The DOJ stood up for noncitizen voting…and failed

The fight to protect a state’s ability to require proof of citizenship took a twisted, frightening turn this week -- yet election integrity won the first battle in the courtroom. These types of fights are typically won and lost out in the weeds, so the following is a simple timeline of events.

January 29 – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission notifies the states of Kansas, Georgia and Alabama that their respective requests to require that voter applicants submit proof of citizenship when using the National Mail Voter Registration Form has been granted. Left-wing groups immediately threaten legal action and demand a reversal.

February 12 – League of Women Voters, ACORN’s Project Vote, NAACP and others file a 200+ page lawsuit against the EAC, seeking to block citizenship checks.

February 22 – Responsible for defending the EAC in any lawsuit, the Obama DOJ turns hostile against its client agency and tells the court to grant the plaintiffs’ wish to fully block citizenship checks.

February 23 – D.C. Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon (Bush 43 appointee) denies the request of the plaintiffs and DOJ for a temporary restraining order, citing timeliness concerns and a skepticism toward claimed injuries. Judge Leon also lays out his expectation of a “full, adversarial briefing,” for future matters in the case -- meaning that the DOJ must represent its client’s actual wishes, not abandon them for political gain.

March 9 – The parties will meet in court again for a preliminary injunction hearing.

TTV Founder Catherine Engelbrecht responded in a statement this week.

What we are witnessing is the common thug ethic on unabashed display in Washington. Common thugs use fear and intimidation as a means to control. Common thugs take what they want, never mind the collateral damage. Common thugs walk out on their responsibilities for selfish convenience. But, these common thugs can be stopped if law-abiding citizens will stand their ground.”

 

Did you know? PEW Research highlighted a study that detailed the total amount it would cost to collect ALL voter files in the country. True the Vote’s national voter roll research databank costs $126,482 -- just for the raw data! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite our research efforts.

 

Get the latest on the March 2016 National Call

It’s amazing to see what can happen in just a few short weeks! We all recognize that securing the integrity of our elections requires a multi-front fight, and we want to keep you in the loop during our March conference call. Join TTV Founder Catherine Engelbrecht and crew as we walk through all of the challenges and opportunities to make a difference in your community’s elections this year. Limited space is available. Sign up for the March 8 call, beginning at 6pm Central Time right now!

 

A shout-out to our TTV Partners

What a difference even a small pledge makes! TTV’s mission sustainability is growing stronger every day thanks to folks like you who are making pledges to contribute to True the Vote on a monthly basis. If you haven’t joined yet, becoming a TTV Partner is easy: simply sign up for a monthly gift and receive under-the-hood insights into all of our work before the public does. And, of course, your donated funds are fully tax-deductible. Again, we thank all of you out there who are committed to our long-term success.

 

Legislation on the Move

Alabama

Voting Rights bill HB 245 was read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections. This bill would provide for the automatic restoration of voting rights of a person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude when he or she is discharged from incarceration. The bill would provide for absentee voting for people who are eligible to vote and are incarcerated.

Voter Registration bill HB 259 was read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections. This bill would provide for automatic voter registration of qualified people who apply for or renew a driver’s license or nondriver identification card. This bill would allow a person who does not want to register to vote to opt out.

Voting Rights bill HB 268 was read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives. This bill could create a definition of “moral turpitude” in order to establish a list of felonies that involve moral turpitude, which disqualify a person from voting under existing law.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Arizona

List Maintenance bill HB 2048 was transmitted to Senate. This bill requires the Dept. of Transportation to provide the secretary of state a monthly update of all address and name changes that the Dept. received in the previous month. The secretary may compare the voter registration database with the Dept. records to find discrepancies with the voters’ names or addresses. The secretary may annually request to review all Department records to compare with voter registration records.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

California

Voter Registration bill AB 2065 was filed and may be heard in committee March 19. This bill would amend California’s automatic voter registration law to require proof of citizenship to process a registration, and to provide that a person is only registered to vote if they affirmatively agreed to it. Currently, all citizens are registered to vote, unless they affirmatively decline. The bill would require the Dept. of Motor Vehicles to only send voter registration applications to the secretary of state if the person has submitted proof that they are a citizen of the United States.

Voter Registration bill AB 2067 was filed and may be heard in committee March 19. This bill would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to electronically provide records of a person to the Secretary of State pursuant to this program only if the person has submitted proof that he or she is a citizen of the United States, as specified.

List Maintenance bill AB 2433 was introduced. This bill would require the Secretary of State to enter into agreements to share information or data with other states or groups of states for the purpose of list maintenance. Specifically, the state would enter into agreements with Electronic Registration Information Center and the Interstate Voter Registration Data Crosscheck Program. The bill would require the secretary to ensure that any confidential information or data provided by another state remains confidential while in his or her possession, and would authorize the secretary to transmit confidential information or data pursuant to those agreements. The bill would also authorize the Secretary of State to adopt regulations necessary to implement these provisions.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Colorado

Voter Registration bill SB 107 passed the third Senate Reading. This bill would require potential circulators of voter registration applications to complete training by their drive organizer, and would require the drive to keep affirmations by the circulators. After the voter registration deadline, the circulator would also be required to inform electors that in order to vote in an upcoming election, the elector must submit a registration application at a polling center, clerk’s office, or online.

Early Voting Restrictions bill SB 112: Senate Third Reading Laid Over to 02/24/2016. For counties with at least 25K active electors, this bill would require only one voter service and polling center (VSPC) for every 75k active electors for the first 7 days of early voting. Currently, there is one VSPC for every 30k active electors for every day of early voting except Election Day. This bill also removes the requirement that on Election Day, there be at least 1 VSPC per 15k voters for counties with at least 25k active electors. This bill would also remove the requirement that VSPC’s be open on the first Saturday during the 15-day period prior to Election Day.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Florida

Voter ID Expansion bill HB 505 was added to Special Order Calendar. This bill expands the list of acceptable forms of identification for certain voter registration applicants and for identification at polls to include veteran health identification cards and licenses to carry concealed weapon or firearm.

