Election Law 


Combating Voter Fraud:

The SGLF is invested in helping ensure election integrity and the guarantee that valid votes count in every state across the country. Reducing voter fraud will increase confidence in the election system overall. Common sense efforts such as voter identification are critical towards this effort. Placing limits on same-day voter registration and other early and same day voting laws will also help ensure integrity in our system. Even one invalid vote threatens our entire election system.

In order to maintain a high level of integrity in our elections, more solutions to the voter fraud issue need to be encouraged across the country. Elections are managed at the state level, and it is vital that they remain an integral part of the election law discussion.

Combating the National Popular Vote Movement:

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact – as of August 8, 2011, when California joined the Compact – now has 49% of the 270 electoral votes necessary for the compact to come into effect.

The states, along with their electoral vote tallies, that are a part of the compact include:

VT-3
WA-12
NJ-14
MA-11
CA-55
  MD-10
IL-20
DC-3
HI-4

The compact is based on Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution, which gives each state legislature the right to decide how to appoint its own electors.

The compact specifies that it shall take effect only if it is in states controlling 270 or more electoral votes by July 20th of a Presidential election year.

The National Popular Vote Compact (NPV), if put into place, would mean more recounts and unbelievably contentious elections. Under NPV, every single vote in every single precinct in every state across the country is of value. Recounts of this nature draw into question multiple election law complexities. Currently, each state has laws qualifying recounts, candidates, and voters. Note that recounts would’ve been necessary in as many as 6 elections since 1880 – one out of every 6 elections. (Bradley A. Smith, Vanity of Vanities: National Popular Vote and the Electoral College, 7 Election L.J. 196 (2008).

  • “In 2000, Al Gore’s popular vote margin was 0.51 percent, which would have triggered a national recount under the mandatory standard adopted in three of eleven states with mandatory recount statues, and permitted a recount in seven of twelve states placing a percentage floor on optional recounts. It was barely outside the margin triggering a mandatory recount in another five states with mandatory recount percentage triggers and two states with optional recount triggers. The 1960 election, in which John Kennedy defeated Nixon by just 0.2 percent, would have triggered a mandatory national recount under the standard used in ten of eleven states using statutory triggers, and would have met the requirements for a recount in eleven of twelve states with an optional standard. The election of 1880, in which James A. Garfield won the popular vote by 0.1% over Winfield Hancock, would have triggered a recount in any of the 23 states using a percentage threshold. The elections of 1884, 1888, and 1968 would also have triggered nationwide recounts under a one percent rule. In short, under a national popular vote, applying commonly accepted standards for recounts, there is reason to believe we might have had several national recounts” Note, this comes to six recounts. Since 1900, top 2 candidates have had a margin of less than 10% in 16 of the last 20 election.

NPV brings voter fraud, actually it encourages voter fraud – and it spills over into other states. Voter fraud is taken nationwide, as each vote in each precinct could make the difference in an election.

Additional Resources


Heritage Study: Destroying the Electoral College
CATO STUDY on the National Popular Vote
Heroes Vote Initiative

Although swing states would no longer be important, populated urban centers would take their place. Swing states can change from election to election, but these populated urban centers would always garner the most attention from presidential candidates. If the NPV compact comes into effect, the Presidential election would become a race for essentially 11% of the most popular states as they make up about 56% of the population. The race would mostly center on large states with largely urban issues as opposed to states or areas with rural issues.

Despite the aim at amending the Constitution without an amendment, the NPV Compact if approved, would also have to be approved by Congress as it surpasses purely local compact requirements and affects national government.

State laws regarding voter eligibility would be deemed null and void under NPV. Under the Electoral College system, voters who are eligible in one state have no bearing on another state’s electoral votes. Under NPV, ineligible voters in one state will be on an equal level with eligible voters in another state.

If put into effect, NPV will cause a constitutional crisis on numerous fronts.

News & Articles

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller: Working To Silence His Critics (For You!)

