Campaign integrity questioned as GOP notaries admit to misconduct

The integrity of a Republican congressional hopeful's campaign is being questioned after news emerged this week that three of her notaries admitted to professional misconduct in regards to the handling of ballot petitions. 

Nan Hayworth's campaign manager, John Hicks, along with other campaign notaries, admitted to misconduct on the witness stand Wednesday in regards to the handling of Independence Party petitions. Hayworth, a retired Mt. Kisco physician, is one of two potential Republican opponents to Democratic Congressman John Hall (NY-19) in November. 

Two days into a court review of the petitions, Hicks admitted that allegations brought forth by Congressman's John Hall campaign were true, and that he didn't uphold the law "in the traditional sense" when gathering signatures for the Independence Party line.

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Hanging In the Balance: Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

This blog entry is cross posted at Project Vote's Voting Matters Blog

By Erin Ferns and Donald Wine II

In 1965 the course of American democracy changed when the Voting Rights Act was enacted to ensure proper enforcement of the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which grants equal voting rights to people of color.  While many strides have been made since the VRA's enactment, including rising voter participation among the nation's historically underrepresented citizens, voting rights advocates argue that it is still a long road to truly non-discriminatory voting practices and a balanced electorate.  Now, the course of American democracy may change again as the U.S. Supreme court is considering a high profile case that challenges the constitutionality of a key provision of the VRA.

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Legislative Efforts to Engage High School Students Move Quietly Forward

by Erin Ferns

With an estimated 23 million 18-29 year old citizens turning out to vote in the 2008 presidential election, it is easy to assume that young people today have overcome the stereotypical image of "apathetic youth." Yet, while the last few election cycles show an ever-growing interest in political engagement, young people are still underrepresented in the U.S. electorate--a problem that seems to have more to do with lack of access than lack of interest.

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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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Red State Officials Appear Intent on Reducing Voter Participation

Cross-Posted at Project Vote's Voting Matter's Blog

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

by Erin Ferns

Last week we wrote about how partisan-fueled voter fraud rumors are leading election reform debates, potentially changing the way many Americans vote in future elections. With at least one state swiftly moving a bill to require all voter applicants to present proof of citizenship before registering to vote, and another strongly supporting the passage of voter ID, the threat of voter disenfranchisement looms ahead.

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