Voter Registration bill HB 541 was placed on third reading. This bill would require voter registration applicants to provide distinguishing information about their address, like an apartment, suite, or dormitory room number. It also changes the required phrasing on the form from "legal residence address" to "address of legal residence." As amended, the bill provides that failure to include the distinguishing information does not impact a voter's eligibility to register or cast a ballot, and cannot be the basis for a challenge to eligibility or reason not to count a ballot.

Voter ID Expansion bill SB 666 was placed on Special Order Calendar, 02/23/16. As amended, this bill would expand the list of acceptable forms of identification for certain voter registration applicants to include veteran health identification cards, government employee IDs, and licenses to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Hawaii

Voter Registration bill HB 401 passed second reading, as amended. This bill was amended to provide for voter registration opportunities with the issuance of identification cards and driver’s licenses. The applicant’s ID request will not be processed until they clearly decline to register to vote or complete the portion of the application related to voter registration. The application would then be transmitted to the applicant’s county clerk, and the registration would be approved or rejected.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Illinois
 
Omnibus
election bill SB 2836 was referred to assignments. This bill would amend election code relating to online voter registration. It would allow online registrants to submit applications no later than the 16th day before Election Day, among other changes. Currently, the voter registration deadline falls on the 27th day before the day of an election.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Iowa

Online Voter Registration bill HF 2303 was introduced. This bill relates to electronic voter registration by requiring the implementation of a statewide electronic voter registration system.

Youth Voting bill HF 2328 was introduced. This bill would give primary voting rights to citizens who are 17 years of age, but will be 18 on the date of the following general election.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Oregon

Youth Voting bill SB 1586: work session held. This bill would direct public universities and community colleges to increase voter registration access and information. The bill requires the state to pay for ballot return envelopes that can be returned by business reply mail for each election held in this state.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Pennsylvania

Voting Rights bill HB 1855 was referred to State Government. This bill would restore voting rights to those with a recent felony conviction, by removing the voter eligibility requirement that "the applicant has not been confined in a penal institution for a conviction of a felony within the last five years."

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Virginia

Voting Rights bill HB 107 was left in Privileges and Elections. This bill provides for the automatic restoration of voting rights for those convicted of nonviolent felonies (excluding felony drug and election fraud crimes) upon completion of sentence, including any term of probation or parole, and the payment of all restitution, fines, costs, and fees assessed as a result of the felony conviction.

Automatic Voter Registration bill HB 416 was left in Privileges and Elections. The bill would provide for automatic electronic transmission by the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Department of Elections of voter registration by eligible persons who do not decline to register to vote when given the opportunity during a transaction with the Department of Motor Vehicles. If the person is registered, their registration must be updated; and if the person is not registered, the department of elections must verify eligibility and transmit the information to local registrars.

Youth Voting bill HB 993 was left in Privileges and Elections. This bill would establish pre-registration for applicants aged 16 or older who will not be 18 by the next general election. Pre-registrants would be automatically registered upon reaching 18 years of age.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Washington

Youth Voting bill HB 1294 is scheduled for a hearing on February 25. This bill allows a person who is 16 or 17 years old to preregister to vote at the Department of Licensing. The bill allows a person who is 17 years old to preregister to vote at all other locations and through electronic means.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

West Virginia

List Maintenance bill HB 4579 was sent to the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would require the Secretary of State and Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles to enter into an agreement for the Division of Motor Vehicles to provide all information related to individuals who are eligible to register to vote to the Secretary of State for the purpose of voter registration list maintenance comparison through an interstate data-sharing agreement as designated by the Secretary of State.

Voter ID bill HB 4013 was sent to the Senate Judiciary committee. This bill would require voters to show current, valid, government-issued photo ID to vote, including student and military ID. If expired, the ID cannot be more than six months before the date of the election in which the voter wishes to vote. If a voter does not have ID or if the election clerk determines that the ID is not sufficient, the voter may cast a provisional ballot after completing an affidavit. This bill provides options to prove citizenship in order to obtain ID for people over the age of 50. The bill also allows for the use of valid concealed carry permits, Medicare cards or social security cards to vote. In lieu of providing ID, a person may be accompanied at the polling place by an adult known to the registered voter for at least six months, who can sign an affidavit, confirming the voter’s identity. The person signing the affidavit must show photo ID. The bill provides that a person may receive a free ID if they are of voting age and intend to use the ID for the purpose of voting. The bill also contains provisions relating to voter confidentiality and a voter ID education program.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

The U.S. Justice Department has a serious conflict of interest in a lawsuit pitting the institutional Left, led by the League of Women Voters, against the Election Assistance Commission’s support for states wanting to prevent non-citizen voting by requiring proof of citizenship. That conflict was on “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” display as the DOJ not only failed to defend the EAC in court, but sided with the plaintiffs – and was thoroughly rebuked by the judge for its actions:

The judge opened the hearing by reading into the record an astonishing letter he had just received from the chair of the EAC, Christie McCormick. It informed the court that DOJ had told the EAC that it would not defend the agency, and that it would not allow the EAC to hire its own counsel. McCormick informed the judge that she believed DOJ was not fulfilling its duty and obligation to defend the EAC and had a potential conflict of interest.

It was clear that Judge Leon was shocked at what DOJ had done. While he gave the plaintiffs 20 minutes to argue their case, he gave the lawyer from the Federal Programs Branch of DOJ only five minutes because he said that DOJ was obviously on the same side as the plaintiffs. He also said almost immediately that he would not grant a PI without a complete briefing and arguments on the case — despite DOJ wanting to consent to the PI. Judge Leon made clear that there was “no chance at all — zero” that he would do what the plaintiffs and the Justice Department wanted him to do on that issue.

There’s more. Truly extraordinary.

HOUSTON, TX. – February 22, 2016: True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today offered comment on a recent lawsuit filed by a collection of progressive interest groups with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice, intent on removing citizenship verification measures in voter registration.

Litigation was initially triggered after the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) granted the requests of Kansas, Georgia and Alabama to require local users of the National Mail Voter Registration Form to submit documentary proof of U.S. citizenship. Since the filing, DOJ attorneys originally slated to represent the EAC in court today abandoned their client party and barred the Commission from providing its own legal representation, according to filings released today.

