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Voting Rights: Missouri’s Voter ID Law Goes Back To Court

Voting rights primer
August 26, 2019 10:01 a.m.

Voter ID On Trial In Missouri: A week-long trial in the legal challenge brought against Missouri’s voter ID law ended on Friday. The state court lawsuit was brought by the ACLU on behalf of the NAACP and League of Women Voters, who argued the state has not done enough to educate voters about the new law. The law has already been narrowed by other court rulings that nixed the affidavit those without  photo ID were required to sign because its language was misleading.

The Trade Maneuver That Would Affect How Americans Overseas Vote: Back in June, I wrote about how Trump’s push to leave the Universal Postal Union, which regulates international mail delivery, could make voting more costly and burdensome for overseas voters, including military members. Now state elections officials are ringing the alarm, with Kentucky elections director Jared Dearing raising the issue at a recent EAC forum and telling the commission that sending ballots could cost as much as $60-a-voter if the exit — slated for October — happens. 

Ohio’s Push To Purge Continues To Be Messy: The war over Ohio’s upcoming voter purge hasn’t died down:

  • Voter advocates said they had found 4,000 active voters improperly on the purge list.
  • Secretary of State Frank LaRose countered that those were voters who had re-activated their registrations as part of the outreach effort and they had already been removed from the purge list.
  • When pressed LaRose admitted he hadn’t checked the actual names to confirm it was the same 4,000 individuals. Altogether, 10,000 voters were removed from the purge list as part of the outreach effort, he said.
  • State House Dems found a separate set of voters — 6,500 total — who they say shouldn’t on the list.
  • Another analysis of the purge list, published by the Dispatch on Sunday, found that some 1,600 eligible voters were improperly sent last-chance notices ahead of the coming purge. That discrepancy appears to stem from an error by the vendor that several Ohio counties use for list maintenance

LaRose — who also unveiled a bipartisan automated voter registration bill last week — has not backed down from plans to conduct the purge on Sept. 6.

Another Win For Census Citizenship Question Challengers: We’re still waiting for the next steps on the ACLU’s request for sanctions in the New York census citizenship case. But in a separate case brought in Maryland, civil rights groups secured an appeals court order removing language from the trial court’s ruling that said there was insufficient evidence of discriminatory intent. The Maryland challengers sought to remove the line with the revelation that a now-deceased gerrymandering expert — who previously studied how the citizenship data could be used to diminish the political power of Latinos — was involved in the push to add the question.

ALEC Getting Into The Census GOP Power Grab Game: You can tell that Republicans are taking seriously the idea of switching to citizen-based redistricting if they’re using ALEC to push the proposal. At ALEC’s annual conference this month, conservative advocates encouraged state legislators to adopt the redistricting metric — which will shrink the political representation of immigrant communities — while a Census Bureau official confirmed that states will have access to that citizenship data.

Dem Group Targeting State Secretary of State Races: The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State will try to flip five secretaries of state offices in 2020 and also will support Democratic candidates a handful more secretary of state elections in 2019. In many states, the secretary of state has a key role in administering elections.

Michigan Redistricting Reform Gets A Second Legal Challenge: The Michigan GOP on Thursday sued the state’s secretary of state over the redistricting reform initiative she’s implementing. This lawsuit is in addition to the lawsuit individual Michigan Republicans brought against the redistricting commission. Both lawsuits challenge the same aspect of the commission — its system of vetting potential commissioners that excludes party operatives and politicians — but use different legal arguments to do so.

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