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NAACP Sues North Carolina

Hmmmmmmm….At Last! North Carolina has been arbitrarily cancelling voter registrations. You can guess in one of whose registrations are being cancelled.

North Carolina NAACP Sues State Over Voter Suppression

Thousands of voter registrations have been canceled with barely a week to go to Election Day.

The North Carolina NAACP has filed a federal lawsuit to stop county election boards in the state from canceling voter registrations ― in what the group argues is an effort by the state Republican Party to suppress the black vote.

Thousands of voter registrations have already been canceled by election boards in Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland counties because a mailing to the voters’ addresses was returned as undeliverable.

“The Tar Heel state is ground zero in the intentional surgical efforts by Republicans — or extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party — to suppress the vote of voters,” said Rev. William Barber, the North Carolina NAACP president, on Monday. “The NAACP is defending the rights of all North Carolinians to participate in this election.”

The NAACP is also seeking to have the canceled registrations restored.

Many of the voters still live at the addresses listed on their voter registrations or have moved to other residences within the same county, meaning they can still vote in that county, according to the NAACP lawsuit. The complaint argues that canceling those registrations was a violation of the National Voting Registration Act.

Under the NVRA, states may cancel registrations only if a voter provides written notice of a change in address or if a voter does not respond to a notice for two election cycles and fails to vote for two federal election cycles. The act also bars states from removing voters from the rolls 90 days or less before a federal election.

“Voter fraud is not the issue. But voter suppression is real, it’s planned, it’s intentional, and it’s ongoing against the African-American community,” Barber said Monday.

African-Americans have been disproportionately affected by the cancellations. Black voters account for 91 of the 138 canceled registrations (or over 65 percent) in Beaufort County, according to the North Carolina NAACP, even though black people are only 25.9 percent of that county’s population.

At least 3,951 registrations were canceled in Cumberland County, and around 400 were canceled in Moore County.  …Read the Rest Here

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The New Jim Crow on Trial in North Carolina

Wherever Republicans have a majority in state legislatures, they have decided to implement New Jim Crow Voting laws to prevent minorities from voting. In some states like Texas and Alabama, this has including closing State DMV offices in minority areas to make it even more difficult to get “Voter ID”. The Old Jim Crow – Poll Tax…The New Jim Crow …Voter ID…

North Carolina GOP Accused Of Intentionally Suppressing Black Votes To Preserve Their Majority

On Monday, residents of North Carolina are taking the state to court, arguing that North Carolina legislators designed a new voter ID law to stifle growing minority turnout that threatened the Republican majority in Raleigh.

The state is claiming that the law was passed to prevent voter fraud, though there is no evidence of widespread fraud at the ballot box. Attorney Denise Lieberman with the Advancement Project, which is representing the North Carolina NAACP in this case, told ThinkProgress that the state lawmakers who debated and passed the ID law knew it would place a disproportionate burden on African American and Latino voters.

“This is illuminated by the fact that there’s no legitimate basis for having this law,” she said. “We have expert witnesses who will testify that the state’s rationale for the law is unsupported, that there is absolutely no evidence of in-person voter impersonation that would justify this law. Furthermore, these laws don’t advance or expand people’s confidence in the voting process, as the state is arguing. They actually reduce it. So the conclusion we must draw is that lawmakers knew what they were doing.”

Lieberman and her colleagues plan to argue that this 2013 law was in part a backlash against the“increased political power” of voters of color in the state. Over the past few decades, both the number of residents of color and the percentage of them who showed up to vote have increased exponentially, thanks in large part to a series of laws making it easier to vote.

“To remedy past suppression of voters of color, the state implemented same-day registration, out of precinct voting, the pre-registration of 17-year-olds, and an extra week of early voting,” Lieberman told ThinkProgress. “These are the very measures the legislature sought to repeal — the ones most important for opening the doors of access.”

That access and increased turnout, the NAACP argues, threatened the Republican majority in the state legislature, since residents of color generally vote for Democrats. The legislators had an “interest in burdening those voters,” their brief states, due to this “racially polarized voting pattern.”

The NAACP is also arguing that the legislature intentionally waited until the Supreme Court struck down key protections in the Voting Rights Act before going forward with the ID law and other provisions. Before that controversial ruling, North Carolina was one of several states with a history of race-based voter suppression that had to ask for federal pre-clearance before changing any of its voting laws.

“The lawmakers sat on this bill, waiting until the Shelby ruling came down, then passed this monster legislation,” Lieberman said.

The NAACP’s legal brief goes on to say that while lawmakers were debating the ID provision, they specifically requested and received data indicating that it would disproportionately burden voters of color, who are twice as likely as white residents to lack an official form of identification. The state proceeded to pass the bill “despite these warning signs.”

