Southern states are moving to tighten voting rules

This Feb. 27, 201,3 file photo shows people waiting in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case. The justices are hearing arguments in a challenge to the part of the Voting Rights Act that forces places with a history of discrimination, mainly in the Deep South, to get approval before they make any change in the way elections are held. Newly emboldened by a Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, a growing number of Republican-led states are moving aggressively to tighten voting rules, prompting lawsuits from the Obama administration and voting rights activists who say the measures disproportionately impact minorities. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

This Feb. 27, 201,3 file photo shows people waiting in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case. The justices are hearing arguments in a challenge to the part of the Voting Rights Act that forces places with a history of discrimination, mainly in the Deep South, to get approval before they make any change in the way elections are held. Newly emboldened by a Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, a growing number of Republican-led states are moving aggressively to tighten voting rules, prompting lawsuits from the Obama administration and voting rights activists who say the measures disproportionately impact minorities. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

— Emboldened by the Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, a growing number of Republican-led states are moving aggressively to tighten voting rules. Lawsuits by the Obama administration and voting rights activists say those efforts disproportionately affect minorities.

At least five Southern states, no longer required to ask Washington's permission before changing election procedures, are adopting strict voter identification laws or toughening existing requirements.

Texas officials are battling the U.S. Justice Department to put in place a voter ID law that a federal court has ruled was discriminatory. In North Carolina, the GOP-controlled Legislature scaled back early voting and ended a pre-registration program for high school students nearing voting age.

Nowhere is the debate more heated than in Florida, where the chaotic recount in the disputed 2000 presidential race took place.

Florida election officials are set to resume an effort to remove noncitizens from the state's voting rolls. A purge last year ended in embarrassment after hundreds of American citizens, most of whom were black or Hispanic, were asked to prove their citizenship or risk losing their right to vote.

Republican leaders across the South say the new measures are needed to prevent voter fraud, even though such crimes are rare. Democrats and civil rights groups say the changes are political attacks aimed at minorities and students — voting groups that tend to lean toward Democrats — in states with legacies of poll taxes and literacy tests.

In North Carolina, for example, a state board of elections survey found that more than 600,000 registered voters did not have a state-issued ID, a requirement to vote under the state's new law. Many of those voters are young, black, poor or elderly.

"We're in the middle of the biggest wave of voter suppression since the Voting Rights Act was enacted," said Katherine Culliton-González, director of voter protection for the Advancement Project, a Washington-based civil rights group that has undertaken legal challenges in several states.

For five decades, states and localities with a history of discrimination had to submit all election laws, from new congressional district maps to precinct locations and voting hours, to federal lawyers for approval. That practice ended in June when the Supreme Court struck down the provision in the Voting Rights Act as outdated.

Voting rights groups said recent actions by Southern states highlight the need for Congress to retool the rejected sections of the landmark 1965 law that were credited with ensuring ballot access to millions of blacks, American Indians and other minorities.

The administration is using the remaining parts of the law to bring court cases.

When Attorney General Eric Holder announced a suit last month to place Texas under federal supervision again, he said the Justice Department would not allow the high court's decision "to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights."

Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., has defended the planned voter purge, saying his state has an obligation to maintain the integrity of the vote.

"I care about your sacred right to vote," he said. "Your sacred right to vote should not be diluted by somebody who does not have the right to vote."

The effort has become a campaign issue as the governor seeks re-election next year. Former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is widely expected to challenge Scott as a Democrat, has called the move "unconscionable," and Democrats have painted the action as an attempt to rally conservatives and disenfranchise Democratic voters.

The state also is running into resistance from county election supervisors, who are the only ones with the power to remove voters from the rolls. The local officials say they are wary of another effort targeting noncitizens after last year's botched campaign.

"They did a sloppy, slap-dash effort, and the voters were the victims," said Lori Edwards, the supervisor of elections in Polk County and president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections.

In 2012, the state's initial list of 180,000 potential noncitizens, culled from a comparison of drivers' licenses and voter registration data, was pared back to 2,600 names. But when election supervisors contacted those on the list, they found many were citizens.

