New Voting Laws

There is no doubt that partisan administration of elections suppresses the vote. Methods of voter suppression include one sided photo ID laws, purging voter rolls of legitimate voters, and felon disenfranchisement after completion of a sentence. Texas provides an example of one sided photo ID requirements in that concealed handgun licenses are permitted while student IDs are not. Alabama state government has admitted that between 10 and 20 percent of voters don’t have the identification needed to vote because of its photo ID requirements. In addition, election officials in many states make sure there are long lines at certain polling places to suppress the vote. Disinformation about voting procedures has been a tactic used by both public officials and political groups.

Since the beginning of 2011, 25 laws and 2 executive actions passed in 19 states have made it harder to vote. Several states reduced their early voting periods. In 2008, more than a third of all US voters took advantage of the convenience of early voting. Voting rights advocates have fought back and nearly a dozen courts have overturned or weakened restrictive measures, and the …

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2012 Wisconsin Election and Polls

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Wisconsin Presidential Election Results

Updated Nov. 18, 2012

CANDIDATE
VOTES
PCT.
WINNER

Barack Obama
1,613,950
50.0%

Mitt Romney
1,408,746
46.1%
 

Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes have enormous importance in the 2012 presidential election. If President Barack Obama hangs on in Ohio, Wisconsin and either Iowa or Nevada, he wins a second term. If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lose Ohio, the Badger State is a must-win.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen recently wrote in an article titled “Wisconsin may be the new Ohio,”: “On election night, the first places to watch will be Virginia and Florida. If Romney wins there, watch Ohio. If the president wins Ohio, Wisconsin is likely to be the decisive battleground state of Election 2012.”

Recent Wisconsin polling (below) shows a close race with Romney gaining slightly in one presidential poll. Rasmussen Reports most recent poll shows President Barack Obama and former governor Mitt Romney tied at 49 percent each with likely Wisconsin voters. With Ohio trending more and more toward Obama, insiders near the Romney campaign have reported that the GOP candidate sees Wisconsin as the more viable option to defeat the incumbent president. Election experts see Wisconsin as a better state to …

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Virginia Presidential Race

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Virginia Presidential Election Results

Updated Nov. 18, 2012

CANDIDATE
VOTES
PCT.
WINNER

Barack Obama
1,905,528
52.8%

Mitt Romney
1,789,618
47.8%
 

Virginia and its 13 electoral votes are in play this year and it’s a crucial battleground state. While ranked the 27th most conservative state and 0.97 percent more Republican than the national average, the population is trending Democrat in presidential elections.

In recent days, most Virginia polls have Barack Obama gaining on Mitt Romney, but only by a hair. While Ohio has received a lot of media attention in the race for president, Virginia may decide the presidential election along with control of the U.S. Senate.

For the 2012 general election, the Virginia voter registration deadline was October 15. The state allows in-person ballot casting ahead of Election Day – but state officials call it in-person absentee voting and voters need an excuse to do it. This year, early voting began Sept. 21. Certain individuals can vote by mail. Ballots must be sealed in the official envelope provided in the presence of a witness and be sent or hand delivered to the local voter registration office.

From 1952 through 2004, Virginia was reliably Republican. The only exception was …

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Voting Rights Act of 1965

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The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C.A. § 1973 et seq.) prohibits the states and their political subdivisions from imposing voting qualifications or prerequisites to voting, or standards, practices, or procedures that deny or curtail the right of a U.S. citizen to vote because of race, color, or membership in a language minority group. A product of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the Voting Rights Act has proven to be an effective, but controversial, piece of legislation.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 grew out of both public protest and private political negotiation. Starting in 1961, nonviolent demonstrations were held in Georgia and Alabama. The hope of organizers was to attract national media attention and pressure the U.S. government to protect the constitutional rights of blacks. Newspaper photos and TV broadcasts of Birmingham’s racist police commissioner, Eugene Connor, and his men violently attacking the protesters with water hoses, police dogs, and nightsticks awakened the consciences of whites.

Selma, Alabama was the site of the next campaign. In the first three months of 1965, local residents and visiting volunteers held a series of marches demanding an equal right …

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Ten things to know about voting

An election checklist for voters before and as they vote

Study the issues and candidates using nonpartisan resources: Make use of fact check organizations who seek to offset inaccurate, misleading, or false claims by politicians and partisan political groups.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, is a good source for election information.

 

Know your rights and responsibilities before heading out to the polls: To vote in many states, voters must provide a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows the name and address of the voter. The ability to register to vote on Election Day is available in 8 states. Make sure you sign in before taking a ballot.

 

Photo ID is sometimes required: Many states have adopted strict voter photo ID requirements since 2011. Although the courts have thrown out a few of them, check your state election office or local clerk’s office before Election Day. Voters who are unable to show proper ID at the polls should be given a provisional ballot.

 

Check your voter registration status with your municipal clerk or your state elections Website. Some states have …

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