“In advance of the 2016 election, the Obama Administration and its radicalized Department of Justice have launched a full scale effort to embolden leftist political allies and destroy election integrity,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. “Today’s message is clear: any state or federal agency that works to prevent non-U.S. citizens from registering to vote in 2016 will witness the full wrath — lawful or not -- of the Department of Justice.”

“We are being ruled by a government that brazenly uses its own Department of Justice to support the lawsuits of progressive interest groups while simultaneously denies defendants the right to legal representation in court. If the American people do not stand against this assault on liberty, where will it end?” Engelbrecht continued.

The True the Vote founder stressed that regular American voters have a role to play in fighting back against DOJ overreach, regardless of the court case’s outcome:

“What we are witnessing is the common thug ethic on unabashed display in Washington. Common thugs use fear and intimidation as a means to control. Common thugs take what they want, never mind the collateral damage. Common thugs walk out on their responsibilities for selfish convenience. But, these common thugs can be stopped if law-abiding citizens will stand their ground. This November, True the Vote-trained election monitors will be mobilized from coast to coast to ensure that the rule of law is upheld at the polling place.”

 

True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.

VoteStand is now available for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices free of charge. For more detailed technical information, visit the official VoteStand website at www.votestand.com.

###

“Several well-funded organizations — including the League of Women Voters and the NAACP — are fighting efforts to prevent non-citizens from voting illegally in the upcoming presidential election.”  And the U.S. Department of Justice is helping them.

In their lawsuit against the Election Assistance Commission, members of “the institutional Left — including the League of Women Voters, People for the American Way, Common Cause, Project Vote, and Chicanos for La Causa —” are continuing a pattern of both objecting to any efforts to make elections more secure and working to centralize power over elections in the federal government.

Under Article I, Section 2 and the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, states have the power to set the “Qualification requisite for electors.” As with many issues, the Left disdains the balance the Framers adopted in the Constitution and objects to this delegation of power to the states. They prefer to see power over elector eligibility centralized in Washington, D.C.

To that end, they are suing the EAC over adding state-specific instructions to the federal voter registration form for states that require proof of citizenship. But Hans von Spakovsky spells out the bigger issue here: the hyper-partisan Justice Department’s conflict of interest.

Allowing lawyers for the highly partisan Voting Section to write agency policy obliterates all semblance of independence and bipartisan balance. 

The Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division has become one of the most controversial and ideological components in the entire U.S. government… If these allegations are true (and based on the history of the Voting Rights Section during this administration, they may well be), then the Eric Holder–run Justice Department was actively engaged in blocking an independent bipartisan federal agency from allowing a state to verify that only citizens are registering to vote.

Now that same justice Department is tasked with defending the EAC in court for supporting a policy that Justice actively worked to block.  The first hearing is set for today, February 22.

*True the Vote Research Triggers the Removal of Faulty Voter Registrations across North Carolina

*New Procedures Adopted in Multiple Counties to Prevent Future Problems

HOUSTON, TX. -- February 19, 2016: True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today released a report on its recent discovery of thousands of duplicate voter registrations in North Carolina’s ten largest counties and the coordinated attempts by left-leaning political organizations to threaten the NC counties with new litigation and hostile document demands in a failed effort to stall lawful maintenance efforts.

To date, thousands of voter registrations have been merged or purged in Wake, Guilford, Cumberland, Gaston, New Hanover and Union Counties.

The goal of this project is simple: find as many duplicate voter registrations as possible; then, work with counties to resolve existing issues and explore new preventative measures,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. North Carolinians would be proud to know that their election officials have taken this matter seriously by following state and federal laws.”

True the Vote stressed the most important achievements of this effort.

This is not a numbers game,” Engelbrecht added. TTV takes on projects like this one with the hope of inspiring local authorities to look for new angles, improving standard operating procedures, and utilizing resources more efficiently to keep voter records clean. Across this state, counties have informed us that their offices have been instructed to take action in helping ensure the integrity of their voter rolls. North Carolina is providing the blueprint for how officials and concerned citizens can work together.”

The following table outlines the total number of duplicate voter registration sets submitted for review in each county, compared to the number of those that were later merged/purged or are still under official review (P).
 

County

Duplicates Flagged

Merged/Purged

Mecklenburg

1,754

P

Wake

417

374

Guilford

493

655

Forsyth

642

P

Cumberland

467

439

Durham

496

P

Buncombe

142

P

Gaston

78

70

New Hanover

347

276

Union

68

62

Political Efforts to Disrupt the Cleanup

Upon completion of official review, TTV uncovered coordinated attempts by the left-leaning political organizations, Demos and Democracy NC, in their apparent attempts to stall or prevent counties from cleaning voter records in accordance with state and federal requirements. One such example, a letter sent by the anti-voter ID activist group DEMOS to multiple NC counties, explicitly threatened legal action as a result of True the Vote’s efforts to raise awareness and advocate for cleanup. An excerpt follows:

"Demos has learned that you recently received a letter from True the Vote providing lists of alleged ‘potential duplicate voters’ and demanding that you take action to remove them from your voter registration roll. Further, we understand that you have already removed some or all of these voters from your voter roll … [S]uch improper removals constitute violations of the [National Voter Registration Act]. Your hasty action to purge your voter roll of purported duplicates in response to unsubstantiated information provided by a third party raises significant concerns that rigorous procedures were not followed and that such violations may have occurred."

TTV Founder Engelbrecht responded to this discovery:

"For generations, leftist political organizations masquerading as ‘civil rights groups’ have bullied our county election offices in order to engineer partisan election outcomes. It should come as no surprise that the same groups who would block simple maintenance efforts are also outspoken critics of North Carolina’s voter ID law. True the Vote holds election integrity above political advantage. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for these groups."

To read a copy of the legal threats, click here.

True the Vote is slated to release the results of similar research efforts in other battleground states in the weeks ahead.

To read earlier details of this effort in North Carolina, click here.

 

True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.

VoteStand is now available for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices free of charge. For more detailed technical information, visit the official VoteStand website at www.votestand.com.

