused of disenfranchising new voters—who are overwhelmingly Democrat. In Florida, a “no match, no vote” standard denies ballots to people whose registration info clashes with government records, an obstacle not unique to that... More »

You Can Vote Even if This Is Your Address: Ohio Judge

Ohio ordered to count homeless ballots

(Newser) - A federal judge has ruled that the homeless in Ohio can vote even if their place of residence is a bench or a street grate, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The US District Court has ordered Ohio authorities to count the votes of homeless people whether or not their ballots... More »

State Databases Drop Thousands of Voters

Centralized registration information was intended to clear up discrepancies, but propagated them instead

(Newser) - Thousands of Americans nationwide are facing reams of red tape after new state registration systems booted them from voter rolls, the Washington Post reports. Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected a challenge of 200,000 Ohio voters whose data conflicted with state records, but states such as Montana, Colorado, and Wisconsin... More »

Swing States Are Illegally Blocking Voters

NYT finds thousands wrongly removed from rolls, mostly Dems

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of voters in at least six battleground states have been illegally removed from the rolls or blocked from voting, a New York Times investigation has discovered. The actions appear to stem from errors in complying with a 2002 federal law rather than from partisan bias, but it... More »

After 43 Years, LBJ's Dream Is Realized Tonight

Voting Rights Act paved the way for Obama's candidacy, writes Caro

(Newser) - As Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination tonight, author Robert A. Caro will be remembering another speech: Lyndon Johnson's 1965 address to Congress urging the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In that speech, which reduced Martin Luther King to tears, LBJ "adopted the great anthem of the civil... More »

Advocates Work to Get Ex-Cons in Voting Booths

New laws make tens of thousands eligible to vote again

(Newser) - Grass-roots activists in states across the country are working to register an unusual bloc of potential voters: former felons. While nearly all states limit the right of convicted criminals to vote, most offer avenues back to the voting booth in varying degrees, the Washington Post reports. In the potential swing... More »

Ind. Nuns Don't Have a Prayer at Polls

South Bend sisters run afoul of strict voter-ID laws

(Newser) - A dozen nuns who lacked proper photo ID were turned away from an Indiana voting booth yesterday—by a fellow nun. None of the nuns, all over 80, had a driver's license because they don't drive, and some presented outdated passports, the AP reports. Their convent has launched a major... More »

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