US Atty Scandal Shines Light on Bush Adminstration Voter Suppression Efforts

By Nathan Henderson-James

This well-researched and timely article from the Washington Bureau of the McClatchy Newspapers shows how deep the Bush Administration's obsession with using the myth of voter fraud to support schemes to suppress the votes of minories and other marginalized groups runs.

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Election and Voting Rights News Roundup: Week of March 23, 2007

By Erin Ferns

This an entry in a series of blogs to keep people informed on current election reform and voting rights issues in the news.

Featured Stories of the Week:

Elections officials play ghostbusters to keep eligible-voter rolls up to date - Winston-Salem Journal

WA reaches settlement on voter registration rule - Associated Press

This week, the issue of voter list maintenance made a return in two news stories - one reporting a  small North Carolina county's handling of dead voters on the rolls, the other concluding a long debate over a 2006 law barring citizens whose information didn't perfectly match government databases from registering to vote.

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Ohio's Brunner Right to Demand Cleveland Board of Elections Resignation

By Teresa James, Project Vote Counsel

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner was right to call Monday March 19th for the resignations of all four members of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections this week. The board, consisting of two Republicans and two Democrats by statute, was dominated for too long by the overbearing personality of the Chairman, Bob Bennett, to the detriment of Cuyahoga County voters. As head of the Republican party, Bennett is a powerful political figure in this Republican-dominated state. Other board members--who served at the pleasure of then Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell -- rarely challenged Bennett's position on any issue at public board meetings. The Secretary's decision opens the door for a new board with a more even balance of power among the members.

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US Atty Firings Latest Administration Move to Undermine Voting Rights

By Brian Mellor, Project Vote's Senior Counsel

The improper firing of eight U.S. Attorneys by the Administration is only the latest in a series of actions by political appointees at the Department of Justice to suppress minority voter turnout, minimize minority representation and control the electoral process through legal threats and restrictive laws.

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Registration Still Key to Minority Voter Participation

By Ben Spears and Michael Slater

Ben Spears is a Research Associate with Project Vote's Strategic Writing and Research Department (SWORD). Michael Slater is the Deputy Director of Project Vote and the Director of its Election Administration Program.

Contrary to a belief by the political cognoscenti that a wide gap exists between the voting rates of minorities and their white counterparts, the difference is small and appears to be shrinking. Once registered, blacks and other minorities vote at or near the same rates as whites. Registration rates, however, still show marked disparities between white and non-white citizens.

According to the Census, there were 14.3 million blacks registered to vote in 1996 and 11.4 million showed up at the polls - an 80 percent turnout among those registered. The same report shows that 5 million Latinos voted among the 6.6 million registered, or 75 percent; and 91.2 million whites voted of the 110 million registered to vote, or 83 percent.

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Weekly Election Reform and Voting Rights News Update: March 16, 2007

By Erin Ferns

This an entry in a series of blogs to keep people informed on current election reform and voting rights issues in the news.

Featured Story of the Week:
Citizens Who Lack Papers Lose Medicaid - New York Times
WASHINGTON, March 11 -- A new federal rule intended to keep illegal immigrants from receiving Medicaid has instead shut out tens of thousands of United States citizens who have had difficulty complying with requirements to show birth certificates and other documents proving their citizenship, state officials say.

The loss of health Medicare coverage for some low-income American opens a window to the problems with proof-of-citizenship requirements in other context.

Although this week's top election story is not directly related to casting ballots, it might as well be, considering that new proof of citizenship requirements for Medicare are similar to proof of citizenship requirements for voting proposed by bills in a number of state legislatures. The ostensive intent is the same: to prevent "fraud." but there's little evidence of a problem.

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Weekly Election Reform and Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

This an entry in a series of blogs to keep people informed on current election reform and voting rights issues in the news.

Featured Story of the Week:
Voter Turnout Among the Young Still Lags - Associated Press

More than half of American citizens ages 18 to 24 do not vote on Election Day, according to a recent Associated Press story. Their  parents and grandparents, in comparison, vote at a rate of about 70 percent. This story considers why young people do not vote, despite flashy efforts to mobilize them, and considers what can be done to change the situation.

The story proposes two reasons why young people don't vote at high rates: their transient lifestyles (many prospective young voters are either students or starting careers) and their inability to relate to current political issues.

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"Voter Fraud" Often Exaggerated for Political Ends, According to New Report

By Michael Slater

Widespread "voter fraud" is a myth promulgated to suppress voter participation, according to a new Project Vote report released today. "The Politics of Voter Fraud" (PDF link) finds that fraudulent voting, or the intentional corruption of the voting process by voters, is extremely rare. Yet, false or exaggerated claims of fraudulent voting are commonly made in close electoral contests, and later cited by proponents of laws that restrict voting.

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Weekly Election Reform and Voting Rights News Update

This is the first in a series of blogs to keep people informed on current election reform and voting rights issues in the news.

Featured Story of the Week:
Make it easier, not harder, to cast ballot - The Kansas City Star: Opinion

Voter fraud is a hot topic for people who care about participating in American elections. In a Feb. 26 column, Kansas City Star writer Laura Scott points out the glaring election protection issues that are overshadowed by the voter ID debate. MO Secretary of State Robin Carnahan released a report on election problems, showing that voter fraud - intentional corruption of the electoral process - does not exist.

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FOX News Promotes Myth of Voter Fraud

By Michael Slater and Nathan Henderson-James

A Sunday Feb 25 story on Fox 25 in Boston did its viewers a massive disservice by exaggerating problems in the Boston elections department and promoting them as evidence of voter fraud, evidence their own story debunks.

The Sunday story, which is critiqued point by point below, tries to make the case that dead people are voting in Boston elections based on the evidence that one woman had her vote recorded as coming from her dead mother. In reality, the story itself shows that this was purely a clerical error. But that didn't stop Fox from airing what can only be described and a breathless and histrionic attempt to breath life into the increasingly discredits myth that American elections are pervaded by widespread fraud.

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