Written by Jonathan Keim for National Review Online on April 15, 2014Election Law
The Left’s feverish national battle to silence its critics is escalating in Nevada. Attorney General candidate Ross Miller recently solemnly vowed to attack a conservative advocacy group, the State Government Leadership Foundation (SGLF), after it dared to call him out for living the high life...Miller appears to have already started attacking SGLF. A left-wing organization run by Miller’s former deputy, Matt Griffin, filed an election complaint against SGLF about ten days after Miller made his public threats. But Miller is the chief elections official in Nevada. Aside from the clear conflict of interest and the fact that Miller has already pre-judged the issue, Miller’s threats make this situation particularly dangerous to free speech. I’m getting shivers just thinking about the chilling effects.
Read original article

Old friend helping in SOS’ war on conservatives

Written by M.D. Kittle for Watchdog.org on April 14, 2014Election Law
MADISON, Wis. — In the national battle by liberal government officials working to silence conservative activists, one Nevada group is fighting back. The State Government Leadership Foundation, a conservative nonprofit under attack by Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, recently filed an open records request with the agency hoping to track the communications between Miller and his political henchman and former underling, Matt Griffin. Miller, Nevada’s chief elections official, last month threatened SGLF, demanding it cough up its donors list. “I will continue to review every legal option to compel this front group to reveal its special-interest donors,” Miller said in March. Miller is upset about the foundation’s ad and $500,000 web campaign that, in part, exposes the secretary of state for taking $60,000 in gifts from a variety of donors, many of them corporate contributors.
Read original article

Sound familiar? Top Nevada Dem official vows to pursue conservative group

Written by M.D. Kittle for Watchdog.org on April 11, 2014Election Law
Nevada’s Democrat secretary of state says he’ll do all in his power to crush a conservative organization that ran ads against him in his campaign to become the state’s attorney general. Sound familiar? It’s part of a “disturbing trend,” said Matthew Walter, executive director of the State Government Leadership Foundation, the conservative nonprofit behind the ads that earned the ire of Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller. “This is all about freedom of speech,” Walter said. “Whether it’s President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service and their unbalanced scrutiny into conservative organizations, or whether it’s Ross Miller with his threats and blustering in Nevada, what we see far too often are liberal groups defending the right to free speech until they don’t personally agree with the content. At that point, they throw up every roadblock they can to hinder the individual’s right to free speech.”
Read original article

EDITORIAL: Miller, Democrats overreach to expose donors

Published in LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL on April 02, 2014Election Law
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller is no fan of anonymous political speech, never mind the country’s long history of such protected expression. But the collective push from Democrats to root out conservative donors reveals the backers of such speech have good reason to keep their names secret. Mr. Miller lauded last week’s agreement on the largest-ever fine imposed for a Nevada campaign finance violation, a $40,000 settlement with the Alliance for America’s Future over 2010 advertisements that indirectly supported the gubernatorial candidacy of Brian Sandoval. The secretary of state insists that, under state law, all third-party groups that engage in protected political expression in Nevada must first register with his office and submit reports detailing their contributions — including donor information — and expenses. However, groups are exempt from such disclosure requirements if they avoid what the U.S. Supreme Court has defined as “express advocacy,” meaning a clear call to vote for or against someone. The Alliance for America’s future very well might have crossed that line in supporting now-Gov. Sandoval, as evidenced by its decision to drop an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, pay the fine and disclose its donor: the Republican Governor’s Public Policy Committee.
Read original article

Arkansas GOP asks to Intervene in Voter-ID Suit

Written by The Associated Press for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on March 27, 2014Election Law
The Arkansas Republican Party is asking to intervene in a lawsuit over how absentee ballots are handled under the state’s new voter ID law, arguing that the Democratic attorney general can’t properly represent GOP voters in the case. The GOP on Wednesday asked to help defend a state panel that is being sued by the Pulaski County Election Commission for voting to allow absentee voters additional time to present photo identification if they don’t include proof with their absentee ballots. The lawsuit claims the state Board of Election Commissioners overstepped its bounds by approving the rule.
Read original article

Schultz, many Iowans still solidly back voter ID laws

Written by Jason Noble for The Des Moines Register on December 15, 2013Election Law
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz remains bullish on voter ID laws, despite years of legislative defeats and scant evidence of the problem they’re meant to prevent. Such laws, enacted in states across the country in recent years, require voters to show a photo ID at the polls and are aimed at stopping voter impersonation — when an imposter shows, claiming to be someone else. But reported impersonation cases are extremely rare in Iowa. Schultz’s partnership with the DCI to investigate voter fraud has yielded no such incidents, although there was one apparent case in Linn County last spring. Kristina Bentrim, a schoolteacher from Cedar Rapids, went to vote in the March 5 casino referendum, only to discover someone had already showed up, claimed to be her and cast a vote.
Read original article