###

North Carolina voter ID opponents busted protecting phony voter registrations

After many months of research and cooperation with the largest counties in North Carolina, True the Vote released new findings demonstrating how thousands of duplicate voter registrations required immediate removal ahead of the 2016 Primary and General contests in the Tar Heel State. It rightly should be seen as another story describing how faulty voter records were removed in the spirit of simple maintenance; but inevitably, the progressive establishment just had to make it more interesting. While communicating with various counties regarding the outcome of the clean-up effort, TTV uncovered repeated instances of left-wing groups like Democracy NC and Demos threatening to sue counties that dared work with TTV. Catherine Engelbrecht reacted to this latest example of subverting election integrity efforts:

"For generations, leftist political organizations masquerading as ‘civil rights groups’ have bullied our county election offices in order to engineer partisan election outcomes. It should come as no surprise that the same groups who would block simple maintenance efforts are also outspoken critics of North Carolina’s voter ID law. True the Vote holds election integrity above political advantage. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for these groups."

A press release was distributed today, detailing the figures and timeline surrounding the North Carolina effort, which is available here. Similar findings are slated to be released for other swing states in the weeks ahead.

Want to help TTV keep the heat on this important project as it continues to unfold? Consider becoming a TTV Partner today with a monthly, tax-deductible contribution.

 

Did you know? PEW Research highlighted a study that detailed the total amount it would cost to collect ALL voter files in the country. True the Vote’s national voter roll research databank costs $126,482 -- just for the raw data! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite our research efforts.

 

The feds are getting sued for requiring citizenship verification in voter registration

If you have been keeping track, you’ve surely noticed that progressive interest groups have not taken the news that states can now require proof of citizenship during voter registration lying down. This week, the NAACP, League of Women Voters and ACORN spin-off Project Vote brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to block the practice going forward in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama. The lawsuit generally alleges that new requirements can hamper the effectiveness of volunteer voter registration drives and seeks an immediate court order. To read more about this developing story, click here.

 

Sign up for the March 8 National Conference Call

Have you signed up for the March 2016 National Conference Call scheduled for March 8 yet? It’s never too soon to get registered. This call will cover a variety of topics, to include new voter roll research findings and upcoming opportunities to volunteer in your community. To sign up now, click here.

No joy for opponents of Alabama’s photo voter ID law:

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler refused a preliminary injunction request to allow alternate means of identification for voters in the upcoming 2016 elections… Coogler criticized the request as a backdoor method to do away with the photo identification requirement that took effect in 2014.

“They are asking the court to rewrite the positively identify provision in a way that circumvents the photo identification requirement altogether — without actually providing proof that the photo ID requirement is unduly burdensome on Alabama voters,” Coogler wrote…
 
 The judge did not rule on the merits of the overall lawsuit but hinted that it might not prevail. Coogler wrote that courts, “already answered the question as to whether photo ID laws like Alabama’s violate the U.S. Constitution and/or the Voting Rights Act.”

We have a court date with the IRS

After [many] months of court briefs and perpetual waiting, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has finally set a date for True the Vote to argue that its case be remanded back to the district court for further consideration and possible opening of discovery. Mark your prayer calendars for April 14, 2016. But, don’t forget to file your taxes the next day (awesome timing, eh?) If you wish to review our primary appellate brief, click here. The IRS' brief may also be read here. During the hearing, parties will address these questions: did the IRS’s decision to finally grant TTV’s application for a tax-exemption after three years of intentional delay moot TTV’s First Amendment and Administrative Procedure Act claims against the government?; did the granting of TTV’s application also moot TTV’s request to prevent the IRS from making its sensitive application materials public; and did the district court correctly decide that IRS officials (like Lois Lerner) are categorically immune from claims for money damages?

You can help us with this fight. Because of this lawsuit, scads of unforeseen expenses continue to crop up. Please consider signing up for a modest, monthly donation to help keep the heat on the IRS. This case is about all of us and future generations. And, never mind the short pauses of “we’ve turned over a new leaf” we’re currently hearing from the IRS. Until the courts hold federal agencies to account, the abuses will continue. Thank you again for everything you’ve done to support this effort.

 

Did you know? PEW Research highlighted a study that detailed the total amount it would cost to collect ALL voter files in the country. True the Vote’s national voter roll research databank costs $126,482 -- just for the raw data! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite our research efforts.

 

Behold: a left-wing dogpile against citizenship verification

You may recall last week’s news that Kansas, Georgia and Alabama notched procedural victories to require that all voter registration applicants in those states prove U.S. citizenship. Right on cue, the open-borders-voting crowd pounced on federal election officials to demand a reversal. The 30-plus groups, which include Soros-funded outfits like the NAACP and labor unions such as the AFL-CIO and Communication Workers of America (CWA), cosigned a letter insisting that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission reverse final decisions to verify citizenship – simply because they said so. Welcome to 2016 folks … the voting wars are about to hit fever pitch.

 

Looking for a TTV speaker?

Calling all club programming officers: if you would like a representative from True the Vote to speak at one of your upcoming meetings, either in person or over Skype, we’d love to hear from you. Our team can inspire the members of your group to join the movement! They’ll understand their rights as voters and be motivated to action -- advancing election integrity by volunteering from home. To start the scheduling process, email us by clicking here.

 

Legislation on the Move

Arizona

List Maintenance bill HB 2084: Transmit to Senate. This bill requires the Department of Health Services to annually provide the secretary of state with access to the statewide system of all records of all deaths, and the secretary may compare the records of deaths with the statewide voter registration database.

Vote by Mail bill SB 1360: scheduled for hearing on February 10. This bill allows countywide mail ballot elections. Currently, the relevant statute lists only cities, towns, and school districts as eligible for conducting mail ballot elections.

Automatic Voter Registration bill SB 1392 was referred to the Rules Committee. This bill would automatically register to vote every qualified person who applies for or renews their driver's license. The applicant must affirmatively opt out of registration. They would also be given the opportunity to register for a political party.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Colorado

List Maintenance bill HB 1093: House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only. This bill would make various updates to law relating to voter list maintenance. If notification that the voter registration application was received is returned as undeliverable to the county clerk and recorder after 20 days, the applicant will be marked inactive and sent a confirmation card.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Florida

Voter Registration bill HB 541 was referred to Ethics and Elections; Community Affairs; Rules. This bill would require voter registration applicants to provide distinguishing information about their address, like an apartment, suite, or dormitory room number. It also changes the required phrasing on the form from "legal residence address" to "address of legal residence." As amended, the bill provides that failure to include the distinguishing information does not impact a voter's eligibility to register or cast a ballot, and cannot be the basis for a challenge to eligibility or reason not to count a ballot.