Though the legislators rushed to tweak the voter ID law just as civil rights groups were preparing to file a lawsuit, a court ruled that the case could still go forward. Under the version currently on the books, residents who don’t have one of the proper forms of ID can still cast a provisional ballot, but only if they fill out a form explaining why they faced a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining an ID.

Lieberman explained that to qualify for an exemption, voters who don’t have an ID have to stand in a separate line and write down their explanation under penalty of perjury. If their reason is accepted, they will be given a provisional ballot, which won’t be counted until after Election Day, and could be thrown out entirely if the county Board of Elections rejects their explanation. “All of this could intimidate or humiliate voters, especially those who have limited reading skills or English skills, and deter them from trying to vote,” she said….Read More Here

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The Second Civil War – Voting Rights

The US civil war is playing out again – this time over voter rights

White southern Republicans enact voter ID laws because they don’t want Democrats to vote, particularly people of color. Republicans have gerrymandered districts to dissolve the Minority vote, as well as set as many impediments as possible in the way of voters.

Nearly 150 years after the end of the US civil war, the South and the federal government are poised for a rematch over the voting rights of black Americans, and ultimately over the fundamental rights of all Americans. Once again, the former Confederate states are determined to defend their traditions and way of life, while the Union forces in the North – the federal government – are positioning themselves to defend justice and equality.

But this time, in an ironic twist, two black men – President Barack Obamaand Attorney General Eric Holder – are leading the charge.

In the 1860s, the fight between the North and the South was about slavery and the right of the Confederate states to maintain a dreaded institution that kept people of African descent in bondage. Unprecedented carnage resulted.

A century later – in light of the 1954 US supreme court decision in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, which ended racial segregation in public schools – the South struggled to maintain a Jim Crow system that kept black people legally and politically impotent, all in the name of states’ rights.

Two hallmarks of the civil rights movement are the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the legislative victories were achieved only through the blood of civil rights workers, both black and white, who were beaten, sprayed with fire hoses, shot, firebombed, bitten by police dogs and lynched.

The purpose of the Voting Rights Act was to apply a nationwide ban against discriminatory election practices such as literacy tests. The existing anti-discrimination laws, Congress concluded, were insufficient to overcome the Southern states’ resistance to the Fifteenth Amendment.

In June 2013, the nation’s high court cut the voting law at its knees inShelby County v Holder when it eviscerated the key component of the act – the section 4 preclearance requirement – which determined which states must receive approval from a federal court or the Justice Department before making changes to their voting procedures. The act applied to nine states – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia – and various other localities and counties across the country.

In the second decade of the 21st century, the latest battle centers around southern states with a history of voting rights violations, and currently exhibit the most anti-blackracist sentiment. These states want to employ restrictive and racially discriminatory voter suppression methods such as voter ID. This time, the Republican party has replaced the Dixiecrats as the party of white supremacy and the old Confederacy, of racial discrimination and voter suppression. And Holder has decided to make an example of Texas, firing the first shot at the Lone Star state.

Within 24 hours of the high court decision, five states – Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia – decided to move forward with their voter ID laws. They required preclearance under section 4, which no longer exists. Moreover, Holder and a federal court had already blocked the South Carolina and Texas voter ID laws because they violated the Voting Rights Act.

Florida has resumed its purge of Hispanic voters following the supreme court decision, and after a federal court lifted a ban on removing potential non-US citizens from the rolls. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is about to sign into law the nation’s most restrictive voter suppression measure, though, he admits he has not read the provisionprohibiting 16- and 17-year-olds from pre-registering to vote. The law also eliminates same-day registration, cuts early voting by a week and requires government-issued ID to vote. According to the North Carolina secretary of state, voter ID laws are having a disproportionate impact onDemocratic voters and voters of color.

SB 14, the Texas voter ID law considered the most severe in the US at present, requires Texans to prove their citizenship and state residency in order to vote, using a passport, military ID or birth certificate if they lack a driver’s license, concealed handgun license or photo ID. In 2012, a federal court struck down the Texas law on the grounds that:

The implicit costs of obtaining SB 14-qualifying ID will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty. … We therefore conclude that SB 14 is likely to lead to ‘retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.’

Yet, in light of the Shelby County decision, the Supreme Court discarded the lower court’s Texas voter ID ruling, and threw out a ruling that found Texas’ state redistricting maps were “enacted with discriminatory purpose” and diluted the Latino vote. Although Latinos made up nearly 40% of the Texas population in the 2010 census and accounted for 65% of the growth in the state population, Texas Republicans essentially pretended Texas is a white state. The GOP kept Latinos and black voters out of the redistricting process, added only one minority district, and manipulated an electoral map “that would look Hispanic, but perform for Anglos”.