DELBERT HOSEMANN: Mississippi Voter ID is free for the asking

Written by Delbert Hosemann for The Sun Herald on December 11, 2013Election Law
The majority of Mississippi voters cast a ballot in favor of a constitutional photo identification requirement. As Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer for the state of Mississippi, the Mississippi Legislature has tasked our agency with implementing Voter ID. While the vast majority of us have one of the many forms of acceptable photo ID, there are some Mississippians who lack proper identification. We need your help identifying those individuals prior to the June 3, 2014, Primary Election. Any registered voter who lacks an acceptable photo ID is eligible to receive a free Mississippi Voter ID card, and we are committed to ensuring those individuals have one prior to the June 3 Primary Election.

The Secretary of State's Office has worked with multiple state agencies to facilitate the Voter ID requirement. Our office worked closely with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to provide free transportation to any individual who needs assistance obtaining a Mississippi Voter ID card. We have worked with the Mississippi Department of Health's Office of Vital Records to provide a free verification of birth record if an individual has no other means to verify their identity to receive a free Mississippi Voter ID card. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has also provided invaluable input in facilitating this requirement. Voting is the key to our democracy. We are committed to ensuring everyone who is qualified to vote has the opportunity to cast a ballot. We encourage you to call our office at 1-855-868-3745 or visit our website at MSVoterID.ms.gov for more information. We look forward to working with you to implement the constitutional photo identification requirement and appreciate your help in the process.
Read original article

Legislators deciding election issues

Measures would increase rules for absentee ballot voting, mailings

Written by JIM PROVANCE for The BLADE on December 06, 2013Election Law
COLUMBUS — Voting advocates on Thursday urged Gov. John Kasich to veto bills headed for his desk that they argue could make it more difficult to cast a ballot and be sure it was counted. The Ohio Senate has gone home for the year, but the state House of Representatives is expected to return next week to consider several election-related bills passed by the upper chamber. The measures would increase the information voters must provide to obtain absentee ballots and prohibit mass-mailing of absentee ballot applications to registered voters by any public official other than the secretary of state — and even then, only when the General Assembly appropriates funding. Another would reduce the number of days for absentee voting by mail or in person to eliminate the so-called “Golden Week,” in which would-be voters could register and then immediately cast a ballot. Yet another would increase information sharing among governmental entities, such as death certificates and driver’s license information, for cross-referencing with the state’s voter-registration database and change the formula to require fewer voting machines.
Read original article

Voter ID Gets Another Day in Court

Written by THE EDITORIAL BOARD for The New York Times on November 30, 2013Election Law
A federal trial in Milwaukee on Wisconsin’s 2011 voter ID law concluded recently, and the verdict, when it comes, will help define the future of the Voting Rights Act, which has been in question since the Supreme Court gutted a core provision, Section 5, in June. This case could also set an important precedent for lawsuits recently filed against similar laws in Texas and North Carolina. The Wisconsin law, which is now on hold, is among the strictest in the country. It requires a voter to show poll workers government-issued photo identification, like a driver’s license or passport.

The law’s challengers, which include the A.C.L.U., the League of United Latin American Citizens, the League of Young Voters and several private citizens, sued under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. That section, which survived the Supreme Court’s ruling, prohibits state and local governments from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting” that has a racially discriminatory effect. The test is whether a law causes minority voters to have “less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process.” The plaintiffs presented substantial evidence that the Wisconsin statute had precisely that effect.
Read original article

Voter ID cards are just months away in Mississippi

Written by NIRAJ CHOKSHI for The Washington Post on November 26, 2013Election Law
Implementation of Mississippi’s new voting requirements will begin with months to spare before its next election, according to a state official. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann told the Associated Press that Mississippi will soon start issuing free voter identification cards to eligible residents who lack a government-issued photo ID. Issuance of the cards is expected to begin in early 2014, months before the U.S. House and Senate primaries in June. Mississippi was among the handful of states that were able to proceed with new voting requirements without federal approval, following a summer Supreme Court ruling that invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act.

