Federal district judge deals blow to Gov. Kemp on voter roll purge

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11 Alive – Georgia – February 10, 2020

ATLANTA — A federal judge, this week, ruled against Gov. Brian Kemp in a lawsuit filed against him in 2018, while he was still Secretary of State.

The federal lawsuit was initiated by freelance journalist Greg Palast along with Helen Butler, executive director of Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda.

According to the suit, Kemp, in his role as secretary of state, was accused of using a racially-biased methodology for removing as many as 700,000 legitimate voters from the state’s voter rolls during a period between 2016 and 2018.

Read the rest of this story on 11Alive’s website.

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In Closely Divided Wisconsin, the Battle for Votes Is Already Underway

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A legal challenge over who can vote in Wisconsin has set off a furious fight, a reflection of political tension in a pivotal state for the presidential race.

Jan. 14, 2020
By Mitch Smith and Michael Wines

MADISON, Wis. — It began with what seemed like a simple question: If a computer says voters have moved and are no longer eligible to vote at their old addresses, should the voters be struck from the rolls even if the computer has a history of mistakes?

An election volunteer helped register voters in Waukesha, Wis., in 2018.Credit – Tim Gruber for The New York Times

When Wisconsin election officials first pondered the question a few months ago, it ruled unanimously against the computer and for preserving the voters’ registrations, at least temporarily. But what once seemed a matter of electoral housekeeping has morphed into a political cage fight that has sprawled across four courts, split the state’s Elections Commission and spurred intimations of voter suppression and voter fraud.

In other words, it is business as usual in Wisconsin, a partisan hothouse where elections can turn on onionskin margins and every ballot is potential booty in a political death struggle. Memories of President Trump’s victory in Wisconsin in 2016 by fewer than 23,000 votes remain fresh. And as Americans gird for a raucous election year, the scuffle over who stays on Wisconsin’s voting rolls may also portend similar struggles nationwide.

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Judge orders state to purge more than 200,000 Wisconsin voters from the rolls

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PORT WASHINGTON – An Ozaukee County judge on Friday ordered the state to remove hundreds of thousands of people from Wisconsin’s voter rolls because they may have moved.   

Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy, shown during a 2015 hearing. (Photo: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The case is being closely watched because of the state’s critical role in next year’s presidential race. Circuit Judge Paul Malloy also denied the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s petition to intervene.

Lawyers for the League and for the Wisconsin Elections Commission indicated they will appeal and asked Malloy to stay his ruling pending those appeals, but he declined.

At issue is a letter the state Elections Commission sent in October to about 234,000 voters who it believes may have moved. The letter asked the voters to update their voter registrations if they had moved or alert election officials if they were still at their same address. 

The commission planned to remove the letter’s recipients from the voter rolls in 2021 if it hadn’t heard from them. But Malloy’s decision would kick them off the rolls much sooner, and well before the 2020 presidential election.

Continue reading at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website.

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voter purge project, Georgia voters

Georgia Plans to Purge 300,000 Names From Its Voter Rolls

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Voting rights advocates described the removals as troubling, saying it was just the beginning of efforts to suppress the vote in battleground states.

By Nicholas Casey
Oct. 30, 2019
A coming purge of Georgia’s voter rolls has raised alarms among advocacy groups in the state and nationwide, many of whom see the issue of who gets to cast a ballot re-emerging with next year’s election, particularly in battleground states.

This week, Georgia state officials said they would be removing about 300,000 names from their lists of eligible voters, a number that amounts to almost 4 percent of those registered to vote. The state said the move is a normal part of updating records after voters have moved away or stopped casting ballots.

Continue reading at the New York Times website.

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Ohio Was Set to Purge 235,000 Voters. It Was Wrong About 20%.

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When Ohio released a list of people it planned to strike from its voting rolls, around 40,000 people shouldn’t have been on it. The state only found out because of volunteer sleuthing.

A purge of voter rolls in Ohio included activists like Jen Miller, the executive director of the League of Women Voters. Credit Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times.

By Nicholas Casey
Oct. 14, 2019
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The clock was ticking for Jen Miller. The state of Ohio had released names of 235,000 voters it planned to purge from voter rolls in September.

Ms. Miller, director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, believed thousands of voters were about to be wrongly removed. Over the summer, the Ohio secretary of state had sent her organization and others like it a massive spreadsheet with the 235,000 names and addresses that would be purged from the state’s
voter rolls in just a month — a list of people that, state officials said, some part of the bureaucracy flagged as deceased, living somewhere else or as a duplicate. The League of Women Voters had been asked to see if any of those purged qualified to register again.

Ms. Miller, who spends her work day helping register people to vote, scrolled through the names and then asked herself a question: What was her own voter status in the state?

Continue reading at the New York Times website.

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When should voters be removed from Louisiana’s rolls? Secretary of state hopefuls weigh in

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Julia O’Donoghue, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
OCT 26, 2018 – 12:33 PM

This is the third article in a three-part series examining how Louisiana’s secretary of state candidates feel about recent trends in election laws, namely those that have become popular in other conservative states. You can read the first story and second story in the series.

As states have updated their voting laws, conservatives have targeted two areas — early and absentee voting and removing inactive voters from the rolls.

Louisiana hasn’t adopted any such measures – or any other voting restriction for that matter – making it unique among its neighbors in the Deep South.

Five of the six major candidates running for Louisiana secretary of state, chosen based on their campaign fundraising, were asked about early voting rules and whether voter rolls should be purged. Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud could not be reached for comment.

The secretary of state can’t change voting laws unilaterally, but could push the Louisiana Legislature for new voting restrictions if he or she wanted.

24 states made it harder to vote. Will Louisiana be next?

Continue reading at the NOLA.com | Times-Picayune website.

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