Fight For Voter Rights


Latest News on Voting, Unfair District Maps, Voter Suppression, Lawsuits and Court Decisions


You can download federal court decisions for Wisconsin voting and gerrymandering lawsuits, US Supreme Court decisions, and some other voter suppression cases  (North Carolina & Texas especially — 2 of the 3 states with the harshest voter suppression.  Wisconsin is the 3rd)  (If something you want is not here: Tell us)

We post news of voter suppression tactics in other states as they may affect Wisconsin.  Same for gerrymandering.  North Carolina legislators (those in the majority) are drawing court-ordered new district maps with partisan gerrymandering.  We will post news of court reaction to the new maps.



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(September 16, 2017 FactCheck.org)  “Stats not Voter Fraud ‘Proof'” video by Jake Tapper (CNN) links to video report and Kobach’s Bogus ‘Proof’ of Voter Fraud,” article.


(September 15, 2017 KRWG Public media for southern NM and far west Texas)  Texas high schools breaking Texas law — failing to register voters.   New study shows only 6% of Texas high schools requesting registration forms from state.  (download report – pdf)


(September 15, 2017 Courthouse News Service)  US citizens who live in some US territories cannot vote absentee.  If you move to the Northern Mariana Islands, you can vote absentee but not if you move to Puerto Rico.  Oral arguments were heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.  Is this discrimination?  (September 14, 2017 Virgin Islands Consortium)  Current US administration works to eliminate voting rights in US territories. (September 18, 2017 SaipanTribune.com) More details on Segovia v United States  This lawsuit is crowd-funded.  Plaintiffs include resident of Puerto Rico and US Vietnam-vets.  We The People Project fights for the rights of people in the US Territories.   This is the organization that is the lead on the lawsuit.


(September 14, 2017 Arab American Institute)  Presidential fraud commission is “voter suppression by another name”  links to many other sources; analysis


(September 14, 2017 PR Watch)  Longer article examining what might happen with Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case before the US Supreme Court in October.  Also looks at legal background, precedents, how other cases could be affected and more.  Good overview.


(September 13, 2017 Guardian)  History of US voter suppression.  This article goes back about a century – so watch the video too.


(September 5, 2017 Minnesota Public Radio)  “How voter fraud and voter suppression shaped the nation”  There has always been voter suppression and, less easy to quantify, vote fraud.  Audio


(September 12, 2017 FCW)  Upated guidelines for reducing hacking risk approved by fraud commission yesterday (download draft rules) &  (September 12, 2017 New York Times)  Members of fraud commission criticize commision’s pre-formed “truth”.


(September 12, 2017 Reason.com)  Can bitcoin technology fix non-existent voter fraud?  (This is a “free market” publication that advises that Betsy DeVos is right on Title IX.)  However, it would be useful to see a critique of this argument.  What are the downsides?  Can this encourage everyone to vote?  Will this simplify registration?  Will any people have trouble voting using bitcoin tech?  What does this mean for individual privacy?  Tell us  what you think.  Do you have a clear, concise explanation of bitcoin tech that we can post?


(September 11, 2017 Dallas News)  Texas congressional and state house redistricting on hold after 5-4 Supreme Court ruling”.   The bad news is that the gerrymandered districts will probably be used for the 2018 elections. Good detail on the history and present legal status of racial gerrymandering in Texas


 

(September 11, 2017 LegalNewsLine)  California becomes 18th state to join challenge to Wisconsin’s partisan gerry mandering.


(September 11, 2017 syracuse.com) 60+ current and former Congressional representatives signed a brief (download brief) to the US Supreme Court.  Members of both major parties are asking the court to support fair district maps in Wisconsin!  (September 6, 2017 Washington Post)  Support from Republicans for the people of Wisconsin in gerrymandering case.


(September 11, 2017) Kansas City Star)  Another voter suppression (nutty idea) tactic will be consider tomorrow by the fraud commission.  Background checks for voting.  Just like background checks for gun purchases.  See this power point presentation for the fraud commission.   (The “right people” vote)


 

(September 11, 2017 New York Times)  Kris Kobach, alt-right columnist, vice-chair of presidential fraud commission and Kansas Secretery of State, thinks 5,313 people voted fraudulently last November in New Hampshire.   Did that many people break the law in New Hampshire last November?   (September 11, 2017 ACLU blog)  “Kris Kobach Pushes Voter Fraud Lies . . .”


(September 7, 2017 League of Women Voters of Wisconsin)  The League of Women Voters issued a call for the US Supreme Court to decide in favor of fair district maps for Wisconsin.  The LWV US filed an Amicus brief in support of the lawsuit fighting for fair districts.  (download brief)LWV Wisconsin statement in part: 

“We have seen a serious breakdown in the legislative process in recent years. We have seen a bill

that appeared to be traceable back to the desire of one wealthy donor. We have seen cases where thousands of constituent calls and emails were simply ignored. This is running roughshod over democracy,” said Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.


(September 5, 2017 Minnesota Public Radio)  “How voter fraud and voter suppression shaped the nation”  There has always been voter suppression and, less easy to quantify, vote fraud.  Audio


(September 4, 2017 Election Law Blog)  Different methods of identifying extreme  partisan gerrymanders.  Links to more resources like the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.