A total 34 states have passed some form of voter ID law — controversial requirements that vary from state to state — according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Some require photo IDs, some do not; some require IDs to vote while others provide alternatives. Opponents of the laws say they disproportionately affect women and erect what some say are too-high hurdles to vote, disenfranchising vulnerable groups like minorities and the poor. Proponents say they’re necessary to prevent fraud. Studies have found little evidence of the kind of fraud that has prompted voter ID laws, but a year-old Pew study found broad support for such requirements.
Read original article

Assembly GOP passes new voter ID law

Written by Gilman Halsted for Wisconsin Public Radio on November 18, 2013Election Law
The Republican majority in the state Assembly has passed a voter ID bill they say will withstand any legal challenges. But Democrats call it an attempt to suppress the vote of low income voters who often vote Democratic. The current voter ID bill is tied up in a federal court battle in Milwaukee, with closing arguments expected soon. Republican backers of this new bill, however, says it should insure that photo IDs will be required for most voters in the 2014 fall elections. The author of the bill, Republican state Rep. Mark Born, says it's needed to prevent voter fraud. “We're bringing this forward to make sure that we can have a fair and reasonable and accountable system, to make sure that every eligible voter can vote once in Wisconsin and prevent even one illegal vote.” The bill make exceptions for people who can't afford to buy a photo ID by requiring them to sign an affidavit saying they are indigent. Democratic opponents of the bill call that a demeaning process that will discourage poor voters from coming to the polls.
Read original article

New voter ID law tested during Texas election

Written by Rick Jervis for USA TODAY on November 05, 2013Election Law
AUSTIN — Texas voters are going to the polls Tuesday to vote on a slew of constitutional and municipal issues, from funding water projects to granting tax breaks to aerospace companies. But a deeper question is how voters adapt to the state's new controversial voter ID law, which was enacted earlier this year and is seeing its first statewide test Tuesday. The law says voters must have a valid photo ID with a name that matches the name on the voting rolls. Those without ID could still vote using provisional ballots and have six days to return with correct identification. Texas is one of 34 states that have passed voter ID laws, though not all of have been enacted due to future implementation dates or court challenges, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Read original article

New Voter ID law causing few problems

Written by ANNA M. TINSLEY for The Star-Telegram on October 26, 2013Election Law
The state’s voter ID law doesn’t seem to be creating significant problems at Texas polls so far, but election officials worry that the worst is in store. This year’s Nov. 5 election, which features constitutional amendments and proposals such as school and park bond packages, is drawing a trickle of Texas early voters to the polls, a drop in the bucket of what is expected next year. “We’ve really had no complaints, concerns or issues,” said Steve Raborn, elections administrator for Tarrant County. “But it’s only a small test given the low turnout. “Voters who turn out for these constitutional amendment and bond elections are frequent voters. They know the drill,” he said. “Next year, we probably will get a lot more voters, first-time voters or infrequent voters, and maybe they haven’t received that message.” This is the first statewide election in which Texans must show a photo ID to vote.
Read original article

TN Supreme Court upholds voter ID law, says it's not an undue burden

Lawmakers have authority to take steps to guard against fraud

Written by Chas Sisk for The Tennessean on October 18, 2013Election Law
The Tennessee Supreme Court upheld a 2011 law requiring photo identification at the polls, ruling that lawmakers had the authority to take steps to guard against fraud. The court ruled unanimously Thursday against the city of Memphis and two voters in Shelby County who had argued the ID requirement placed an unfair burden on the poor, elderly and others who lack driver’s licenses. Chief Justice Gary R. Wade wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court and many other state courts have upheld similar voter ID requirements. He also said that, while instances of people impersonating voters at the polls have not been documented in Tennessee, such cases have occurred elsewhere. “Protection of the integrity of the election process empowers the state to enact laws to prevent voter fraud before it occurs,” Wade said. “It is within the authority of the General Assembly to guard against the risk of such fraud in this state, so long as it does not do so in an impermissibly intrusive fashion.” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said the unanimous ruling shows the photo ID requirement did not harm voters, despite complaints from a small group of Tennesseans.
Read original article

