Project Wonderful

Monday, September 24, 2012

Voter Suppression Round Up

So much is going on in the Republican War On Voting, that even I am starting to lose track. I thought it might be helpful to put down on internet paper some of the cases I've mentioned on the blog and where they stand right now.

A federal court rejected Texas' voter ID law, which means it will (likely) not be in effect for the November election. However, Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott has pledged to appeal the ruling. If the Supreme Court agrees with him, the law could be in effect in future elections. In addition, part of the lawsuit that Abbott filed challenges the validity of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which states that jurisdictions with a history of racial prejudice (including Texas) need to get changes in local voting law approved by a federal court before they can be enacted. This may wind up leading to landmark case.

South Carolina
Federal court closing arguments on South Carolina's voter ID law ended today, so we will have to wait and watch.

The State Supreme Court returned the Voter ID Case to lower court vacating a prior ruling that would have upheld the controversial law. The Supreme Court is asking the lower court to review whether it is really practical for voters to get the necessary ID to comply with the law and vote before election day.

Voting Rights advocates have successfully overturned a law that heavily restricts community based voter registration drives. Florida has also stopped its purge of voter rolls upon the revelation that the government was using outdated lists. However, the Justice Department has sustained Florida's decision to eliminate early voting on the Sunday before election day, when black churches traditionally run their "Souls to the Polls" programs.

The Obama campaign and other plaintiffs successfully fought Secretary of State John Husted over a diminished early voting period by arguing that under the Equal Protection Clause Ohio had to offer the same early voting hours to civilians as were offered to military personnel. Then bizarely Husted issued a directive prohibiting counties from following the ruling and U.S. District Judge Peter Economus hauled Husted into court personally. Economus has rejected a request to delay enforcement of the law. The case is currently being appealed.

As you can see, many of these cases are still unsettled, so please feel free to shoot me a note correcting me with more updated information.

Keep fighting the good fight,


  1. I apologize for the nitpicking, but...

    "U.S. District Judge Peter Economus *hauled* Husted into court personally."

    Also, thanks for the update!

  2. I just wanted to clarify something for you, re: Texas. Even if, by some miracle, the recent Fed court ruling is overturned prior to the 2012 gen election, and the law put into effect, it will not be in place for the November election, because there will need to be enough time to train election day poll workers and have other systems put in place. I think they have a mandatory time frame they work with on that, and unlike Michigan, we don't have an end run around the Texas Constitution, by declaring the issue a state of emergency (yet). They'd also have to go through a big hulabaloo of actually calling a special session (the TX Lege meets once every other year in odd numbered years), and if they were hesitant to do so to deal with the overwhelming budget issues at the end of the last legislative session, I can't even begin to imagine the public outcry at calling a special session to deal with voter suppression and not women's health. :o)

  3. No, thank YOU! I know the difference between hauled and halled (is halled even a word?) but my only chance to blog is at 2 in the morning when my editing skills are not at their best, so I appreciate the help.

  4. Bethany that is what I understood to be the case, but when I was looking for articles to share on the subject the all said the law was "unlikely" to go into effect and I wanted to cover my bases. Here is an example Can you shed some light?