Monthly Archives: December 2012

Huffington Post: Florida’s Long Lines On Election Day Discouraged 49,000 People From Voting: Report

-By Amanda Terkel

December 29, 2012- Florida took center stage in the 2012 elections, when voters around the state had to wait in line at the polls for up to nine hours. Gov. Rick Scott (R) initially denied that there was any problem, saying it was "very good" that people were getting out to vote.

But a new study shows that tens of thousands of people were actually discouraged from voting because of the long lines.

According to an analysis by Theodore Allen, an associate professor of industrial engineering at Ohio State University, as many as 49,000 individuals in Central Florida did not vote because of the problems at the polls.

About 19,000 of those people would have backed former GOP nominee Mitt Romney, while the rest would have gone for President Barack Obama, according to Allen.

Think Progress: Democratic House Candidates Now Have A Nearly 1.2 Million Vote Lead Over The Republicans

-By Ian Millhiser

December 21, 2012- The day after the election last month, ThinkProgress took a preliminary tally of the total number of votes cast for candidates for the House of Representatives. We found that, despite the fact that Republicans won a commanding majority of the seats, the American people cast more than half-a-million votes for Democrats. This number was based on early tallies, however, and it was especially likely to undercount many West Coast states that had less time to count ballots.

Pro Publica: How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt Voters

-by Olga Pierce, Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer

December 21, 2012- In the November election, a million more Americans voted for Democrats seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives than Republicans. But that popular vote advantage did not result in control of the chamber. Instead, despite getting fewer votes, Republicans have maintained a commanding control of the House. Such a disparity has happened only three times in the last century.

(Here’s a chart comparing 2010 and 2012.)

Analysts and others have identified redistricting as a key to the disparity. Republicans had a years-long strategy of winning state houses in order to control each state's once-a-decade redistricting process. (Confused about redistricting? Check out our song.)

Huffington Post: Voting Rights Issues Weighed By Senate In Heated Partisan Hearing

-By Larry Margasak, The Associated Press

December 20, 2012- WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats and Republicans sparred Wednesday over whether voter ID laws, attempts to purge voter rolls and restricted early voting were legitimate efforts to stop fraud or mainly Republican strategies to hold down Democratic votes.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a onetime Republican who recently turned Democrat, said the state GOP aimed its efforts at Hispanics and African-Americans. They cited as one example the elimination of early voting on the Sunday before the election, when members of those groups historically vote after church.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the panel, defended Republican efforts to clear the rolls of ineligible voters and was backed by two Republican secretaries of state — Matt Schultz of Iowa and Ken Bennett of Arizona.

"I believe voter ID laws are commonsense measures to prevent voter fraud," Grassley said.

Republicans reap the fruits of redistricting

-By Will Femia, The Maddow Blog

December 13, 2012- The graphics in last night's opening segment on gerrymandering were so clear and illustrative I wanted to give you a second look. What these show is the total number of votes for Democratic and Republican House candidates in each state. Or, as Rachel put it, more people in Michigan voted for a Democrat than voted for a Republican. But the point of gerrymandering is that more people voting for a Democratic representative does not mean more Democratic representatives were elected to represent those voters. In fact, the opposite. And in cases where more voters chose Republicans, the apportionment of representatives for those voters is disproportionate.

Pro Publica: Karl Rove’s Dark Money Group Promised IRS It Would Spend ‘Limited’ Money on Elections

-by Kim Barker

December 14, 2012- In a confidential 2010 filing, Crossroads GPS — the dark money group that spent more than $70 million from anonymous donors on the 2012 election — told the Internal Revenue Service that its efforts would focus on public education, research and shaping legislation and policy.

The group's application for recognition as a social welfare nonprofit acknowledged that it would spend money to influence elections, but said "any such activity will be limited in amount, and will not constitute the organization's primary purpose."

Political insiders and campaign-finance watchdogs have long questioned how Crossroads, the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, had characterized its intentions to the IRS.

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