One was Murat Limage, 45, a Haitian-American taxi driver from Tampa. He had come from Haiti to join his family in Florida in 1999 and he became a naturalized citizen in 2010. When he received a letter from the county elections department, he said he was worried authorities wanted to revoke his citizenship.

After producing his passport for a county official, he said he was told no further action was necessary. Limage said the experience stirred the same anger he felt as a young man when he watched footage of the Haitian military gun down citizens waiting to vote in that country's presidential election.

"I came here for my freedom and they tried to take it away from me," he said. "You don't have to use guns or killing. But it's the same thing."

The state was ordered to halt its effort after Limage and several voting rights groups sued, alleging Florida had violated the Voting Rights Act.

State officials apologized and said the mistakes arose from using a database of drivers' licenses to check names. This year, the state will use a more reliable federal immigration database it sued to gain access to.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner will go around Florida next month to hear the concerns of county election supervisors.

In an interview, Detzner said he was fulfilling the duties of his office by ensuring clean voter rolls. He dismissed the arguments of critics, including election supervisors, who say the state has yet to provide any evidence of widespread voter fraud.

"It's not a matter of scope. It's a matter of following the law," Detzner said.

As for voter fraud, he said: "I haven't seen any evidence from any other parties that it's not a problem. Until we investigate and process the names of all people on the voting list, how do we know?"

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Comments » 16

WMissow writes:

NO PROPER ID, NO VOTE end of sentence.

26yearsonmarco writes:

"Former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is widely expected to challenge Scott as a Democrat, has called the move "unconscionable," and Democrats have painted the action as an attempt to rally conservatives and disenfranchise Democratic voters."

The "Tan Man" is just like all the Politicos, who only think of themselves, and will do anything to get a sweet do nothing job for a few years, and retire on a full pension paid for by "We the People" for the rest of their lives.

It won't be long before "We the (Anglo) People" become the minority voters in this Once Great Country, and then let's see who stands up for us.

liberator100 writes:

No one has been able to prove to me or to any US Court that being asked to present a proper ID before casting a valid vote is "suppressing minorities" or anyone else for that matter. No ID/No Vote. If you do not have a valid ID; get one. If you can't get one for a valid reason; ask someone to help you get one. Otherwise, YOU CAN NOT VOTE. Fraudulent votes cost elections and elections have consequences. The present clueless man is a good example.

MIOCENE (Inactive) writes:

"I came here for my freedom and they tried to take it away from me," Limage said.

If "freedom" is all you wanted Limage; why didn't you and your family just stay in Haiti with all those "free" Catholic and Protestnt missionaries?

Or was it something ELSE you came here for; like food stamps, free Medicaid, housing and educational entitlements?

There is a difference between the immigrants of old and those of today:

Back in the "Old Days"; when an immigrant came to America; he and his family were pretty much "on their own".

It was "Sink or Swim"; no Food Stamps or Medicaid. Your "Anchor Baby" or your large family was YOUR responsibility.

Now when the immigrant poor come to America; they have children; and the American Middle Class pays the bill; as the growing Medicaid monster devours our local budgets.

Republicans are correct when they say that the Middle Class is vanishing.

As money is drained from the M.C. to pay bills for the Poor; there is a "leveling downward" of the standard of Living.

Eventually this will lead to Socialism and a two-class society; the peasants and the controlling Rich.
What happens after that, I don't know; but until then:

The poor have children, the middle class pays the bill; -while the rich laugh all the way to the bank.

MIOCENE

RayPray writes:

in response to 26yearsonmarco:

"Former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is widely expected to challenge Scott as a Democrat, has called the move "unconscionable," and Democrats have painted the action as an attempt to rally conservatives and disenfranchise Democratic voters."

The "Tan Man" is just like all the Politicos, who only think of themselves, and will do anything to get a sweet do nothing job for a few years, and retire on a full pension paid for by "We the People" for the rest of their lives.

It won't be long before "We the (Anglo) People" become the minority voters in this Once Great Country, and then let's see who stands up for us.

"It won't be long before "We the (Anglo) People" become the minority voters in this Once Great Country, and then let's see who stands up for us."

