Fear Tactics Used to Promote Voter Suppression in 2011

This week, newly elected Republicans took office in several states, many of whom have big plans for the future of voting rights. Unfortunately, as we blogged and reported last month, these changes have little to do with actually assessing and improving state of elections. In fact, many of these officials used anti-immigration and voter fraud fear tactics to win their seats, and now are threatening to restrict access to the ballot via legislation or state ballot before 2012 elections.

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Fear Tactics Used to Promote Voter Suppression in 2011

This week, newly elected Republicans took office in several states, many of whom have big plans for the future of voting rights. Unfortunately, as we blogged and reported last month, these changes have little to do with actually assessing and improving state of elections. In fact, many of these officials used anti-immigration and voter fraud fear tactics to win their seats, and now are threatening to restrict access to the ballot via legislation or state ballot before 2012 elections.

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Revamping Voter Registration to Reduce Disparities in the Electorate

Although the 2008 presidential election showcased a more diverse electorate with an increase in voter registration and turnout by historically underrepresented Americans - including youth and minorities - the movement toward a more balanced electorate that represents all citizens is still a work in progress.  Advocates have long maintained--and recently Congress has heard testimony to the fact--that disparities in turnout rates are less an issue of voter apathy, and more related to a severe lack of democratic access for many groups. The growing awareness of this problem has inspired an increased interest among citizens, advocates, legislators, and officials to improve the administration of elections, particularly regarding voter registration.

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Around the Country, Calls for Lawmakers to Address "Real Problems, Not Imaginary Ones"

As several states enter critical phases in their legislative sessions, the debate for one of the most controversial election reforms continues to dominate headlines and legislative hearings. This year, more than 26 states introduced legislation to go above and beyond federal election law relating to voter ID, despite near consensus among voting rights advocates that it hurts the process far more than it helps. Last week, the hysteria around voter ID reached an all time high in six states, evoking public concern from advocates and citizens alike.

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Senate Committee Hearing Examines Flaws in Voter Registration System

Calling voter registration "the lifeblood of our republic," Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, opened the committee's hearing this morning on current problems in America's voter registration system. A focus of the discussion was a new study produced by the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey--conducted by researchers at thirty universities across the country--that finds that up to three million voters actively tried to vote in 2008 but were denied, and an additional four million were discouraged from voting due to administrative barriers.

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