(September 4, 2017 GovInfo Security)  This publication reports on security for all things government: local, state and federal.  This report looks at what is yet unknown about the Russian hacking.  The extent of the hacking still has not been determined.


(September 4, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal)  Wisconsin Elections Commission will make electronic voting tech available to local governments for free.  Wis. Elections Commission head says concerns about hacking are outweighed by the “benefits to voters and election workers”.


(September 3, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)  Cities in California are changing the way voters elect city council members.  (this also applies to Racine Unified school district)  With the Voting Rights Act, a lawyer has been notifying cities that elect representatives city wide: change or face a lawsuit.  Black and Hispanic voters are denied representation with  city-wide districts.  This strategy is successfully getting city elections by district.  This same strategy could be applied to changing the city-wide elections of school board members — forced on Racine Unified by the governor.


(September 1, 2017 HuffPost)  Displaced Texans need relief from Texas voting restrictions. How do homeless people vote?  Where do they vote?


(September 1, 2017 Gizmodo)  Reports of Russian hacking get scarier.  An investigation by the NY Times shows that very little is being done at the state and local levels to protect voting from the Russians.  Which people have a stake in using skepticism to suppress voting?  If people are unsure of the accuracy or the value of their vote, will they vote?  (September 3, 2017 Politico)  Not many options for local and state governments to protect the vote.  No money from federal government.  Meanwhile Congress is aiming to kill the federal Election Assistance Commission.  Who benefits?


 (September 1, 2017 WESA Pittsburgh)  League of Women Voters and 17 others file suit over Pennsylvania partisan gerrymandering.   This lawsuit is similar to the Wisconsin lawsuit pending before SCOTUS.


(September 1, 2017 US News & World Report)  “Ballot Battle Heads to High Court”  Recap of partisan gerrymander lawsuit status; analysis of implications.


(September 1, 2017 Madison.com)  Horicon man charged with illegally voting in 2016 — 1 vote.


(September 1, 2017 The Skanner – Portland & Seattle)  State of Alabama is sued under the Voting Rights Act.  Federal judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit agains the state on the method of electing judges.  Download court decision


(September 1, 2017 Washington Post)  Illinois is the 10th state to adopt automatic voter registration.


(August 31, 2017 San Francisco BayView, National Black Newspaper)   New law in Alabama restores voting rights for most felons

(August 31, 2017 Independent)  Fraud commission’s Kris Kobach is a paid Breitbart columnist.  Brietbart publicizes and supports anti-voter positions.


(August 31, 2017 The Observer)  “Racism Today” considers voter ID and gerrymandering


(August 30, 2017 Afro) Black clergy renews committment to voting rights.


(August 30, 2017 Wisconsin Gazette)  Town hall on fair voting maps at Washington Park library September 12 from 6 to 7 pm.


(August 30, 2017 Chicago Tribune)  Presidential fraud commission withheld documents from the public including 2 reports by the Heritage Foundation claiming significant voter fraud.


(August 29, 2017 Gwinnet Daily Post — Georgia)  County asks added funding for Sunday voting. (Gwinnet County is just east of Atlanta)  Election officials are working to meet requirements of the Voting Rights Act.  Also looking at early voting at satellite locations, added week of early voting to reduce the hours-long waits in line in 2016 election.


(August 25, 2017 LaCrosse Tribune)  79 cases of possible voter fraud referred to district attorneys  for investigation.  2016 elections in Wisconsin


(August 24, 2017 Washington Post)  Federal judges decide (2-1) to keep Maryland’s disrict maps.  Partisan gerrymandering is alledged.  The maps drawn for Maryland’s Congressional districts will be in effect for the 2018 elections — depending on the outcome of the Wisconsin case before the US Supreme Court.

(August 24, 2017 Esquire)  “This week in voter suppression”


(August 24, 2017 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)  Fraud claims insult election workers  Election workers in Wisconsin are dedicated and honest.


(August 24, 2017 Washington Post)  Recap of voter ID laws status in North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.


(August 23, 2017 Urban Milwaukee)  List of groups supporting Wisconsin partisan gerrymander.  These groups include:  States of Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah; Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce;  Judicial Watch, Inc. and Allied Educational Foundation;  Republican National Committe + more.  In other words, these are some of the groups opposing fair district maps.


(August 23, 2017 MomsRising.org)  Voting rights now;   and impact on women.  Review of voting rights and voter suppression with a little history.


(August 23, 2017 Barron News Shield)  350,000 voter registrations purged in Wisconsin. 


(August 23, 2017 The Texas Tribune)  Federal judge throws out new law intended to “soften” Texas’ voter ID law.  The prevous voter ID law was found to “purposely” disciminate against black people and Latinos.  The state will appeal because if it doesn’t, then there will be no voter ID law in Texas.  The state will be spending tax dollars to try to make it harder for taxpayers to vote!  (August 23, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice)  All the legal docs for this lawsuit to download.


(August 23, 2017 KIRO Seattle)  Uncounted ballots in Kansas might be one more voter suppression tactic expanded nationwide by fraud commission.