Proof-of-Citizenship bill HM 1225 was added to Second Reading Calendar. This bill would urge Congress to amend federal law to allow documentary proof of citizenship for voter registration with the federal form, and remove the protections of the 90-day moratorium on systematic purges as they relate to asserted non-citizens. It also urges Congress to allow immediate access by election officials to the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements system for use with respect to voter registration.

Omnibus bill SB 744 is on committee agenda this week. This bill would require voter registration applicants to provide distinguishing information about their address, like an apartment, suite, or dormitory room number. It also changes the required phrasing on the form from "legal residence address" to "address of legal residence." This version of the bill provides that failure to include the distinguishing information does not impact a voter's eligibility to register or cast a ballot, and cannot be the basis for a challenge to eligibility or reason not to count a ballot.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Hawaii

Automatic Voter Registration bill HB 401 was recommended to be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS by the JDL Committee. This bill provides that all applicants for a new or renewed driver's license, provisional license, instructional permit, or civil identification card must either clearly decline to register to vote or fill out the voter affidavit on their application before their application can be processed.

Automatic Voter Registration bill HB 1652 was recommended to be PASSED, UNAMENDED by the JUD Committee. This bill would require an affidavit on application for voter registration to be included as part of the application for driver's licenses and civil identification cards. It would prevent the processing of applications for driver's licenses or civil identification cards unless voter affidavit is completed or declined.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Illinois

Voter ID bill HB 4963 was referred to the Rules Committee. This bill would create the Voter Identification Card. To receive one, a registered voter must provide a photo identity document, documents showing the applicant’s date of birth, evidence of voter registration, and documentation showing the applicant’s name and address. Other non-photo government documents would be accepted to identify a person and verify their residence. Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a Voter Identification Card without a fee, and voters who have a religious objection to being photographed, may vote a provisional ballot and sign an affidavit that indicates one of the exemptions. An indigent person is defined as an individual whose income is 125% or less of current federal poverty income guidelines.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Iowa

Voting Rights bill SSB 3101 was introduced. This bill would provide that voting rights of people convicted of felonies would only be restored by the governor, by the president of the United States, or by operation of law.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Kentucky

Voting Rights bill HB 70 was received in Senate. This bill would restructure the voting restrictions currently aimed at people with felony convictions and people with mental disabilities. The bill would require that a felony include either the intentional killing of a human being without a reasonable excuse or emotional disturbance, sexual contact with a minor, or sexual intercourse in order for suffrage to be denied. The bill would permit people with felony convictions to regain the right to vote after expiration of probation or final discharge from parole or sentence. An executive pardon could restore voting rights earlier by people excluded from new language.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Maryland

Voting Rights bill HB 716 was first read in Ways and Means. This bill would alter voter registration and voting rules for people who were once incarcerated. Under this bill, the voter registration form would require the applicant to indicate whether they are a felon. The applicant would be informed that they may not vote in person, but by absentee ballot only.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Mississippi

Early Voting bill HB 121 was referred to Apportionment and Elections. This bill would authorize voters to vote early and in person not more than 21 days nor less than 5 days before Election Day. Early voting would take place at the registrar’s office or the location designated by the registrar.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Rhode Island

Online Voter Registration bill H 7024 was placed on House Calendar. This bill requires the secretary of state to establish a system to provide for the electronic registration of voters and limits the use or transfer of the information supplied by the registering voter.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Tennessee

Voter ID Expansion bill HB 2326 was assigned to Local Government Subcommittee. This bill would remove the photo identification requirement for voting in-person on Election Day by restoring the former requirement that the voter present a broader list of identification for purpose of comparing the signature on the application for ballot. Photo identification would continue to be required for early voting.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Virginia

Poll Worker Training bill SB 574 was engrossed by Senate-committee substitute SB574S1. As substituted, the bill requires all poll workers (officers of election) to receive training every two years and whenever a change is made to the election laws or regulations that alters their duties and conduct. The bill requires the state to develop standardized training programs and provide standardized training materials for use by the electoral boards and general registrars in conducting the training, and provide an online training course for use by localities.

Voter Registration bill HB 9 was reported from Privileges and Elections with amendments. This bill adds required information to the voter registration form. As amended, it specifies that the application must be denied if an applicant fails to provide required information in many fields, including if the applicant leaves required fields incomplete.

Voter ID Expansion bill HB 1004 was recommended by House Subcommittee to pass indefinitely by voice vote. This bill would allow persons without a type of photo ID required to vote to have their picture taken at the polls to satisfy the identification requirement. The voter would vote provisionally, and the provisional ballot would count if the voter was qualified in the precinct.

Poll Workers bill HB 1030: Committee substitute printed. As substituted, this bill would require poll workers (officers of election) to receive training every two years and whenever a change is made to the election laws or regulations that alters their duties and conduct. It requires the state to develop standardized training programs and provide standardized training materials for use by the electoral boards and general registrars in conducting the training, and also provide an online training course that may be used by localities.

Absentee Voting bill SB 106 was referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections. This bill would allow qualified voters to vote absentee in person without providing an excuse for not being able to vote in person on Election Day. The bill retains the statutory list of specific reasons allowing a voter to cast an absentee ballot by mail.

Voting Rights bill SB 420 was referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections. This bill would remove the requirement that a person registering to vote who states that they were previously adjudicated incapacitated or convicted of a felony and that their right to vote has been restored additionally provide information regarding the circumstances under which their right to vote has been restored.

Voter ID Amendment bill SB 439 was continued to 2017 in Privileges and Elections. The bill would require electronic poll books to contain a photo and identifying information received by the Department of Elections from the DMV for each registered voter for whom the DMV has such a photo and identifying information. The bill also provides that if the electronic poll book contains the voter's photo and identifying information, the poll worker s required to access that photo and identifying information and the voter is not required to present one of the statutorily required forms of identification. However, the bill requires the poll worker to challenge the voter's vote if the voter does not appear to be the same person depicted in the photo or in the poll book.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Washington

Automatic Voter Registration bill HB 2682 is scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations. Under this bill, agencies would transfer records in order to register or update a voter registration of persons completing an agency transaction, provided the person is eligible and does not decline. Agencies must design the process so it cannot be completed until the person has had an opportunity to decline voter registration.

