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Commentary

Timelines: Defeating Voter Suppression

Written by Peter Grear, Esq. on Saturday, 08 February 2014 18:32.

John Travis HoltWhile planning to address issues of concern and writing vision statements, the single most important question is what your particular issue or concern will look like at a given point in time.  Of course this is important because when you describe what you’d like to see in the future, your action plan necessarily contains action items required to achieve your concern or vision. You’re allowed to pick any point in time and ask the question.  So it is with our campaign to defeat voter suppression.  As the efforts to defeat voter suppression move forward we are constantly evaluating the three components of our mantra; (1). What should the education component of our campaign look like? (2). what should the organizational component of our campaign look like? (3). what should the mobilization component of our campaign look like?  However, the more strategic question that we address in this week’s editorial is, what will North Carolina look like politically on Tuesday, November 5th, 2014?  

The History of Voter ID Laws Defeating Voter Suppression

Written by Peter Grear, Esq. on Friday, 31 January 2014 14:24.

EDUCATE, ORGANIZE AND MOBILIZE: Voter ID laws require voters to present in most instances, some type of state issued photo identification in order to vote.  It is important to note that most voter ID legislation is coming from Republican controlled states and being justified as necessary to address voter fraud.  To date, as shown in the Pennsylvania case, the evidence presented proves that among other things voter fraud is rare or non-existent. This week we’ll look at the laws in several states as examples of how these laws came about and are being received in courts and in the court of public opinion.  I believe that the best Internet site for a concise overview of voter ID in the United States is one of the sources I’ve used and relied upon for this article. John Holt

Voter ID Victory

Written by Vic Walczak, Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania on Monday, 27 January 2014 17:09.

The bad back that awakened me at 6:00 a.m. on this birthday morning and that spurred unpleasant thoughts of growing old dissipated in an instant with an email alert that our long-awaited decision in the voter ID had issued. I didn’t have the opinion, but I had the result – we won! Thousands of hours of hard work in collaboration with my fantastic colleagues had not been a total waste. And that adrenaline rush only increased when I read the opinion. “Disenfranchising voters ‘through [no] fault of the voter himself’ is plainly unconstitutional,” (p.43), wrote the judge, echoing something I’d been saying for two years. The judge agreed with virtually every argument we made in concluding that this law didn’t promote any valid governmental objective while disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.

Pennsylvania Victory: Wilmington Native Defeating Voter Suppression

Written by Peter Grear, Esq. on Friday, 24 January 2014 21:06.

Readers will have to pardon me this week as I confess to the sin of pride.  But proud I am and so should be the millions around the country threatened by and fighting against voter suppression.  Last week the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania declared that the Pennsylvania voter ID law was unconstitutional.  This is the most important voter rights decision since the Supreme Court gutted the voting rights in June of 2013.  This decision will be used in lawsuits around the country by other litigators fighting voter suppression.

The Whole World is Watching Voter Suppression Laws

Written by Peter Grear, Esq. on Saturday, 18 January 2014 23:59.

Over the past few months we’ve covered many aspects of voter suppression, its targets and the threat it poses to our democracy.  This week we’ll take a look at voter ID and the way voter suppression is being viewed in Great Britain, Europe’s most important democracy.   It is undisputed that voter ID is the centerpiece of voter suppression laws and gets the headlines when the laws are being discussed.  Voter ID is normally justified as necessary to prevent in-person voter fraud.  However, it is well documented that numerous investigations around the country have turned up negligible voter fraud and where it was found, it was the kind of fraud that would not be prevented by voter ID.

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