(August 22, 2017 Insight News Minneapolis)  Minnesota Sec. of State officially refuses to give voter data to fraud commission

(August 21, 2017 WIBW Topeka) “Members of the ‘Poor People’s Campaign’ held a national Call for Moral Revival at Topeka’s First United Methodist Church.”  New narrative on racism, poverty and voter suppression”  (August 21, 2017 Topeka Capitol Journal)  Voter suppression laws “desecrate the graves” of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King.


(August 21, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice)  New lawsuit filed to make fraud commission records public  on how voter information to be used.  “The complaint brought by Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, along with the group Protect Democracy Project, alleges that the agencies did not respond to previous Freedom of Information Act requests they filed concerning Trump’s election commission.”  Full text of lawsuit (pdf)    (August 22, 2017 Huff Post)  Lawsuit trying to break the secrecy of the fraud commission


(May 11, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice) What did Kris Kobach do before the fraud commission?  Kobach has a history of trampling on democracy.


(August 21, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice)  Comprehensive list of Freedom of Information requests, requests for state records and requests filed by additional groups.  Just about everything is downloadable.  All are related to the presidential fraud commission.


Dates to Remember Featuring Women’s Suffrage


(August 18, 2017 Electronic Privacy Information Center)  EPIC appeals court decision that allowed fraud commission to proceed. with voter data collection.   Comprehensive list of documents of all kinds, from many sources, related to the EPIC lawsuit and appeal.  (August 8, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice)  “Legal Actions Taken Against . . . ” federal fraud commission — grab this URL.  The list is updated as needed.  This is a comprehensive list with many links.


(August 18, 2017 Bustle)  Why Felon Disenfranchisement is a Feminist Issue



Virginia Governor restores voting rights of felons 2016



(August 18, 2017 TheJapanTimes)  “American Democracy Under Assault”  How the world see us.  Voting rights are part of the view.


(August 18, 2017 US Commission on Civil Rights)  US Commission on Civil Rights expresses concerns over Justice Department reversal in the Ohio voting rights case download 2 pgs


(August 18, 2017 Washington Post)  Why are non-citizens allowed to vote in local elections?  A few places in the US welcome participation by parents in school board issues, for example.  Thoughtful article by law prof.


(August 18, 2017 Esquire)  Small victories make a difference.  The story behind court order to elect judges from districts – not county-wide.  Protects Louisiana voters’ rights  (August 18, 2017 Common Dreams)  Court decision protects voter rights  Download full court decision  (August 18, 2017 NAACP) Statement on history changing court decision


(August 18, 2017 Atlanta Journal Constitution)  19th Amendment ratified 97 years ago.  Women won recognition of our right to vote.  19 things you need to know about the 19th Amendment.  History of Women’s Suffrage from 1848 to 1984

(August 17, 2017 Bustle)  7 women you don’t hear about.  In the US fighters for women’s right to vote are “Suffragists”.  In Great Britain, they are “Suffragettes”.  We owe these women.  We  carry on the fight for voters rights.


(August 18, 2017 League of Women Voters) 97 years of standing firm on voter rights.  LWV is the non-partisan advocate for all of us.


(August 17, 2017 The Texas Tribune)  Court finds another Texas law unconstitutional.  Texas restricted interpretors for limited English speakers with a tricky little Texas law.  A violation of the Voting Rights Act.  A US citizen born in India brought the lawsuit.


(August 17, 2017 Arkansas Times blog)   “Reject Racism?  Prove it with Voting Rights”  Many related articles and opinions linked on this page.


(August 17, 2017 Alternet)  How to Fight Back After Charlottesville — protect voting rights & more.


(August 16, 2017 NPQ)  Short explanation of the “efficiency gap” in drawing voting district maps.


The algorithm that could help end partisan gerrymandering




(August 16, 2017 Talking Points Media)  Some believe Kris Kobach’s history taints the purpose of the presidential fraud commission.  Here is a history of another commission member with similar background: J. Christian Adams.


 

(August 15, 2017 Sheperd Express)  ACLU Wisconsin about fraud commission and threat to democracy.  (August 16, 2017 Concord Monitor)  This is why the ACLU lawsuit in New Hampshire was important and why it was dropped.


(August 15, 2017 NY Times)  Today a 3 judge federal panel ruled 2 Texas Congressional districts unconstitutional.   The two districts are found to be drawn purposely to deny Hispanic voters fair representation.  This is the latest step in a fight that began after the 2010 census.  Texas Attorney General will take this to the US Supreme Court – on behalf of the “state” – not the people of Texas.  (August 15, 2017 Minneapolis Star Tribune)  Texas must change district maps before 2018 elections.



(August 15, 2017 Harvard Political Review)  Recent history of and analysis of partisan gerrymandering.  Definite 2-party problem and 3rd parties are hurt.


(August 15, 2017 The Hill)  Automatic Voter Registration would cut down on people with multiple registrations.  But . . is this a national database?


