Your Handy Guide to Voter Suppression in 2013

Thanks to  a mailing from True the Vote I received in  mid-March, 2013,  it’s easy to see the Republicans working long and hard, night and day, in a coordinated effort to suppress voters across the US in time for the 2014 elections.

Below are the bills that True the Vote is opposing or supporting. I’ve put a handy thumbs-up in BLUE for “good” legislation (i.e. legislation that make voting more accessible for more people..) Bills aimed at voter suppression (making voting difficult and complicated, or opening it up to fraud) are marked with a RED thumbs-down. 

True the Vote bills itself as an organization fighting for “voter integrity”. The very act of voting is an act of integrity as a citizen of our country. They’ve had a lot of trouble winning donors and friends with that concept, however, and have been suspected in being a party to fraud and disenfranchisement in the state of Ohio and other heavily-contested areas. Ironically, this “voter integrity” effort has even been caught faking signatures. 

The GOP is rebranding, but they’re not actually changing their platform or their voter suppression efforts. Expect them to come out with some real whoppers this year – ditching their “voter integrity” efforts for more energizing phrases, such as “election integrity”, “fair but equal elections” and calling these new efforts “voter’s rights”. I’m only kind of joking here. But don’t worry, they’re not fighting to help you or me. 🙂

A quick glance at Texas (scroll alphabetically) show just how far they will go to suppress legitimate voters.  And yes, this post is easily a TLDR (too long, didn’t read) type of posting. So if you’re short on time, take a look at Texas and see if YOUR state is on this list.


ARKANSAS: Conduct of Elections Bill, SB 634  offers easier voting access for disabled.

This is a bill scheduled to be hears by the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee. It allows other people, outside of election officials, to be designated to assist a disabled person with marking and casting their ballot. People with home health aids and other caretakers usually rely on this assistance in their everyday life. Often the person caring for them assists them in all activities of daily living.

voter-suppression-2013-1Find  & contact your Arkansas state senator to SUPPORT this bill.


CALIFORNIA: Conduct of Elections Bill, SJR 6  requires a minimum number of election workers so that voting sites are staffed, and that long lines at the polls are remedied so everyone gets a chance to vote.

This is a measure proclaiming support for the the Federal Lines Interfere with National Elections Act of 2013. Lines Interfere with National Elections Act of 2013 or LINE Act of 2013.  This act amends the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require each state to provide for the minimum required number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources (including all other physical resources) for each voting site on the day of any federal election and on any days during which the state allows early voting for a federal election in accordance with standards established under this Act.

voter-suppression-2013-1

Find & contact your California state senator to SUPPORT this bill.

You can also sign this petition to support the Federal Lines Interfere with National Elections Act of 2013.


FLORIDA – Voter Registration Bill, HB 1045 makes it easier to register to vote.

If you move, you can update your address & vote at your new precinct, all in one place.

Felon & Anti-discrimination Voting Bill, HB 1259  allows felons to register to vote, and protects from voting discrimination.

The bill was filed. This bill declares the “explicit, fundamental right to vote and guarantee to free, fair, and accessible elections” in Florida and protects against discrimination based on gender, income, age, disability, etc. A person who has been convicted of a felony and has served his or her sentence may register to vote and may vote in any election after his or her right to vote has been restored.

Early Voting Bill, HB 1259 creates more early voting options.

This bill allows the supervisor of elections to offer early voting before the official early voting period on specific days before a state or federal election, up to two weeks in advance of the election. This bill designates more early voting centers and takes advantage of public sites such as fairgrounds, civic centers, courthouses, county commission buildings, stadiums, and convention centers.

voting laws make it easier to vote in Florida

Find and contact your Florida senator to SUPPORT these bills.


 IOWA  Voter ID Bill, HSB 23 makes voting without ID a big pain.

This bill requires voters to show government-issued, photographic proof of identification. A voter without ID may otherwise vote a provisional ballot, but they have to come back and prove their identity before their vote will be counted.

Voter suppression laws 2013Find and contact your Iowa state legislator to REJECT this bill. 


ILLINOIS:

Voter ID Bill in Illinois HB 3007  is a voter ID bill.

The bill was referred to the Rules Committee. This bill requires that a person seeking to vote on election day present a government-issued photo identification card to the election judge and will go into effect immediately.

Early Voting Bill, HB 3030 offers an in-person grace period for voting – however, to its detriment, it eliminates discretion with mail-in ballots, which could cause traveling and military voters to not be counted. 

This bill provides that the election authority shall offer in-person grace period voting at his or her office, and may offer in-person grace period voting at additional locations specifically designated for that purpose by the election authority.

Voter suppression laws 2013

 Find and contact your Illinois representative to REJECT these bills.


MINNESOTA

Challenger Bill, HF 894 

This bill allows registered voters who changes their legal residence  to update their address and vote a regular ballot at their new precinct, among other provisions.

voting laws make it easier to vote in FloridaFind and contact your Minnesota representative to SUPPORT this bill.

Election Day Registration Bill, SF 916 

This bill reduces the maximum number of permitted registered voter proof-of-residence signed oaths on Election Day. Such oaths are used to verify individuals who register and vote on Election Day. A voter can “vouch” for a neighbor, church member, etc. just 3 times.

Voter suppression laws 2013

Find and contact your Minnesota representative to REJECT this bill.


NEVADA – Felon Voting Rights Bill, AB 301X 

This bill removes all exceptions to the restoration of the right to vote of a person convicted of a felony out-of-state. Current Nevada law requires residents who have been convicted of felonies in other states to restore their voting rights under the other states’ laws.

voting laws make it easier to vote in Florida

Find and contact your  Nevada representative to SUPPORT this bill.