First of all, "You the the Angle people" were always the minority in North America, when you add up the Germans in PA, the Scots-Irish n Ky & TN, the French in the Miss Valley & Arcadia, the Spanish in FLA and points south and the Indians all over....

Secondly, you the people low-IQ types always prate on how this was a once great country now in the toilet....

If this country was really that great, then the people running it must also have been great. So why, after Newton's First law of History, did all these great angle fore-bearers decide to to flush the toilet on our founding ideology?

Check your timeline & Guess who it was that inflicted on us:

>food stamps & welfare
>affirmative action quotas
>massive importation of criminals & dolts from Haiti & Africa

It was all your Protestant Angle relatives running the government back then....

WMissow writes:

Do you folks really mean that those who want their Boma phones may not be qualified to vote if they do not have a proper ID or anybody else for that matter?

How condescending.....yeah right!

WMissow writes:

Take a look at the picture above the article. Do you mean to tell me that these individuals have the ability to get those signs printed and not have the ability to get a proper ID for themselves or for the other folks they are representing.

Another yeah right!

MIOCENE (Inactive) writes:

in response to RayPray:

"It won't be long before "We the (Anglo) People" become the minority voters in this Once Great Country, and then let's see who stands up for us."

First of all, "You the the Angle people" were always the minority in North America, when you add up the Germans in PA, the Scots-Irish n Ky & TN, the French in the Miss Valley & Arcadia, the Spanish in FLA and points south and the Indians all over....

Secondly, you the people low-IQ types always prate on how this was a once great country now in the toilet....

If this country was really that great, then the people running it must also have been great. So why, after Newton's First law of History, did all these great angle fore-bearers decide to to flush the toilet on our founding ideology?

Check your timeline & Guess who it was that inflicted on us:

>food stamps & welfare
>affirmative action quotas
>massive importation of criminals & dolts from Haiti & Africa

It was all your Protestant Angle relatives running the government back then....

Actually is was the Irish Catholic, Ted Kennedy; along with President Kennety who were instrumental in promoting the "browning of America".

LBJ signed the Hart-Celler Act; the floodgates opened; and we began the long journey toward being a socialist welfare nation.

Ted Kennedy assured the country that Whites would stay in the majority, and that America would not be flooded with Mexicans and Sub Saharan Africans; as a result of a change in immigration policy in the early to mid 1960's.

It became an embarassment at the time that America welcomed Northern Europeans; and limited the number of poor from South.

That's when it all started. In 1965; not with Obama.

So in a sense RAYPRAY is correct. It was the White Anglo Protestants who voted on the bill.
But you see: NOT to have voted for it at the time would have made one appear as a bigot.

Congress was put into a BOX by Ted Kennedy; with no way out except to vote in favor a bill they probably didn't want.

It was almost inevitable. There was a lot of GUILT going around back then with the Bible Belt also known as the Lynching Belt.

It would have happened sooner or later.

The question is: Where do we go from here?

MIOCENE

26yearsonmarco writes:

RayPray:

Get your definition of Anglo straight.

Anglo [ˈæŋgləʊ]
n pl -glos

1. US a White inhabitant of the United States who is not of Latin extraction

26yearsonmarco writes:

Anyone in need of a little Monday AM humor needs to read this:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/loc...

August8 writes:

They are 'RACIST', it's obvious, shish !

Konfuzius writes:

All residents of a community must have the right to vote. If they pay taxes. That is democracy.

RayPray writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

All residents of a community must have the right to vote. If they pay taxes. That is democracy.

"If they pay taxes."

>>> Property requirements for voting are now just a figment of colonial history....

26yearsonmarco writes:

There was a book written years ago called, I believe, the fifth vote. The Author said a person should receive one vote for each accomplishment achieved in life, ie: HS Diploma, College Diploma, Job, etc.

August8 writes:

We are all so darn racist, let's just admit it and be done, ok?

26yearsonmarco writes:

Good Morning on the first day of the Big Gov Shutdown.

Has anyone noticed:

The Sun Rose. The Tide Came Rose. The Stock Market Rose.

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