(August 14, 2017 The Mercury News, California) Opinion: Why voting age should be lowered to 17


 

(August 14, 2017 Milwaukee Courier) “If It Isn’t Valuable, Then Why So Much Work to Take It From You” The Power of the Vote


 

(August 13, 2017 DailyKos) Rise of the Younger Voter: Millenials’ Growing Power  (July 31, 2017 Pew Research Center)  Millenials and Gen Xers  and the 2016 national election


(August 12, 2017 NY Magazine)  How to make voters out of kids


 

(August 11, 2017 Baltimore Sun)  “Purging Voter Rolls to Suppress Turnout”  (August 10, 2017 Journal-Times)  Georgia’s voter list updating criticized   “If we’re making it harder to stay on the voting rolls, then we’re having an impact on people’s ability to participate in the Democratic process”


(August 11, 2017 ACLU blog)  Lies of rampant voter fraud causing loss of confidence in electon process.


(August 11, 2017 Esquire)  “Early voting for me, but not for thee. Plus: Russia!”  The former Indiana governor (who signed a lot of this stuff) is VP of the US and heads the presidential fraud commission.


What do you know that we should know?  Tell us


(August 10, 2017 HuffPost)  Indiana early voting ok in Republican county — not in Democratic county.   Seven years of voter suppression has consequences.  (August 10, 2017 Mother Jones)  Indiana sued by NAACP  New state law will close hundreds of polling places in predominantly minority voting places.  Blatant voter suppression.  Immediate past governor is vp of the US and heads the federal fraud commission. (August 10, 2017 Indianapolis Star)  Investigation into partisan voter suppression tactics (August 9, 2017 Chicago Tribune) NAACP lawsuit targets voter suppression that also pre-empts local authority.


(August 10, 2017 League of Women Voters)  Sign the LWV petition opposing the “Election Integrity Commission”.


(August 10, 2017 Yes! magazine)  A call for a restored and strengthened Voting Rights Act.  Commentary on the impact of voter suppression laws by race and by gender.


(August 10, 2017 HuffPost)  Are the presidential fraud commission and the Department of Justice working together to suppress voters?  The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is suing to find out.


(August 10, 2017 SCOTUSblog)  The First Amendment, “right of expressive association” and fair district maps  Legal analysis (simplified).  This blog is all things SCOTUS.  (Supreme Court of the U.S.)


(August 10, 2017 Charlotte Observer)  North Carolina legislators opt for partisan gerrymandering.  Legislators must adopt new district maps.  Federal court threw out the racial gerrymandering and requires new maps by September 1.  (August 10, 2017 Common Cause NC) statement on new district maps  (August 10, 2017 WFAE Charlotte)  “No on race; Yes on political party” (text &  audio)  (August 10, 2017 News & Observer)  remapping criteria includes election results.


(August 10, 2017 NPR)  Russians hacked vendor linked with election day problems in North Carolina


(August 11, 2017 GQ)  “That Washington Post Poll About Delaying the 2020 Election Is Irresponsible Nonsense”.  This is textbook “why” to watch for lousy reporting, badly made polls.  (August 10, 2017 Vox)  Half of Republicans surveyed would support postponing 2020 presidential election if the president asked.  (August 10, 2017 Washington Post)  Explanation of research method and results.   (August 10, 2017 The Atlantic)  This survey is not what it appears to be.  The take down is fascinating.  How many ways can a survey be done wrong?

What do you want to know?  Tell us


(August 9, 2017 Texas Tribune)  16 states join Wisconsin to fight against fair district maps.  Against us.


(August 9, 2017 Congressional Black Caucus)  Congressional Black Caucus statement on US reversal in voter rights case now before US Supreme Court.


(August 9, 2017 American Conservative)  Federal fraud commission is “overreach”; an attack on voter privacy.


(August 9, 2017 Minneapolis StarTribune)  Is the fraud commission making it easy for hackers?  Elections information is decentralized.  The fraud commission is about to change that.  One-stop-shopping for hackers.


(August 8, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice, NYU school of Law)  What you should know about Gill v Whitford, the Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering case coming before SCOTUS.

(July 14, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice, NYU school of Law) map shows where redistricting bills have been introduced State bill tracker – and what the bills would do.  These are bills to reform the map drawing.  Link to Congressional redistricting bills.  One requires redistricting addjustment midway between US Census counts.


(August 8, 2017 Reuters)  U.S. Department of Justice sides with “Ohio” over Ohio voters.  Ohio asks the Supreme Court to ok the voter roll purge.  This is a complete change from positon just a year ago.  (August 8, 2017 LWV press release)  Statement on DOJ position switch  (August 10, 2017 truthout)  The law hasn’t changed but the administraton has.


(August 7, 2017 Tufts Now)  Conference this week at Tufts University on creating fair district maps across the country.   Convened by the Metric Geometric and Gerrymandering Group, who’s purpose is to pursue:  “. . . . research, collaboration, and community-building by using math as a tool for civic good.”  Video of the daily general sessions can be accessed with a link in the article.  The UW conference in Madison is October 12 – 15

 

(August 7, 2017 Washington Post)  How do other countries handle creating fair election districts?


(August 6, 2017 Baltimore Sun)  College Park, Maryland, is considering “giving non-citizens voting rights” in local elections.  Some cities in Maryland already do this.



(August 6, 2017 Atlanta Black Star)  Voting is seen as a privledge, not a right letting states pass more voter suppression laws.  How does “moral turpitude” fit?


(August 6, 2017 WIRED)  5 tips from the hackers on how to prepare for a better next election.