Automatic Voter Registration bill SB 6379: Executive action scheduled, but the report on the motion to move the bill out of committee did not receive sufficient signatures. Under this bill, agencies would transfer records in order to register or update a voter registration of persons completing an agency transaction, provided the person is eligible and does not decline. Agencies must design the process so it cannot be completed until the person has had an opportunity to decline voter registration.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Wisconsin

Omnibus election bill SB 295 is available for scheduling. This omnibus bill permits qualified citizens to register to vote electronically, eliminates the responsibility of special registration deputies, and requires the Government Accountability Board to enter into agreements with other state election administrators to share voter roll information.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Tell Speaker Ryan to protect the Voting Rights Act

Back in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the “preclearance” powers granted to the federal government under the Voting Rights Act should be frozen, pending a congressional overhaul to decide which states and political jurisdictions should remain under the yoke of the Justice Department going forward. Since then, a small handful of bills have been offered, going no further than a committee referral. During this period, Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner authored two of the attempts. The most recent version (H.R. 885) has been relegated to “introduced” status since February 2015. H.R. 885 – which isn’t as radical as other proposals – would immediately throw states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia back in the stockade, with ample room for others to follow. Although Sensenbrenner claims that his bills have offered carve-outs for reforms like voter ID to proceed normally, liberty-loving legal scholars warn this is naivety at best.

This week, proponents of reforming the Voting Rights Act received a slight ‘shot in the arm’ thanks to House Speaker Paul Ryan. Addressing the Congressional Black Caucus this week, he offered his personal support for H.R. 885. Ryan noted, however, that he would not force the hand of Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a vocal critic of the legislation. While it’s refreshing to hear a Speaker of the House respect the boundaries of his office where predecessors have not, we need to hold Speaker Ryan to his promise. Click here to sign a petition that demands he maintain his commitment to a “bottom-up approach” to Capitol Hill.

 

Did you know? PEW Research highlighted a study that detailed the total amount it would cost to collect ALL voter files in the country. True the Vote’s national voter roll research databank costs $126,482 -- just for the raw data! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite our research efforts.

 

Kansas, Georgia and Alabama notch victories for citizenship verification

Just in time for the 2016 Election… if you wish to use a voter registration form published by the federal government in Kansas, Georgia or Alabama, proof of U.S. citizenship is now required. There appears to be a new regime at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. So, when a state requests that the instructions on its voter registration form be amended to match local law, D.C. does as asked. What a concept! News broke this week as letters began to circulate notifying the states that their requested changes are finally being made. As expected, pressure groups (descended from ACORN) began having cows. We’re sure this will spark a whole new round of legal fights and periods of public comment. TTV will keep you posted on the ways you can pitch in to help.

 

A big thanks to our new TTV Partners

In case you didn’t know, True the Vote H-A-T-E-S fundraising. But, it’s a necessary task as we assist engaged voters around the country who need help making a difference in their communities. We’d like to thank our new TTV Partners for jumping in to help sustain our successes in the years to come. Do you want to join in, too? The concept is simple: sign up for a monthly pledge and you will get insider access to what’s going on with the organization and be ‘ahead of the curve’ before big news breaks. And remember, all contributions are fully tax-deductible. To sign up, click here and select “Monthly” where the form requires you to choose the donation frequency. TTV cannot thank you enough for your continued support.

 

Legislation on the Move

Arizona

Provisional Voting bill HB 2053 was read a second time. This bill provides that a voter who casts a provisional ballot in the wrong precinct would still have their ballot counted for only the candidates and ballot measures for which the person was entitled to vote.

List Maintenance bill HB 2084 was scheduled for a hearing this week. This bill requires the Department of Health Services to annually provide the secretary of state with access to the statewide system of all records of all deaths and the secretary may compare the records of deaths with the statewide voter registration database.

Automatic Voter Registration bill HB 2097 was read a second time. This bill provides automatic voter registration to every eligible citizen who applies for or renews a driver’s license or state ID, unless the applicant clearly expresses their decision not to register to vote.

Automatic Voter Registration bill SB 1260 is pending in Rules. This bill would provide that every eligible citizen who is applying for a driver’s license or renewal would also be registered to vote at the same time. The county recorder must provide notice to the applicant that they may decline to be registered to vote; and if they do not decline within 21 calendar days after receipt of the notice, the applicant will be registered to vote. After 25 days of providing notice and confirming that the applicant is eligible to vote, the applicant would be presumed to be properly registered to vote.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Colorado

Vote by Mail bill SB 74 is scheduled for a hearing on February 10, 2016. This bill would permit an elector to opt out of automatically receiving mail ballots by completing a form on the online voter registration system. Currently, all elections are required to be conducted by mail ballot.

Voter Registration Drives bill SB 107 was introduced and assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs. This bill would require potential circulators of voter registration applications to complete training by their voter drive organizer. After the voter registration deadline, the circulator would also be required to inform electors that in order to vote in an upcoming election, the elector must submit a registration application at a polling center, clerk’s office, or online.

Early Voting Restrictions bill SB 112 was introduced and assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs. For counties with at least 25K active electors, this bill would require only one voter service and polling center (VSPC) for every 75k active electors for the first 7 days of early voting. Currently, there is one VSPC for every 30k active electors for every day of early voting except Election Day. This bill also removes the requirement that on Election Day, there be at least 1 VSPC per 15k voters for counties with at least 25k active electors. This bill would also remove the requirement that VSPCs be open on the first Saturday during the 15-day period prior to Election Day.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Florida

Voter Registration bill HB 541 passed as amended. This bill requires voter registration applicants to provide distinguishing information about their address, like an apartment, suite, or dormitory room number. It also changes the required phrasing on the form from "legal residence address" to "address of legal residence." As amended, the bill provides that failure to include the distinguishing information does not impact a voter's eligibility to register or cast a ballot, and cannot be the basis for a challenge to eligibility or reason not to count a ballot.