In addition, the court found that 603,892 to 795,955 Latino voters in Texas lacked voter identification – as Texas Republicans had intended. Student IDs are not adequate identification at the polls, but gun permits are acceptable, reflected a preference for Republican constituents.

Holder announced he would ask a federal court to force the state to continue to receive permission to make changes to its voting laws. The Justice Department has requested that a federal court impose an additional 10 years of preclearance.

Governor Rick Perry said in a statement:

This end run around the supreme court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process.

Greg Abbott, the Texas state attorney general, accused Holder of “sowing racial divide” and tweeted “I’ll fight #Obama’s effort to control our elections & I’ll fight against cheating at ballot box.” Conservative proponents of voter ID measures invoke the specter of voter fraud and the need to protect the integrity of elections as justifications for the legislation. However, voter fraud is exceedingly rare, and about as infrequent as death by lightning strikes, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Rather, white southern Republicans enact voter ID laws because they do not want Democratic constituencies to vote, particularly people of color. Rather than embrace the changing demographics in the US and adopt platforms to address the needs and concerns of voters of color, Republicans have chosen to eschew these voters and wage an assault on civil rights, immigration and policies of diversity and inclusion. This is the endgame for the Republican Southern Strategy of race card politics. The GOP was able to win elections on the margins by appealing to the racial insecurities of disaffected working class whites. In the process, southern whites fled the Democratic party, and the GOP became the party of the white South. Now, this marginalized base of angry white voters is all that is left of the Republican strategy and of the GOP as well, so Republicans must remove the segments of the electorate that will not vote for them.

 

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Conservatives Turn America Into Another Zimbabwe

The United Nations and other international organizations often send poll watchers to third world hellholes like Zimbabwe to try and stop the conservative forces of darkness such as dictator Robert Mugabe from using thug tactics to prevent voters from exercising the franchise…

Not much different from the jack-boot Rethughy bigots in this country…

Which is why the United States now needs international poll watchers to defend the once shining beacon of Democracy’s citizens and their right to vote.

More of that conservatism turning America into a third-world has been.

International monitors at US polling spots draw criticism from voter fraud groups

United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers around the county on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places.

Liberal-leaning civil rights groups met with representatives from the OSCE this week to raise their fears about what they say are systematic efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU, among other groups, warned this month in a letter to Daan Everts, a senior official with OSCE, of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”

The request for foreign monitoring of election sites drew a strong rebuke from Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote, a conservative-leaning group seeking to crack down on election fraud.

“These activist groups sought assistance not from American sources, but from the United Nations,” she said in a statement to The Hill. “The United Nations has no jurisdiction over American elections.”

The observers, from countries such as Germany, France, Serbia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, will observe voting at polling places and other political activity.

“They [will] observe the overall election process, not just the ballot casting,” said Giovanna Maiola, spokeswoman for OSCE. “They are focusing on a number of areas on the state level, including the legal system, election administration, the campaign, the campaign financing [and] new voting technologies used in the different states.”

 

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The New Jim Crow – The Voter Fraud Fraud

This is he result of searching high and low for the last 10 years for incidences of Voter Fraud…

And finding nothing but Republican racism.

New database of US voter fraud finds no evidence that photo ID laws are needed

A new nationwide analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent.

In an exhaustive public records search, reporters from the investigative reporting projecdt News21 sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of fraudulent activity including registration fraud, absentee ballot fraud, vote buying, false election counts, campaign fraud, casting an ineligible vote, voting twice, voter impersonation fraud and intimidation.

Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.

“Voter fraud at the polls is an insignificant aspect of American elections,” said elections expert David Schultz, professor of public policy at Hamline University School of Business in St. Paul, Minn.

“There is absolutely no evidence,” Schultz said, that voter impersonation fraud “has affected the outcome of any election in the United States, at least any recent election in the United States.”