(August 5 2017 The NK Standard Times)  Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, signs Automatic Voter Registraton bill“. . .Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea:. “If you already know a person is a citizen, If you already know what their date of birth is, and that they are a resident of Rhode Island, why do we make people jump through a whole other set of hoops?” 


(August 5, 2017 USA Today)  What about weekend voting?  Two days instead of Tuesdays.

 


52 years ago on August 6, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.



(August 1, 2017 Newsweek)  “Why are Most Politicians White 52 Years After the Voting Rights Act Was Signed into Law”?


(August 2, 2017 US News)  state by state list: repsonse to fraud commission demand for voter information.   (June 28, 2017 Wisconsin Elections Commission)  Wisconsin response to federal request for voter information


(August 2, 2017 DefCon)  This the DefCon pre-conference  links to resource material used by the section of DefCon this year that focused on hacking voting software, hardware and wifi.  — If you know where to get any of the papers presented at DefCon on hacking voting please contact us.

Find a mistake?  Tell us


(August 2, 2017 Boston Globe)  Advantages to citizens of election day voter registrationWisconsin started election day registration at the polls in 1975.  It works very well; is good for democracy and must be kept.


(August 1, 2017 NonProfit Quarterly)  Voting Participation Center’s new study shows a projected drop off in voters who are: unmarried women, millenials and people of color.


(July 31, 2017  The Regulatory Review)  “Restricting Race-Conscious Redistricting”  Analysis of court decisions related to gerrymandering (unfair district maps).   Starting with “Shaw v Reno” in 1993, this paper explains the groundwork for the 3 SCOTUS decisions since 2015.


(July 31, 2017 The Telegraph)  UK paper reports on good guys hacking US voting machines.  Many problems found with software, hardware and wifi connections.  Good, detail and background information.  Also: German intergenerational club  (June 26, 2017 Bloomberg) improving security in Germany.


(July 30, 2017 UrbanMilwaukee)  “Mayor Barrett disagrees with public release of confidential voter data.”


(July 30, 2017 Newsmax)  Eric Holder tells the NAACP that “the right to vote is under seige”.   (July 18, 2017 San Francisco Examiner)  “U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [met with] U.S. faith-based human rights activists . . .”.  Including discussion of the “ripple effect” of voter suppression leading to denial of other basic, democratic rights.  The NAACP fights for our voter rights.  Join here


(July 30, 2017 BoingBoing)  DefCon Hacking Village shows that voting machines can be hacked in 20 minutes.   (July 28, 2017 Reuters)  This weekend in Las Vegas hackers are working to break into “voting machines and voter databases”.  This is the challenge at this year’s DefCon — “a hacker voting village”.  It is safe to expect Russian hacking in the 2018 elections.   (August 2, 2017 Mother Jones)  More on hacking the vote from Def Con.

“The piece was produced, shot and edited by Lulu Friesdat for AlterNet.org, © 2017 http://shugahworks.com/


What else should be here?  Tell us


(July 28, 2017 TechCrunch.com)  How to insure fair, valid voting.  “Trust, but verify” What works? Paper ballots, electronic machines, computers or a combination.  Links to resources in article.



(July 28, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal) “State of Wisconsin” files brief defending 2011 partisan gerrymander.   This means that our elected officials like Attorney General Brad Schimel are spending our money to fight against our right to vote.   Who does our elected Attorney General really represent?  (August 9, 2017  The Texas Tribune)  Texas Attorney General files an amicus brief supporting the “Wisconsin” partisan gerrymandering.  “Wisconsin” here means the ruling party in Wisconsin.


(July 28, 2017 UrbanMilwaukee.com)  Wisconsin Election Commission responds to request for voter data from presidential commission looking for fraud.  Only public information can be released.  The fraud commission is warned on the use it makes of the data from Wisconsin.


(July 28, 2017 HuffPost) #RespectMyVote: Make America Safe for Democracy.  100 year anniversary of march of 10,000 people on NYC 5th Avenue.  The march was one of the first against mob violence and lynchings of black Americans.  One of the signs read: “Make America Safe for Democracy”


(July 28, 2017 Death and Taxes)  Presidential commission on non-existent voter fraud again requests data from states.   Kris Kobach insists data protection systems are in place.


(July 28, 2017 CBS Chicago)  Rev. Jesse Jackson creates  commission to examine voter suppression(also July 24, 2017 Chicago Sun Times)  Rev. Jackson calls voter fraud commission “fraudulent”   (July 20, 2017 Wisconsin Radio Network)  Wisconsin election observers disagree with fraud commission claims   (July 17, 2017 Chicago Sun-Times)  Jesse Jackson writes: ” . . . elections are about giving voice to values.”


 

Partisan gerrymandering and racial gerrymandering explained

The U.S. Supreme Court hears both cases in upcoming session


(July 27, 2017 Washington Post)  The president’s fraud commission will find thousands of duplicate registrations that are not duplicates.  Why will this happen?


(July 27, 2017 The Nation)  “How Oregon Increased Voter Turnout More Than Any Other State  . . .  it was so easy!  (July 20, 2017 MSNBC)  Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) now law in 9 states.  