NORTH CAROLINA Early Voting Bill, HB 188 expands early voting times.

This bill mandates a minimum of 20 hours of “one-stop voting” and early voting on weekends “with not less than six or more than eight of those 20 hours on the final Saturday.”

voting laws make it easier to vote in Florida

Find and contact your representative to SUPPORT this bill


OHIO Voter Registration Bill, HB 78 

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Policy and Legislative Oversight. This bill requires the secretary of state to create an online voter registration system that forces voters to go through an identity verification process that appears quite complicated.

Voter suppression laws 2013

Find and contact your Ohio representative to REJECT this bill.


OREGON Voter Registration Bill, HB 3386 could purge qualified voters from the rolls based on trial and error – no specifics are given on the ‘how’.  

This bill establishes a task force on Voter Inactivation and Voter Registration Maintenance. The bill directs the task force to study how to prevent erroneous voter registration inactivation and improve accuracy of voter registration information maintenance.

Proof of Citizenship Bill, HB 3428  could suppress legal immigrants from voting by complicating voter registration for naturalized citizens. 

The bill was first read and referred to Speaker’s desk. This bill requires evidence of citizenship for individuals registering to vote for the first time in this state.

Voter suppression laws 2013

Find and contact your Oregon representative to REJECT these bills.


TEXAS has so many bills meant to control voting on the table, and most of them work hard to disenfranchise legal immigrants and stop fair voting practices. It’s almost absurd. True the Vote proposed most of these bills.  You can see what their agenda is, quite clearly, by looking at the state of Texas. If you’re a Texas voter, please make some phone calls and fight these absurd new proposals.

Poll Watcher ID Bill, HB 1303 

The bill is currently in the House Elections Committee. This bill requires that all poll watchers must wear an identifying badge while on duty in a polling location. This could lead to harassment of watchers — especially online, where conservatives love to “dox” people.

Poll Watcher ID Bill, SB 160 

The bill is currently in the Senate State Affairs Committee. This bill requires that all poll watchers must wear an identifying badge while on duty in a polling location (similar to HB 1303).

Conduct of Elections Bill, HB 1252 

This bill sets clear protocols for the removal of an alternative judge by a presiding judge in a polling place, among other provisions making it easier for bias and manipulation at a polling place based on your politics or other discrimination.

Conduct of Elections Bill, HB 1783 

The bill is currently in the House Elections Committee. This bill establishes clear guidelines for poll workers to be removed for cause – but the bill does not specify what conditions these are, at present.

Residency Requirement Bill, HB 966 

The bill is currently in the House Elections Committee. This bill establishes definitions for residence as it pertains to voter registration. The bill does not apply to armed forces or dependents or a student enrolled full-time at an institution of higher education. It will affect the homeless and people with unstable living situations, who rely on PO Boxes to get their mail.

Voter Roll Maintenance Bill, HB 2372 

The bill was filed. This bill allows the Secretary of State to coordinate with election officials from other states to routinely perform voter roll maintenance by cross-referencing records for duplicate registrations. Texas would join 21 other states in such an effort – possibly eliminating voters with duplicate names so they cannot vote.

Conduct of Elections Bill, HB 1181 

The bill is currently in the House Elections Committee. This bill requires clerks to designate voters who were served during early voting in the poll books to be used on Election Day.

Conduct of Elections Bill, HB 1560 

The bill is currently in the House Elections Committee. This bill makes the paying or receiving of monetary compensation for assisting mail-in voters a Class A misdemeanor. Social workers, nonprofits, and others who assist people with voter registration in the course of their duties could face possible criminal penalties, depending on how the law is applied.

Conduct of Elections Bill, HB 1428 

The bill is currently in the House Elections Committee. This bill provides a process for remedying ballots inappropriately accepted or rejected, giving the Secretary of State power to investigate the incident.

Voter Registration Bill, HB 1785 

Rather than rely on the postmark, all applications must be in-office by the voter registration date. This will disenfranchise absentee voters, including soldiers stationed overseas. Currently, the application date is determined by the postmark.

Early Voting Bill, HB 2106

The bill was filed. This bill reduces the early voting period from 12 to seven days. It provides early voting on each weekday and Saturday. An election authority may provide early voting on Sunday during the early voting period.

Voter Registration Bill, SB 910

This bill provides that voter registration applications may be delivered via fax machine. In order to be counted, the registration application must be submitted by mail no later than the fourth business day after the faxed application was received. The bill further includes provisions regarding electronic voting systems. This opens voting up to massive fraud. How many voters are using fax machines?  Fax machines are one of the most unreliable forms of communication available today. But a lot of businesses and corporations use them. Huh.

Voter suppression laws 2013

Find and contact your Texas representative to REJECT these bills.


UTAH Voter Registration Bill, HB 378

This bill amends provisions for a poll worker to provide a provisional ballot to a voter who may not live in the voting precinct but is a resident of the county and allows a voter to have a provisional ballot used as a voter registration form in the voter’s county of residence; and makes other changes that make it much, much easier to register to vote.

voting laws make it easier to vote in Florida

Find and contact your Utah representative to SUPPORT this bill.


WISCONSIN 

Early Voting Bill, AB 54

This bill eliminates early voting on the weekends and evenings, leaving voters who work more than one job or a trying day job without the time to vote. I bet this is especially meant for those pesky union members.

Voter suppression laws 2013

Find and contact your Wisconsin representative to REJECT this bill.

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