N.C. governor calls voter ID suit an "overreach"

Written by Phil Hirschkorn for CBS News on October 01, 2013Election Law
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said he will "vigorously defend" his state's new voting reform law that is now under challenge by the U.S. Justice Department. Responding to the lawsuit calling the state's photo ID law discriminatory and regressive, McCrory said, "The federal government's action is an overreach and without merit." "This lawsuit will only result in costly legal bills and drawn out legal battles battles for both state and federal taxpayers," McCrory said. When North Carolina passed its strict photo voter ID law in July, it became the 13th state to do so in the past three years and the first since the Supreme Court in June struck down sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that granted the federal government de facto veto authority over election law changes in states where segregation was legal until the 1960s.

The Justice Department's civil lawsuit filed Monday in Greensboro, N.C., federal court objects not only to a new voter photo ID requirement but also to the reduction nearly by half in the number of days of early voting, the elimination of same day registration during the early voting period, and the rejection of "otherwise legitimate" provisional ballots cast in precincts where registered voters are not assigned to vote. "The Justice Department expects to show that the clear and intended effects of these changes would contract the electorate and result in unequal access to participation in the political process on account of race," said Attorney General Eric Holder in his remarks, in Washington, announcing the suit.
Read original article

New poll shows support for voter ID continues

Written by Craig Jarvis for Charlotte News-Observer on September 17, 2013Election Law
North Carolinians continue to feel strongly that people should have photo identification in order to vote, according to new poll results released Tuesday. But there is much less support for some of the other provisions in the massive elections bill that the governor signed into law last month. The High Point University survey found nearly three-fourths of those who answered interviewers’ questions approve of the new requirement that voters show government-issued photo identification (72 percent) beginning with the 2016 elections.

Yet a majority of those surveyed – 56 percent – don’t approve of eliminating same-day registration, and 55 percent don’t think shortening early voting from 17 to 10 days is a good idea. Those changes go into effect next year. Opinions on eliminating straight-party voting, another provision in the new law, are less clearly drawn: 45 percent want it eliminated, while 47 percent disapprove of the change. Similarly, the law allows for raising the limits on campaign contributions from $4,000 to $5,000 each election cycle: Forty-six percent of respondents like the increase and 42 percent don’t. “You do have a mixed bag,” said High Point assistant professor of political science Martin Kifer. “Voter ID seems to make sense to people when they hear about it.”
Read original article

DPS Starts Saturday Hours To Issue Voter ID Cards

Published in CBS Dallas Fort Worth on September 14, 2013Election Law
AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Nearly 50 Department of Public Safety offices across Texas will open on Saturdays to issue election identification certificates ahead of voting in November. The agency announced Friday that the extended hours are only for those who need an ID in order to vote on Nov. 5. The offices will not transact any other business. Texas will hold a referendum on proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. It’s the first statewide election where officials will enforce a law requiring voters to produce a photo ID card to vote. To obtain a Voter ID, applicants must bring documentation that will verify U.S. citizenship, be a Texas resident and be 18 years old by the date of the election. If not, the state will furnish them. The law is under court challenge. Election judges will accept driver’s licenses, concealed handgun licenses, U.S. passports, military IDs or naturalization certificates with a photo. Anyone who does not have one of those documents may apply for a free election ID on Saturdays thru Nov. 2. Only certain DPS offices will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. No action is necessary for people who are registered to vote and already have an approved form of ID, such as a driver’s license
Read original article

The Latest Evidence of Voter Fraud — and Discrimination

Written by Hans Von Spakovsky and John Fund for National Review Online on September 09, 2013Election Law
Obama-administration officials and their liberal camp-followers who routinely claim there is no reason to worry about election integrity because vote fraud is nonexistent suffered some embarrassing setbacks last week. Federal law requires states to clean up their voter rolls.  In 2009, the Obama Justice Department dismissed, with no explanation, a lawsuit filed by the Bush administration asking Missouri for such a clean-up. It has since taken no action against any other state or jurisdiction since it has an unofficial policy of not enforcing this requirement. But private parties are starting to force changes. In Mississippi last Wednesday, the American Civil Rights Union won a significant victory for election integrity when a federal judge approved a consent decree in which Walthall County agreed to finally clean up its bloated voter-registration list. The county has more registered voters than the Census says it has eligible voters. The ACRU sued the county (which went for Romney in 2012) under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires election officials to maintain accurate voter rolls through a regular program that removes ineligible voters.