(July 24, 2017 The Daily News)  Governor Cuomo issues executive order to increase voter registration.    Good ideas for Wisconsin: all government offices handing out registration forms and helping people fill them out.  NY LWV wants election day problems addressed too: long lines, lengthy delay for registrations and voter suppression (July 24, 2017 The State of Politics)


(July 24, 2017 Martinsville Bulletin)  Virginia:  Federal Judge gives ok to voter suppression commission data “request” from all 50 states.   The commisson is not a federal agency and is not subject to federal privacy assessment.  (also: July 25, 2017 ABA Journal)  Other lawsuits and challenges to the data collection are pending.  (July 25, 2017 Electronic Privacy Information Center)   (July 29, 2017 Chicago Tribune)


(July 23, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal)   For 5 months in 2012 Democrats were in charge of the Wisconsin Senate.  Private attorneys for the Republican district maps were forced to turn over documents on the secret process.  Those docs uncovered details for the case, Gill v Whitford coming to the US Supreme Court later this year.  A 3-federal judge panel has found unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.  Now the US Supremem Court will hear arguments and decide constitutional or not.


(July 22, 2017 Huffpost)  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says Wisconsin gerrymander case could be the most important for SCOTUS next term.  The US Supreme Court has never decided what constitutes an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander

(July 20, 2017 The Charlotte Observer) “Domestic violence victims need to be able to vote without being outed” editorial


(July 20, 2017 Newsweek)  Gun ownership skews election choices.  Is a gun really necessary to American identity?  Based on research since 1972.  So, who besides the NRA has a vested interest in any legislation to get rid of all gun regulations?



(July 18, 2017 Center for Media and Democracy in Madison)  Should the 17th Amendment be repealed?  ALEC, Koch Industries, GOP elected officials and major current federal appointees are meeting in Denver to discuss it.  Repeal would revert back to electing US Senators by state governments and not by popular vote.  Republicans control 32 of the 50 state governments.  An electoral college for US Senate.  ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) has gotten us where we are today.  Gov. Walker is a long time member.


The People Who Bring Us Voter Suppression . . . Claim They Like Free Speech


(July 19, 2017 Longview News-Journal)  Gerrymander cases in Wisconsin and Texas gives courts chance to change redistricting.  The Wisconsin case is about partisan gerrymandering.  Texas case is about gerrymandering to suppress minority voting strength.  These cases go “to the heart of what a representative democracy should be.”  Longview is in Texas.


(July 19, 2017 WAOW.com Central Wisconsin)  21 Wisconsin Counties support non-parisan redistricting.


(July 19, 2017 The Atlantic)  Presidential voter suppression commission holds first meeting today in DC.  7 lawsuits filed.  (July 25, 2017 CNN International)  Eric Holder says:  Trump voter fraud commission led by ‘fact-challenged zealot’  (July 21, 2017 Portland Press Herald, Maine)  National unicorn hunt begins.


(July 19, 2017  ThinkProgress)  Voter suppression commission claims neutrality and then insists there is massive voter fraud.  Facts missing.  (July 19, 2017 Slate) some background on Kobach.    Interstate Crosscheck System wrong 99%.  Kansas is involved.  (July 20, 2017 Washington Post) This is serious voter suppression.


(July 18, 2017 Harvard University, Kennedy School )  “Belfer Center Launches “Defending Digital Democracy” Project To Fight Cyber Attacks and Protect Integrity of Elections”.  Project is run by former campaign managers of Hillary campaign and the Romney campaign.  Also:  (June 27, 2017 ACLU)  Hacking our election system can be defeated by better transparency; better methods.   Voting machines running proprietary software cannot be examined.  Paper trail is a must.


John Oliver on Voter Fraud:

Ruthelle Frank gives us a valuable legacy.  She showed us fighting unjust laws is a necessary part of democracy.   She showed us that special treatment for one is not the answer.  She demanded an end to voter ID law for everyone.  The lawsuit that bears her name continues.  Ruthelle Frank vs Scott WalkerRuthelle Frank could not vote in her own election because of Wisconsin’s ID law.   She decided to fight for all of us.


If you get this postcard– immediately contact the Wisconsin Election Commission.  Keep the card.  Let us know you got the card.  Tell us

 


(July 17, 2017 Washington Post)  Kobach has more work for the presidential voter fraud commission.  Vice-president of the commission, a leader in voter suppression, has more ideas to make registration harder.   What we need is more effort to register every citizen – not an expensive, intrusive, undemocratic hunt for non-existant fraud.


(July 17, 2017 NBC)  Election Registration Information Center is a cooperative venture among 20 states to “ensure more accurate voter rolls and to encourage registration”.  Why reinvent the wheel?



(July 10, 2017 Slate)  How the U.S. Department of Justice will try to purge voter rolls in the states.



(July 10, 2017 Reuters)  Fraud hunting presidential commission puts request for voter data on hold temporarily.  Notice that this article, like the others covering this matter, fails to mention the fact that Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretery of State, who is vice-chair of the commission is the leader in voter suppression tactics nationally.  The real story:  Where is the federal commission on voter registration/increasing voter turnout?

(July 10, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal)  This is how Wisconsin handles voter information.  Wisconsin does allow voters to withdraw their registration.  Call your city clerk.   (BTW Courts do NOT use the voter registration list to select jurors.)


