ACLU on Government Reform
American Civil Liberties Union
The ruling is the culmination of a federal lawsuit filed in 2016. At a bench trial earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union represented voters who said they had been impeded from registering by the law.
"This decision is a stinging rebuke of Kris Kobach, and the centerpiece of his voter suppression efforts: a show-me-your-papers law that has disenfranchised tens of thousands of Kansans. That law was based on a xenophobic lie that noncitizens are engaged in rampant elections fraud," said the director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.
Under the ruling, Kobach must instruct all state and county election officers that voter registration applicants do not need to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.
ACLU attorneys complained Kobach routinely defied a temporary injunction issued by Robinson in 2016 to block enforcement of the state's proof of citizenship law. Kobach's office refused to update language on its website suggesting that new voter applicants may not be able to vote. Kobach also failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying voters they could participate in elections.
"The judge found that Kris Kobach disobeyed the court's orders by failing to provide registered voters with consistent information, that he willfully failed to ensure that county elections officials were properly trained and that he has a 'history of noncompliance and disrespect for the court's decisions,' " said an ACLU attorney.
Q: What is the issue with the current law?
A: The concern is that the 20-day deadline is completely arbitrary, and disenfranchises thousands of voters every election. There's a particular concern for communities that are disproportionately impacted by this deadline: low-income people, elderly people, students, younger people, and people of color.
Q: How does MA compare to other states?
A: We're behind, given the technological advancements that have been made to facilitate election-day registration. There are a wide range of registration cutoffs, but there are several states that have election-day registration, including NH and WI, states of comparable size and population.
Q: How would changing the deadline affect MA?
A: It would increase voter turnout. More people would have access to the polls.
SFGate.com veto analysis:Gov. Brown said that existing laws "already ensure that the voting strength of minority communities is not diluted." The 2002 law allows minority groups to challenge at-large (city-wide) elections, increasing the likelihood of control by a white majority. [Since 2002] over 100 local governments switched to district elections.˙The [new] law could challenge district lines if intended to dilute minority votes.
Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 26-14-0; Passed Assembly 53-24-3; Vetoed on 10/10/15.
These radical claims for the authority to ban books and movies led me to dub the amendment's proponents the "Fahrenheit 451 Democrats," after Ray Bradbury's dystopian classic about book-burning government power run amok. And their positions were so radical that they lost one of their usual allies--the ACLU. To its credit, the ACLU blasted the proposed constitutional amendment: "Even proponents of the amendment have acknowledged that his authority could extend to books, television shows, or movies, such as Hillary Clinton's Hard Choice or a show like the West Wing, which depicted a heroic Democratic presidential administration during the crucial election years of 2000 and 2004.
ACLU-Ohio opinion on this bill: While SB 205 does make some positive improvements for voters with disabilities, it fails on several fronts to make voting easier for Ohioans. One of the most concerning aspects of SB 205 is the addition of the word "incomplete" in reference to a voter's absentee ballot identification envelope. Giving discretion to a few election officials to define exactly what this word means is likely to result in more ballots not being counted. Additionally, this language is overly broad and could violate federal law. The ACLU encourages the legislature to steer away from creating a "race to the bottom" by limiting ballot access of voters and contemplate more constructive ways to improve the absentee ballot process.
ACLU-Ohio opinion on this bill: SB 238 moves Ohio election administration in the wrong direction. Eliminating "Golden Week" and shortening the early voting period will needlessly complicate the voting process and place additional burdens on voters. Voters with disabilities, seniors, the homeless, new residents, people with a lack of transportation, among many others, have utilized Golden Week as a flexible way to register & vote simultaneously. While the bill's sponsors may point to concerns over possible voting irregularities, there is almost no evidence to justify those fears. Rather than seeking to curtail the ability of voters to cast their ballot more easily, Ohio's legislators should strive to provide a fair, flexible and secure system that benefits all voters.
ACLU Analysis: "A vote for this bill is a vote to disenfranchise U.S. citizens," said the legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. "Research indicates that as much as 11 percent of U.S. citizens do not have government-issued photo identification. But they have the right to vote. Why is the State House afraid of the voters?"
Legislative outcome: Bill passed House, 108-88-7 on June 23, 2011; State Rep. Jim Christiana voted YEA; bill passed Senate, 26-23-1, on March 7, 2012; signed by Governor Tom Corbett on March 12, 2012
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Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Joe Scarborough (Former Congressman; Radio Host)
Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)
Robert Reich (Professor and Columnist)
Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)
John F. Kennedy(President,1961-1963)