Walthall County will have to remove felons, noncitizens, decedents, and voters who have moved away from its registration list.  As part of the consent decree, the county agreed to start checking its voter list against other state and federal records maintained by the Mississippi DMV, the state departments of vital records and corrections, the local court and local tax authority,  the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security. The county must also notify local and federal law-enforcement officials when it finds individuals who registered or voted illegally, such as felons and noncitizens. The ACRU has a second suit still pending against Jefferson Davis County, Miss. (which went for Obama in 2012). This is the first time in the 20 years that the NVRA has been in force that a conservative group has sued to enforce Section 8, while liberal advocacy groups have filed many cases to try to stop election officials from cleaning up their registration lists, a practice which they foolishly label “voter suppression.”
Read original article

N.C. governor: Protect election integrity

Law I signed ensures North Carolina will remain a national leader in ballot access.

Written by Governor Pat McCrory for USA Today on August 28, 2013Election Law
Imagine if the Transportation Security Administration decided airline passengers no longer need a photo ID. Providing a name and destination would be good enough to board an airplane. No doubt, the public and our national elected representatives wouldn't stand for such lax protection. Similar concern has been expressed by new residents of North Carolina when they discover a photo ID isn't required at the polls. They're amazed that providing a name and address is all it takes to get inside the voting booth.

Newcomers aren't the only ones concerned. The vast majority of North Carolinians believe that photo ID should be required to cast a vote. In 2016, photo ID will be required to vote in North Carolina, just as it is today when citizens cash a check, apply for government benefits or even when buying cold remedies such as Sudafed. The need for photo ID has been questioned by those who say voter fraud isn't a problem in North Carolina. However, assuming fraud isn't a threat when multimillion dollar campaigns are trying to win in a state where millions of votes are cast is like believing oversight isn't needed against Wall Street insider trading.
Read original article

Controversial Texas Voter ID Law Likely Enforced Next Week

Published in CBS Dallas Fort Worth on August 23, 2013Election Law
AUSTIN (AP) — Unless a federal judge intervenes, the South Texas city of Edinburg could be the first to enforce a new voter ID law next week, and lawyers will likely use the special election to gather evidence to strengthen lawsuits to block it in the future. While the U.S. Justice Department and several civil rights groups have filed federal lawsuits to block the requirement that voters produce a state-issued photo ID, no one as of Friday had asked for a restraining order to stop enforcement of the law. That means it will be in effect when early voting in the city’s special election begins Wednesday. Allowing Texas to enforce the law could be part of a larger legal strategy to defeat it in the long run.

Texas has been the center of the fight over voting laws after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Congress must update how it enforces the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Texas is the only state in the last three years where a federal judge has ruled the Legislature intentionally discriminated against minorities. Federal judges in Corpus Christi are hearing two cases opposing Texas’ voter ID law: One filed in June by Democratic U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the NAACP and Dallas County and a new one filed Thursday by the Justice Department. Both cases will likely be combined by Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, an Obama administration appointee.
Read original article

North Carolina governor signs extensive Voter ID law

Written by Aaron Blake for The Washington Post on August 12, 2013Election Law
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Monday signed into law one of the nation’s most wide-ranging Voter ID laws. The move is likely to touch off a major court battle over voting rights, and the Justice Department is weighing a challenge to the new law. The measure requires voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polls and shortens the early voting period from 17 to 10 days. It will also end pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-old voters who will be 18 on Election Day and eliminates same-day voter registration.