(July 6, 2017 Huffington Post)  Colorado sees big increase in voters revoking their voter registration – response to federal demand for social security numbers, birth dates, political affiliation (Wisconsin does not ask this), driver license number and more.  Voter registration has always been the resposibility of states.  (think poll taxes and literacy tests in the south)  Creation of a nationwide citizen database is unprecedented and uncalled-for.  Voter suppression is fueled by bogus claims of voter fraud.


(July 6, 2017 Huffington Post)  US Department of Justice is interested in mountains of voter information.  Jeff Sessions sent letters demanding 44 states give DOJ detailed information about their voting process.  Advocates fear it means more efforts for voter suppression.  This letter was sent the very same day as the one from the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” (see next item)   The Avisory Commission starts with the assumption that the voting process is seriously in trouble; that fraud is rampant.


(July 5, 2017 Washington Post)  44 states, to date, are refusing in full or in part to provide sweeping voter information including party preference (Wisconsin does not register voters by party – one of the beauties of the system here) .  Reasons for refusing the Commission’s request range across all parts of the political spectrum.  Some argue that a database that includes every voter will lead to more voter suppression.  Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State is a national, hard-line leader in numerous voter suppression strategies.  Kobach is vice-chair of the newly created “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity”.


February 20, 2018 and April 3, 2018 are the next elections.  What is at stake?  Information about a man currently running for Wisconsin Supreme Court – he supported Act 10; helped draw unfair district maps in secret.  He was appointed Sauk County judge by Gov. Walker in 2015.   There are 2 or 3 others also running.  This why we vote in every election.  Each one makes a difference.  Know someone who should run?  Encourage them.

Dance Like Voting Depends on You

Part of a campaign to spark interest among young people for voting.  A jolt of fun. Be ready to dance!  Happy voting!    Song: Pharell Williams        (Full Tunes Production)



 


Elimination of the Special Registration Deputy program was done with one sentence in a bill authorizing online voter registration.   This matter is not being litigated.  The legislature made registration easier for those with a driver’s license or a Wisconsin state-isssued ID.  Then, took away the election officials’ authority to appoint volunteers to help with voter registration (another state clamp down on what has always been local responsibility).  None of the election officials (1,850 city, village & county clerks) in the state asked for this.   Eliminating this program is another in a series of voter suppresion tactics.

The item was buried in a bill that authorized online voting.  When it was discovered, some sponsors of the bill withdrew support.  Final sponsorship of the bill was along party lines.  The  Special Registration Deputy program can only be re-instituted by action of the legislature.


(June 20, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal)  US Supreme Court puts the re-draw of district maps for 2018 on hold.  (Gill v Whitford)  Good summary of current status and of lower federal court finding partisan gerrymander.



(June 19, 2017 Huffpost)  Wisconsin leads again.  Partisan gerrymandering (Gill vs Whitford) is coming up before the US Supeme Court.  The “State of Wisconsin” is fighting to keep partisan gerrymandering.  The “State of Wisconsin” means those who run the government in Madison.  The legislature gave a blank check to expensive, private attorneys to fight for the Assembly’s offensive redistricting plan.  If the “State of Wisconsin” wins, voters lose.  We, voters, lose in Wisconsin and in every other state.  (June 19, 2017 Mother Jones)  Case is called a “blockbuster”.  (June 19, 2017 Washington Post)  Good, concise explanation of the math in this case & why SCOTUS decided to hear it.

Meanwhile “State of Wisconsin” Attorney General Brad Schimel asked the US Supreme Court to put fair maps on hold.  (June 21, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal)  Fighting FOR unfair district maps is a waste of our State resources.   This means that the lower federal court decision on fair maps was overturned.  Now, instead of redrawing maps for the 2018 elections, the gerrymandered stay for the 2018 elections.  Congressional districts stay the same.  State Assembly and Senate districts stay the same.  As long as the unfair gerrymandered district maps stand, we, the voters, lose.


(June 5, 2017 USA Today)  US Supreme Court struck down the gerrymandering in North Carolina.  This might be good news (with large reservations – this case is based on racial discrimination and has precendent) for us in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.  (Also, June 5, 2017 Reuters)     (June 5, 2017 NewsObserver.com)   The partisan gerrymander argument here does not have a SCOTUS precedent.



New York Times has numerous articles on Voter Rights with archive links. 


(May 30, 2017 Reuters)   Supreme Court to hear Ohio’s arguments to reinstate voter roll purge.  A Reuters analysis in 2016 showed that voters were struck from the rolls in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods at roughly twice the rate as in Republican neighborhoods . . . “

Wisconsin

(May 30, 2017 Vox.com)  Sen. Russ Feingold: history of voter rights & attacks, the Voting Rights Acts of 1965, the Supreme Court and what to do to protect these rights.


(May 22, 2017 Washington Post)  SCOTUS decision recognizing racial gerrymandering in N. Carolina might help voters challenge other redistrict plans.  Download full decison here  

 

 

(May 22, 2017 Wis Department of Justice news release)  “Attorney General Brad Schimel announced today his decision to ask the United States Supreme Court for an immediate stay of the pending order in the redistricting litigation. If granted, the stay would put a hold on the order in Gill v. Whitford, which requires the Wisconsin Legislature to redraw district maps by November 1, 2017.”  The Attorney General prefers districts designed to produce results he likes.  Not what we, the people, want.  Download the 33 pg application to SCOTUS.  The Attorney General has time to spend on this but delayed for year+ testing evidence for victims of crime.  And started using the federal money for the test only after caught lying about it.

