Voter Groups Go to Court to Fight for Voting Rights of High School Students in New Jersey

TRENTON--The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, Project Vote, and the Fair Elections Legal Network submitted a brief seeking to ensure that the Department of Education fulfill a 25-year-old mandate to protect the voting rights of private, charter, and public school students, which the DOE has thus-far failed to meet.

“It is appalling that 25 years after the High School Voter Registration Law was issued, there are still no regulations on the books protecting the rights of private and charter school students under the law, and only the most minimal of protections for district public school students,” said Ed Barocas, the ACLU-NJ legal director.

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Restrictive Voter Registration Law Struck Down in Arizona

A notoriously restrictive voter registration law was struck down in Arizona today after the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Gonzales v. Arizona. And it was worth the wait.

By a 2-1 vote (the majority included retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor), the court struck down Arizona’s documentary proof of citizenship requirement for all new voter registrants because it is superseded by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Project Vote is a plaintiff in this case.

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Misinformation from Registrar Could Disenfranchise Voters in San Diego

Just two weeks before Election Day, a potentially detrimental (and ultimately unlawful) voter registration procedure was uncovered in San Diego, Calif. that could affect the turnout of thousands of voters. San Diego CityBeat was on the story and contacted Project Vote in hopes of clearing the confusion before November 2.

Until this week, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters wrongfully denied the federal voter registration form that thousands of San Diegans completed after downloading it from the California Secretary of State Web site, including CityBeat reporter and voter hopeful, Dave Maass, who contacted Project Vote director of advocacy, Estelle Rogers, after his voter application was rejected, twice.

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The Disenfranchisement of Communities through the Criminal Justice System

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

Expanding ballot access to all voting-age citizens, particularly the millions who are living and working in our communities with past felony convictions, has been the foundation of many advocates’ pleas to make American life equitable. Whether wrapped in an argument to fend against racism, classism, or even “overcriminalization,” felon advocates’ main issue boils down to preserving the civil rights of every citizen who participates in society, no matter their personal history.

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Cracks in the Media Frame Propping Up the Tea Party?

Three weeks after reviewing (and deciding not to cover) Project Vote’s major new survey documenting how out of step the Tea Party’s anti-government agenda is with mainstream voters, the Washington Post has released their own poll confirming many of our findings.

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Beneath the Tea Party’s Anti-Government Rallying Cry, Americans Call for Government to Do More

“Can you hear me?” That’s the recurring refrain in a radio promo for this weekend’s “Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention,” which—with an estimated crowd of 3,000—purports to be one of the largest rallies yet of so-called “Tea Party” sympathizers. The 60-second radio spot by keynote speaker Lou Dobbs features allegedly outraged Americans repeating that line, interspersed with un-attributed stats about how Americans supposedly oppose stimulus spending, health care,  and other government spending policies  “Maybe Washington can’t hear us,” Dobbs intones dramatically, “because they’re just not listening.”

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Little Known Law Could Boost Youth Voter Registration Before Election, If Action Taken Now

The nation is experiencing one of the greatest mobilization efforts ever seen for a midterm election. And young voters, as a result of their rising turnout rates in recent cycles, are increasingly becoming the target of those efforts. With voter registration deadlines fast approaching in many states, get-out-the-vote groups should take an additional look at the highly mobile college population and take advantage of a little-known federal voter registration law that helps them register to vote.

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LWV Joins Forces to Bring Voter Registration Opportunities to Low-Income Arizonans

Earlier this year, the League of Women Voters and Project Vote teamed up to find that, despite intervention from the Justice Department in 2008, the state Department of Economic Security (DES) was still not doing everything it should to follow the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). In response to our findings, we gathered a coalition of support in hopes of urging the state to continue taking the necessary steps to increase their levels of compliance with a law that has helped many underrepresented, low-income Arizonan communities cast their vote of Election Day.

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Poll is a 'Refreshing Corrective' to Media Narrative of Tea Party Domination

Bumped from the diaries. - Jason

Project Vote’s new poll, which reveals the “rising electorate” from 2008 has starkly different views about the role of government than Tea Partiers, has inspired some discussion on the mood of voters before the election in November. “What Happened to Hope and Change,” we ask, and several bloggers, columnists, and reporters (sometimes with a combination of relief and frustration) attempt to answer.

“Lorraine C. Minnite, the author of the study, argues that the poll shows that the media is paying too much attention to the concerns of the mostly white and better-off Tea Party,” reported Linda Scott at PBS News Hour.

The poll’s finding that Tea Partiers only make up 29 percent of 2008 voters, compared to the 32 percent of black, young, and low-income voters, who turned out in droves in 2008 was a “refreshing corrective,” wrote The Nation’s Christopher Hayes.

“We've all spent so much time dwelling on the slights and accusations of the Fox News crowd, there's been shockingly little attention paid to the views, frustrations and convictions of what we might call the forgotten electorate, otherwise known as Obama's base," he wrote.

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New Poll Shows More Americans Want a Government That Does More, Not Less

Today, Project Vote released What Happened to Hope and Change? A Poll of 2008 Voters, a new report summarizing the results of a telephone survey of 1,947 Americans who voted in 2008, analyzing their views on the role of the government, government spending, and the budget. This unique poll not only surveys the historic 2008 electorate, but also includes special samples of black, low-income, and youth voters, and compares these groups both to a national sample and to self-identified “Tea Party” sympathizers.

“We wanted to learn more about the views of the black, youth, and low-income voters who overwhelmingly participated in 2008 election,” said Lorraine C. Minnite, director of research for Project Vote. “These voters represent roughly a third of the electorate, they will play an increasingly important role in American politics, and they fundamentally believe in a government that doesmore, not less. Yet their voices are largely ignored, and their views are not being represented.”

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