Democrats and minority groups have been fighting against the changes, arguing that they represent an effort to suppress the minority vote and the youth vote, along with reducing Democrats’ advantage in early voting. They point out that there is little documented evidence of voter fraud. Republicans say that the efforts are necessary to combat such fraud and that shortening the window for early voting will save the state money. They also note that, while the North Carolina law makes many changes to how the state conducts its elections, most of its major proposals — specifically, Voter ID and ending same-day registration — bring it in line with many other states. More than three-fifths of states currently have some kind of Voter ID law, and even more have no same-day registration. Not all states allow in-person early voting.
Read original article

Obama advisers hear weaknesses of the U.S. voting system in Denver

Written by Adrian D. Garcia and Joey Bunch for The Denver Post on August 09, 2013Election Law
Western elected officials, including Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, told a presidential commission Thursday that the U.S. Postal Service and a lack of voter education are among some of the voting system's biggest weaknesses. Election officials from New Mexico, Oregon and Los Angeles said recent improvements made in their states may be undercut by the financially troubled Postal Service. "We're rapidly moving to a single point of failure in our elections system," Gessler told the bipartisan panel appointed by President Barack Obama in March.

The nation is also in need of a refresher in current voting regulations and practices, said Donetta Davidson, a former Colorado secretary of state who is the current executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association. "Our job in the future is trying to educate the voters better," Davidson told the commissioners. "That will take away some of the problems counties have been experiencing." President Obama announced the commission during his last State of the Union address. He charged the Presidential Commission on Election Administration with issuing a report of its findings and recommendations by December.
Read original article

Voter ID legislation passes General Assembly

Written by Cal Bryant for Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald on July 29, 2013Election Law
RALEIGH – Pending approval of Governor Pat McCrory, it appears North Carolina will have to show identification prior to being allowed to vote. Both sides of the NC General Assembly approved the legislation earlier this week. However, the final version of the bill, one that had undergone much debate since earlier this year, was not met with open arms. In a letter sent Friday, State Attorney General Roy Cooper urged McCrory to veto the legislation saying it would restrict North Carolinians’ access to the polls and is likely to face challenges in court

“I write to state my strong opposition to the election reforms contained in House Bill 589 and ask that you veto this regressive legislation,” Cooper wrote in the letter. “For years, North Carolina has taken steps that encourage people to vote while maintaining the integrity of the system.” Cooper’s letter highlights his policy objections to a number of provisions in the legislation that will make it harder for North Carolinians to vote. If signed into law, Cooper said the measure will severely restrict working people’s opportunities to vote early and on weekends; prevent new voters from pre-registering so that they can vote as soon as they turn 18 years of age; and stop people from voting if they show up at the wrong polling place by mistake.
Read original article

GOP legislators push sweeping election-law changes

Written by Ely Portillo for Charlotte Observer on July 24, 2013Election Law
RALEIGH State legislators are moving toward approving a sweeping set of changes to North Carolina’s election laws unveiled Tuesday, which would cut the number of early voting days, require voters to show government-issued photo IDs and eliminate several forms of voter registration. State Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, is leading the push for the new requirements. He defended the Senate’s proposed bill for two hours Tuesday during a Rules Committee hearing as necessary to “restore integrity” to the voting process and prevent fraud. Critics said the bill will make it harder for the elderly, poor, minorities and students to vote. One critic said “political bullies” were rigging the electoral system for their own interest. House speaker Thom Tillis, also a Mecklenburg Republican, said Tuesday that the House is likely to support some version of the Senate bill.
Read original article

State to open defense of voter ID law today

Written by Peter Jackson for Associated Press on July 24, 2013Election Law
HARRISBURG -- Plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's new voter identification law presented their final witnesses Tuesday in an effort to convince a state judge that it cannot be implemented without disenfranchising large numbers of voters. Three witnesses -- all older women who no longer have driver's licenses and rely mainly on relatives and friends for transportation -- testified in video recordings played before Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the yet-to-be-enforced mandatory photo ID requirement, one of the strictest in the nation, would discourage many such people from exercising their right to vote. State officials say any registered voter who lacks an acceptable ID can get a special Pennsylvania Department of State voting-only ID for free through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

One of the video witnesses, Patricia Norton, 73, testified that she gave up trying to get a free photo ID prior to last year's presidential election because of an unpleasant encounter with a PennDOT clerk and chronic back pain that requires her to use a wheelchair or a walker. Ms. Norton, who has lived in the Berks County borough of Womelsdorf for nearly a half-century, said a friend drove her on the 45-minute trip to the PennDOT licensing center in Shillington. The clerk said Ms. Norton would have to pay $13.50 for a non-driver ID card but, when she tried to pay in cash, the clerk said only a check or money order was acceptable. Lacking either, Ms. Norton left empty-handed.
Read original article