 

(May 22, 2017 Washington Post)  For first time court throws out partisan gerrymander.  Wisconsin and Alabama are examples.   The press cares about the parties.  Limited understanding of democracy maybe?  Media treats elections like WWF contests.  What about 3rd parties with a different point of view?  Media ignores issues and focuses on who is rasing the most money.  The real winners and losers are us, the votersWe demand our votes be counted fairly.

 

 

 

(May 15, 2017 New York Times)  When does political gerrymandering cross a constitutional line?  Wisconsin case: Gill vs Whitford will be heard in the next few weeks.  A decision could come from the US Supreme Court in the next cour year which starts in October.  The answer comes down to math.


 

Voting Laws Roundup 2017

Maps of US showing states with:

  • 1. bills to restrict access to voting,
  • 2. bills to expand voting access,
  • 3. bills for automatic voter registration.  Includes links to related aticles.

Voting Laws Roundup 2017 Report (download)

The voting “climate” in the US will affect expectations and laws here.

(March 27, 2017 Brennan Center for Justice)



(May 12, 2017 Wisconsin Public Radio)  4 Counties vote for non-partisan redistricting.  All 4 counties voted for Trump by “double-digit margins”.  They are Jefferson , Dunn, Wood and Lincoln counties.

 

(April 21 2017 New York Times)  Wisconsin gerrymander case goes to US Supreme Court.  Good summary of lawsuit status with links to numerous sources.  Links to all court docs at FairElections.org.  November 2016 to present

 

(April 20, 2017 Texas Tribune)  For second time, federal judge rules that Texas intentionally established strict voter ID laws to reduce Black and Latino/a vote.  The voter ID law still discriminates and violates the Voting Rights Act.

 

(April 16, 2017 Wired)  Mathmatics proves gerrymandering.  Admitting that partisan gerrymander exists, the US Supreme Court has never found any partisan maps unconstitutional.  That is confusing to legal experts.  Now, perhaps the math will prove gerrymandering to the Court’s satisfaction.  Wisconsin is the test.

 

Brennan Center for Justice analysis of the Wisconsin gerrymander case.  Wisconsin Attorney General and the Wisconsin administration are fighting to keep the gerrymandered district boundaries with our/taxpayer money.  The legislature leadership approved a blank check to fight for gerrymander.

 (April 4, 2016 CapTimes)  This writer gets it.  The losers in voter suppression tactics are us: “we the people”.  The writer’s focus is on what voters lose by numerous successful  attacks on our rights.   Voter suppression is a power grab by the politicians in power.


(Undated, Marquette Law School Blog)  An interesting take on the effect of recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and how it might affect the Wisconsin Supreme Court decison to kill the John Does investigation of the Walker campaign. Recall how the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority took Walker’s side.  He must not be investigated. 

 

(Feb 27, 2017, ProPublica)  U.S. Department of Justice has “. . . abandoned” its position on voter ID laws.   Justice Department no longer sees that state voter ID laws restrict minority voters.   How will this affect the ongoing litigation in Wisconsin?  Hearing on this Texas case tomorrow (Feb 28) in federal court.

 

(Feb 24, 2017, Wisconsin Public Radio)  Federal Appeals Court hears voter ID lawsuit.  This case has nationwide implications.  Read about the hearing here (Feb 24).  We will have the complete ruling here when it is released.


(Feb 2, 2017 Southern Poverty Law Center)  Voter fraud is not a problemVoter suppression is the problem.  The focus is national in this article.  We know the problem up close.  Wisconsin is neck and neck with North Carolina in heavy-handed voter suppression.

These maps show the voter turnout and the changes in voter turnout for key elections.  Linea developed these, by ward, for Milwaukee.  Click to download

April 2016 turnout increase

April 2016 turnout

November 2016 voter turnout

November 2012 v 2016 voter turnout

Questions?  Contact


(November 21, 2017 Salon)  Further comment on and analysis of gerrymander decision.


(November 21, Madison.com news host)  Wisconsin: A three federal judge panel found gerrymandering was done to exclude Democrats.  “It is clear the drafters got what they intended to get,” (federal appeals court Judge Kenneth) Ripple wrote. “There is no question that Act 43 was designed to make it more difficult for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats.”  The panel found that the redistricting maps were created, not in the Capitol, the people’s building, but in the private ” . . . Madison law office of Michael Best & Friedrich, and Democrats were not allowed to take part in the process.”

Full opinion(click icon to download)


(November 2, 2016 Washington Post)  Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R) writes in today’s news about the need for the protections of the Voting Rights Act.  The Voting Rights Act was partially eliminated by the Supreme Court 3 years ago.  Since then states once more could restrict voting.  In a county in Georgia, black voters were contacted by the sheriff and told they had to prove residence.  They had to go to city hall to do that.  Not white voters.  just black voters.  Intimidating?


 


 

 

 

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