The News21 analysis of its election fraud database shows:

  • In-person voter-impersonation fraud is rare. The database shows 207 cases of other types of fraud for every case of voter impersonation. “The fraud that matters is the fraud that is organized. That’s why voter impersonation is practically non-existent because it is difficult to do and it is difficult to pull people into conspiracies to do it,” said Lorraine Minnite, professor of public policy and administration at Rutgers University.
  • There is more fraud in absentee ballots and voter registration than any other categories. The analysis shows 491 cases of absentee ballot fraud and 400 cases of registration fraud. A required photo ID at the polls would not have prevented these cases. “The one issue I think is potentially important, though more or less ignored, is the overuse of absentee balloting, which provides far more opportunity for fraud and intimidation than on-site voter fraud,” said Daniel Lowenstein, a UCLA School of Law professor.
  • Of reported election-fraud allegations in the database whose resolution could be determined, 46 percent resulted in acquittals, dropped charges or decisions not to bring charges. Minnite says prosecutions are rare. “You have to be able to show that people knew what they were doing and they knew it was wrong and they did it anyway,” she said. “It may be in the end” that prosecutors “can’t really show that the people who have cast technically illegal ballots did it on purpose.”
  • Felons or noncitizens sometimes register to vote or cast votes because they are confused about their eligibility. The database shows 74 cases of felons voting and 56 cases of noncitizens voting.
  • Voters make a lot of mistakes, from accidentally voting twice to voting in the wrong precinct.
  • Election officials make a lot mistakes, from clerical errors — giving voters ballots when they’ve already voted — to election workers confused about voters’ eligibility requirements.

For a look at that database – go here

 

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The New Jim Crow – Ben Jealous Hammers New Voter ID Laws

Part of the Republican strategy to defeating President Obama in 2012 – is to reduce the number of black and brown voters.

The last time this strategy was successful was in 2004, when black precincts were denied the number of voting machines required to handle the traffic in Ohio. And we won’t get into the voter role purges of 2000 assisting in the illegitimate presidency of George Bush.

NAACP head likens voter ID measures to Jim Crow

The head of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights group on Monday condemned state laws requiring photo identification of voters as an attempt to disenfranchise minorities through some “of the last existing legal pillars of Jim Crow.”

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said a wave of newly enacted photo-ID requirements stemmed from what he saw as “the worst and most racist elements” in conservative Tea Party groups that have immersed themselves in state politics since the 2010 elections.

He compared photo ID laws to poll taxes and other past restrictions — since struck down by the courts — designed to keep blacks from voting in the segregated Deep South. And he said the latest measures were part of a racial backlash against the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.

“Our voting rights are under attack because a few years ago, we had a great breakthrough in this country,” Jealous said in a speech at the 102nd annual NAACP convention, held in Los Angeles. “We broke the color line at the White House.”

He said the NAACP would mount education campaigns aimed at preventing minorities and the poor from being disenfranchised.

Supporters of photo ID laws, backed mainly by Republican legislators and governors, say they are aimed at thwarting election fraud and are no more discriminatory than requiring IDs for cashing a check or making credit-card purchases.

 

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Congressman Lewis and Voter ID Laws

This is why I have little respect for the Congressional Black Caucus. With 42 members in the US House, the CBC can pretty much do to Republicans what Republicans did to Democrats between 2008 and 2010…

Stop damn near everything in the House, unless they got Bill Riders or legislation voted on they care about.

Sooooo… WTF aren’t they being proactive about derailing Jim Crow Voter ID? Why don’t you pass a Bill that every state that enacts a Voter ID requirement must meet Federal Civil Rights review by the Justice Department before receiving any federal funds?

Close down Military Bases, and federal facilities in any state with Voter ID laws. Now those are pretty extreme – but I think you get my drift.

Fillibuster and shut down the next “Symbolic Vote” by the tea Baggers in Congress.

If I were head of the CBC, you wouldn’t be able to pass water in Congress without a bill doing something about black unemployment.

Seems to me these guys could be doing a lot more than just speechifying and playing the victim card.

VOTER ID SPARKS BLACK IRE

Washington – Black Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta is joining several other Democrats arguing that the rise of voter–identification laws across many states is a coordinated attempt by Republicans to suppress minority and elderly votes.

Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American NewsLewis, a civil-rights activist in the 1960s said, “We must fight back. We must speak up and speak out. We must never, ever go back. We will not stand idly by while millions of Americans are denied their right to participate in the democratic process.”

Lewis spoke along with other Democrats and warned that the state laws must be rejected.

“These new policies are a clear attempt to prevent certain pre-determined segments of the population from exercising their right to vote,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge. “To be frank, Mr. Speaker, these efforts have an all-too familiar stench of the Jim Crow era.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said the voter-ID laws are a Republican response to President Obama’s election.

“Is this a serious voter problem? No,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is a cynical and malicious Republican attempt to suppress minority and elderly voters who turned out in historical numbers for the ’08 elections.”

Others said the laws are akin to a poll tax, something used more than 100 years ago in an effort to discourage minority voters. The lawmakers said the requirement of an official government identification is a cost that many cannot afford, and which interferes with their right to vote.

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) argued the laws are an “organized effort to turn back the clocks back to the period prior to the 1965 voting rights act.”

Think it is time for another “Yellowback Donkey Award”!

 

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