Proof of Citizenship bill HM 1225 is now in State Affairs Committee. This bill would urge Congress to amend federal law to allow documentary proof of citizenship for voter registration with the federal form, and remove the protections of the 90-day moratorium on systematic purges as they relate to asserted non-citizens. It also urges Congress to allow immediate access by election officials to the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements system for use with respect to voter registration.

Provisional Voting bill SB 532 is now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development. This bill would allow a voter to cure a missing signature on a provisional ballot with a Voter's Certificate and Affirmation so that the ballot may be counted if otherwise eligible. The voter must complete and return an affidavit by 5 p.m. on the second day following the election.

Voter Registration bill SB 702 is scheduled for a hearing February 2, 2016. This bill would exempt from public disclosure the address, birthdate, phone number, and e-mail address collected for voter registration purposes. It also exempts all information related to preregistered 16- and 17-year-olds. Candidates, canvassing boards, elections officials and political parties would still be provided access to this information.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Georgia

Same-Day Registration bill HB 850 was read a second time in the House. This bill would allow same-day registration and voting at a polling place and at a registrar's office during the period of advanced voting.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Hawaii

List Maintenance bill HB 1579 was heard by JUD and recommended to be passed, un-amended. This bill would require the office of elections to join the Electronic Registration Information Center and share information with counties to encourage voter participation and ensure integrity of voter registration rolls.

Automatic Voter Registration bill HB 1633 was referred to TRN, JUD, FIN. This bill would provide that all applicants for a new or renewed driver's license, provisional license, instructional permit, or civil identification card must either clearly decline to register to vote or fill out the voter affidavit on their application before the application can be processed.

Voter Registration bill HB 1652 and HB 2150 were referred to JUD, FIN. These bills would require an affidavit on an application for voter registration to be included as part of the application for driver's licenses and civil identification cards. It would prevent the processing of applications for driver's licenses or civil identification cards unless a voter affidavit is complete or declined.

Vote by Mail bill HB 1653 was referred to JUD, FIN. This bill would incrementally phase in voting by mail in statewide elections by the 2022 primary election.

Youth Voting bill HB 2228 was referred to EDN, JUD. This bill would require all students in the 12th grade in public schools who are eligible to vote to register to vote as a requirement of graduation. The bill would require the Department of Education to hold a one-hour class session that is dedicated to elections and voting for all twelfth-grade students in public schools.

Voting Rights bill HB 2773 was introduced and passed first reading. This bill would repeal statutory provisions that disenfranchise incarcerated persons. The bill would provide for the determination of residency and delivery of ballots to incarcerated persons.

Automatic Voter Registration bill SB 2165 was referred to TRE/JDL, WAM. This bill would require that any person who is eligible to vote and applies for a new or renewed motor vehicle driver's license, provisional license, instruction permit, or identification card would be automatically registered to vote if that person is not already registered to vote, provided that the applicant did not affirmatively opt-out of automatic voter registration on the application form.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Idaho

Online Voter Registration bill H 407 was introduced, read a first time, and referred to JRA for printing. This bill would direct the secretary of state to create a website on which citizens may register to vote electronically, using their electronic signatures on file with the Idaho transportation department.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Iowa

Voter Registration bill SSB 3075 is pending. This bill relates to voter registration by allowing registration of eligible voters to vote following review of electronic records received from driver’s license and non-operator’s identification card applications by county commissioners of registration. The bill requires that the office of driver services of the department of transportation transmit to the state registrar of voters (the secretary of state) electronic records containing the legal name, age, residence, and citizenship information for, and the electronic signature of, each person submitting an application for a driver’s license or non-operator’s identification card, or any renewal application. The secretary would be required to send each person’s information to the county where the person resides. If the county commissioner determines a person eligible to vote who is not already registered to vote in the county, the county commissioner would be required to notify the person of the separate processes to decline to register to vote or declare political affiliation. If the notified person does not respond within 21 days after the commissioner received notice, the person’s voter registration would be considered complete.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Kansas

Same-Day Registration/Proof of Citizenship bills HB 2544 and SB 383 were referred to Committee on Elections. This bill would allow registration during early voting period at county election office with regular ballot. Registration at satellite advanced voting site or same-day registration at polling place would require use of provisional ballot. The bill also outlines procedures for same-day proof of registrant's citizenship.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Missouri

Voter ID bill HB 1631 was scheduled for a hearing this week. This bill specifies that only the listed documents and document specifications may satisfy the voter photo identification requirement, which would only be effective if approved as a constitutional amendment by the legislature. This bill adds "inability to pay for a birth certificate or other supporting documentation necessary to obtain identification" to the exceptions under which a voter may sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot to be counted upon signature verification. It extends the period in which a voter may show identification in order to cast a provisional ballot to three days after the election. It requires that the state provide free photo identification and pay the cost of supporting documentation from another state. If funds are not appropriated for free photo identification, than the photo identification provisions will not be enforced.

Online Voter Registration bill HB 1826 is scheduled for a hearing this week. This bill would provide local election authorities with the option to accept typed electronic signatures for online voter registration. Minimum standards and data collection formats would be set by a committee consisting of local election officials and a representative of the secretary of state. Currently, voters must use a tablet, touchscreen, or other device they can sign in order to complete voter registration electronically.

Voter ID bill SJR 20 was voted Do Pass in Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee. Upon voter approval, this constitutional amendment provides that a voter seeking to vote in person may be required by general law to identify himself or herself as a United States citizen and a resident of the state by providing valid, government-issued photo identification. Exceptions may be provided for by general law.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

New Jersey

Voter ID bill A 132 was introduced. This bill would require voters to show photo identification, issued by the federal government and with a current or recently expired expiration date, in order to vote. Those without valid identification would have to cast a provisional ballot and show acceptable identification by close of the second business day after an election. There would be a limited affidavit exception for those with a religious objection.

