A wave of legislation tightening restrictions on voting has suddenly swept across the country. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, more than 5 million Americans could be affected by the new rules already put in place this year — a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.
These restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election.
Voting Works Founder & CEO, Hans Goff, recently interviewed Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. on the effects of these Voter ID laws. Professor Ogletree is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law.
Pennsylvania this week became the second northern battleground state to enact a voter identification law since Republicans took control of the governorships and legislatures in those states in the 2010 election.
Since the 2010 election, Republicans have waged an unprecedented war on voting, with the unspoken but unmistakable goal of preventing millions of mostly Democratic voters, including students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly, from casting ballots in 2012. More than a dozen states, from Texas to Wisconsin and Florida, have passed laws designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process, whether by requiring birth certificates to register to vote, restricting voter registration drives, curtailing early voting, requiring government-issued IDs to cast a ballot, or disenfranchising ex-felons.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/gop-war-on-voting-targets-swing-states-20120309#ixzz1oukTYU6z
The National Urban League is set to release the 2012 State of Black America (SOBA) report at historic Howard University on March 7, 2012, launching a yearlong campaign, “Occupy the Vote to Educate, Employ & Empower” at a monumental TOWN HALL Event.
The 2012 State of Black America report includes the Equality Index providing a statistical diagnosis of the status of Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites as well as essays by a host of political, business, and community leaders including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, President and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc H. Morial, singer John Legend, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, entrepreneur and author Steve Stoute, and a host of others with prescriptions for the employment and education crisis facing the nation. With new voter ID laws and voting rights under attack, the 2012 State of Black America will inspire you to “Occupy the Vote” in this important election year.
FREE and open to the public, the TOWN HALL Event will feature community and thought leaders, and a coalition of Civil Rights organizations.
Poor record keeping at the registration stage is not evidence of fraud at polling places. These bad records are not leading to fraud but could lead to the perception of fraud.
What seems clear is that many people who are eligible to vote and want to do so fail because of flaws in the registration rolls. In 2008, roughly “2.2 million votes were lost because of registration problems,” according to a report from the Voting Technology Project of the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
THE 2012 general election campaign is likely to be a fight for every last vote, which means that it will also be a fight over who gets to cast one.
Partisan skirmishing over election procedures has been going on in state legislatures across the country for several years. Republicans have called for cutbacks in early voting, an end to same-day registration, higher hurdles for ex-felons, the presentation of proof-of-citizenship documents and regulations discouraging registration drives. The centerpiece of this effort has been a national campaign to require voters to present particular photo ID documents at the polls. Characterized as innocuous reforms to preserve election integrity, beefed-up ID requirements have passed in more than a dozen states since 2005 and are still being considered in more than 20 others.
To view the entire article click the following link: http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/07/05/entrepreneur-of-the-week-hans-goff-makes-politics-personal/