Casting A Ballot Proves Daunting For Former Felons

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

“...Too many people do not understand or exercise their voting rights, and as a result, entire segments of our population — and especially formerly incarcerated individuals — are being underrepresented at the polls on Election Day.” - New Jersey Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark)

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TIMELINE: Mich. Vote Caging Scheme Exemplifies Mounting Dirty Tricks Operations

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters On Sept. 10, reporter Eartha Jane Melzer of online publication, the Michigan Messenger broke the story that the GOP of Macomb County, Mich. was planning to use public lists of foreclosures to challenge the eligibility of potentially thousands of low-income and minority voters in that hard-hit region. Since that time (and at least party through Project Vote's efforts to catalyze action to stop the illegal disenfranchisement), the story has been picked up by multiple news outlets around the country and generated a lawsuit from the Obama campaign and the DNC on behalf of potentially-disenfranchised Mich. voters.

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Battleground States See Pervasive Systemic Efforts to Block the Vote

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

"I think the days of ballot box stuffing are more or less gone." - Allen Raymond, former GOP operative

Voter fraud by individuals has been a major partisan debate in recent elections, inspiring multiple states to consider or pass laws that purport to stop it, including "no-match, no-vote" list maintenance procedures and strict voter ID  requirements. Despite federal findings that the act of casting an illegal ballot is exceedingly rare, partisans often cite large scale voter registration drives as voter fraud culprits, and perpetuate the myth of voter fraud by spreading the fear that such votes cancel out legitimate ones. With rising registration rates - particularly among historically underrepresented Americans - it is no surprise that partisans are spreading this myth, and the media often perpetuates the hysteria by printing stories on the small numbers of bad registration cards submitted by large scale voter registration drives (including the 1.2 million submitted by Project Vote voter registration partner, ACORN).

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Veterans Advocates Skeptical Of New V.A. Registration Policies

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

We recently wrote about the Department of Veterans Affairs decision to open its facilities to voter registration drives after months of urging by voting rights groups and elected officials. This week, however, "VA voter suppression continues," as AlterNet's Steven Rosenfeld wrote Tuesday, with voter registration efforts being blocked in California and the VA general counsel criticizing the pending Veterans Voting Support Act (S. 3308), which would bolster federal protection of voter registration opportunities for all wounded veterans. With just three weeks left to register voters in most states, advocates say now is the time to support voter registration efforts in VA facilities and, most importantly, it needs to be explicitly protected from now on through federal law.

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Mich. GOP Targets Foreclosure Victims for Election Day Dirty Tricks

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

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

Partisan political operatives in Michigan are taking voter caging operations to depths that would surprise even the most cynical observers of American elections. If their plans are put into action, thousands of Michigan foreclosure victims may find that they will not only have lost their homes this year, but also their vote.

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