Voter Registration bill A 475 was introduced, referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee. This bill would require any individual registering to vote by any means to provide a current and valid New Jersey driver's license number, or, if none, the last four digits of the registrant's Social Security number. An individual who has not been issued a driver's license or Social Security number would be required to submit with the voter registration form a copy of: (1) a current and valid photo identification card; (2) a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or pay check; or (3) any other government document that shows the individual's name and current address. If an individual who has not been issued a New Jersey driver's license or Social Security number does not submit an identifying document when registering, he or she would be required to submit one when voting for the first time. The bill would also permit a voter who moves from one county to another county without changing his or her voter registration to vote by provisional ballot in the new county, when the voter has lived within the new county of residence for thirty days.

List Maintenance bill A 639 was introduced, referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee. This bill requires the Secretary of State to enter agreements and cooperate with other state chief election officials for the purposes of identifying registered voters no longer residing in the state and other list maintenance activities. A person discovered through these procedures may be subject to punishment as described in the election code section on duplicate registrations when the person knows he is not entitled to vote in the election district.  

Omnibus/Voter ID bill A 640 was introduced, referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee. This bill would require voters to present certain documentation as proof of identity in order to register to vote and to vote. A voter, whether voting in person or through mail-in ballot, would be required to show or submit only either a copy of a New Jersey’s driver’s license or a New Jersey non-driver identification card. Voters without identification would cast provisional ballots and would need to produce the required documentation by the close of business on the second day after the election. The address on the identification would have to be identical to the registration address. Persons who surrender their driver’s license or identification would be removed from the voter roll. The bill provides penalties for failure to obtain a driver’s license within 30 days of relocating to the state and operating a vehicle, and for registering to vote in this state if also registered to vote in another state. The state would offer free non-driver identification cards. This bill also requires joining all appropriate interstate data-sharing list maintenance programs.

Voting Rights bill A 822 was introduced. This bill would require the chief probation officer in each county, the State Parole Board and the Commissioner of Corrections to assist each person under their jurisdiction who is completing probation, parole, or a criminal sentence and wishes to register to vote in completing a voter registration form. Those wishing to register shall be informed that the person will become eligible to vote upon completion of probation.

Voter Registration bill A 957 was introduced. This bill would require a voter to register up to 29 days before the day of an election. Currently, the person must be registered to vote no later than the 21st day before the election. The bill also reduces, by one hour, the time during which polling places are to be open on the day of a primary, general, nonpartisan municipal, special and recall election. Under current law, the polls are open between 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Under the bill, the polls would be open between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM.

Omnibus/Voter Registration bill A 2002 was introduced. This omnibus bill would establish “The Democracy Act” to revise various voter registration and voting procedures. Specifically, the bill establishes early voting, online voter registration, automatic voter registration, and allows for the pre-registration of 17-year-olds. The bill expands various language accessibility provisions in current law by lowering the population threshold that triggers requirements for the publication of certain election notices and materials in languages other than English. The bill also makes various changes to current procedures for voting by mail under the Overseas Residents Absentee Voting Law, and filling vacancies in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Finally, the bill establishes an Office of Accessible Elections in the Division of Elections in the Department of State; codifies portions of a 1982 federal consent decree that prohibits certain actions by persons and political parties concerning the implementation of deceptive voting practices during elections, and extends its application to all persons and political parties; lowers the standard for challenging election voter fraud in court; and requires the periodic reporting on incidents of voter fraud.

Voter ID bill AR 52 was introduced. This resolution urges the Congress of the United States to adopt a “William Jefferson Clinton Voter ID Act of 2014,” to require Social Security cards to have a photograph of the cardholder and that the card must be displayed to vote in any federal election.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Oregon

Youth Voting bill SB 1586: Pre-session Released to the Public. This bill would direct public universities and community colleges to increase voter registration access and information. The bill requires the state to pay for ballot-return envelopes that can be returned by business-reply mail for each election held in this state.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Rhode Island

Voting Rights bill H 7389 was introduced, referred to House Judiciary. This bill would make public record the DOC list sent to the secretary of state containing information about formerly incarcerated inmates who have become eligible to vote because of their discharge from incarceration and requires DOC to inform them of right to vote.

Early Voting bill H 7248: committee recommended measure be held for further study. This bill would establish in-person early voting, beginning on the 20th day before a general, primary, or special election and extend through 4 p.m. on the day before the general, primary, or special election.

AGREE or DISAGREE with these bills? Contact your state legislators here!

Tennessee

Automatic Voter Registration bill HB 1724 was assigned to s/c Local Government Subcommittee. This bill establishes automatic registration of a person to vote when a person applies for a motor vehicle driver license or photo identification license.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Virginia

Youth Voting bill SB 381 was read a second time and engrossed. This bill relates to election page program for high school students.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

Washington

Voter Registration bill HB 2682 was referred to Appropriations. Under this bill, agencies would transfer records in order to register or update a voter registration of persons completing an agency transaction, provided the person is eligible and does not decline. Agencies must design the process so it cannot be completed until the person has had an opportunity to decline voter registration.

AGREE or DISAGREE with this bill? Contact your state legislators here!

The fate of North Carolina’s voter identification law may not be known for weeks after a six-day bench trial. It’s uncertain when U.S. Judge Thomas D. Schroeder will rule on whether to uphold the 2013 law.”  But with just weeks to go before early voting begins (on March 3) for the state’s March 15 primary election, it is all but certain that when North Carolina voters go to the polls, they will be required to show an acceptable form of photo ID or sign a reasonable impediment declaration form (there are a few exceptions).

In a January ruling, Judge Schroeder wrote that the state had “engaged in extensive efforts to educate voters about the need for photo ID, offered free photo ID, and assisted individuals in getting a photo ID.” And in a ruling last year, he wrote that “the high registration rate of black North Carolinians – 95.3%, some 7.5 percentage points above that of whites – suggests strongly that black voters will not have unequal access to the polls.”

Schroeder also said in the January ruling that “NAACP Plaintiffs have failed to make a clear showing that the law will be applied in a discriminatory manner” and “have not demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits of the photo-ID intent claim.”

How You Can Help

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Get Involved.

Join the movement and sign up for our Knowledge Network to get educated on the issues and opportunities to serve and connect with other citizen activists in your community.

 

Support True the Vote’s efforts to keep our elections free and fair.

Stay in touch

You can support True the Vote and get current information, insights and updates on various social media platforms.