Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I have explained several times over the years that the Republican Party has for decades engaged in unlawful voter suppression for which it remains under the supervision of the federal courts under a series of consent decrees. For example, A primer on GOP voter suppression: voter caging:
The Republican Party has for many years engaged in unlawful voter suppression. The case of DNC v. RNC resulted in a 1982 consent decree in which the RNC agreed not to engage in voter caging and intimidation activities or to target minority voters. Consent Decree (1982).
Despite the consent decree, the RNC began using similar tactics in Louisiana in 1986. Under the guise of fraud prevention, the RNC facilitated voter caging programs and other tactics. The DNC filed a contempt motion to reopen the case and enjoin the RNC from conducting the Louisiana programs. Once again, the RNC voluntarily agreed to a consent decree rather than fight the claims in court. The result was a 1986 decree [PDF] in which the RNC agreed not to do any ballot security programs anywhere in the country without prior court approval. See Consent Decree (1987).
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After the 2008 election, the Republican National Committee asked the federal court to vacate or substantially modify the consent decree. The court agreed only to modify the consent decree. Debevoise Opinion (2009); Debevoise Order (2009). The consent decree remains in effect.
If you want to review additional pleadings, see DNC v. RNC Consent Decree | Brennan Center for Justice.
This week I told you about the efforts of the Republican Party to disenfranchise millions of Americans of their right to vote through voter I.D. laws. GOP Voter Suppression: Photo I.D. requirements:
Forty-seven states have enacted 285 election-related laws this year, and 60 percent were in states with Republican governors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
As you might expect, the usual suspects are behind this undemocratic and un-American effort to disenfranchise American citizens of their right to vote: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the billionaire bastard Koch brothers, among others.
Rolling Stone magazine takes an in-depth look at The GOP War on Voting this month in a must-read report:
As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. "What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century," says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.
Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. "I don't want everybody to vote," the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP's effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.
All told, a dozen states have approved new obstacles to voting. Kansas and Alabama now require would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship before registering. Florida and Texas made it harder for groups like the League of Women Voters to register new voters. Maine repealed Election Day voter registration, which had been on the books since 1973. Five states – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia – cut short their early voting periods. Florida and Iowa barred all ex-felons from the polls, disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters. And six states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures – Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin – will require voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots. More than 10 percent of U.S. citizens lack such identification, and the numbers are even higher among constituencies that traditionally lean Democratic – including 18 percent of young voters and 25 percent of African-Americans.
Taken together, such measures could significantly dampen the Democratic turnout next year – perhaps enough to shift the outcome in favor of the GOP. "One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time," Bill Clinton told a group of student activists in July. "Why is all of this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate" – a reference to the dominance of the Tea Party last year, compared to the millions of students and minorities who turned out for Obama. "There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today."
Continue reading The GOP War on Voting | Rolling Stone.
Keep this report in mind when you hear Attorney General Tom Horne say that Arizona no longer should be subject to preclearance under the Voting Rights Act -- and that he would like to do away with the most significant piece of legislation of the 20th Century, extending the right to vote to all Americans. And beware of tools who write on behalf of right-wing think tanks like the Goldwater Institute (In 2007, the Goldwater Institute urged then secretary of state Jan Brewer to challenge preclearance in court as well), i.e., Robert Robb of the Arizona Republic in this opinion today. Arizona may win historic rule challenge.