Pacific Standard: Prison-Based Gerrymandering Dilutes Blacks’ Voting Power

A new report concludes some majority-black legislative districts are penalized because of the way the census bureau counts their imprisoned residents.

-By Emily Badger

June 3, 2010- Sixty-six percent of the inmates in the state of New York come from New York City. But 91 percent of them are incarcerated upstate, in communities where they have long been counted by the U.S. census.

On paper, this means prisoners belong not to the communities from which they’ve come (and to which they eventually will return), but to places where they can neither vote, check out a library book or attend a local school.

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NYT: Don’t Let Corporations Gut DISCLOSE Act

A NYT editorial blasted big business and the US Chamber of Commerce for attempting to gut the DISCLOSE Act with a host of amendments. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/opinion/06sun3.html It urged Congress to reject these amendments and pass the strongest bill possible. We concur that the only amendments that should be allowed are those that make the bill stronger.

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Protect Our Elections Officially Launched

Today we officially launched this campaign. Please spread the word. We cannot afford another election that denies millions of citizens their right to vote. Please take a few moments to sign the petition so Congress knows that you want these election protection measures passed this year. We need your help and your support.

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Internet Voting Worries Cybersecurity Experts

NY Times reports that three million military votes could be cast via email/Internet creating conditions for rigging elections. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/us/politics/09voting.html?scp=1&sq=states%20move%20to%20allow%20overseas%20and%20military%20voters&st=cse A paper ballot requirement would help secure these votes.

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DISCLOSE Act Passed Out Of Committee

On Thursday, May 20, the House Administration Committee passed the DISCLOSE Act and sent it to the full House for a vote. http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/227260-campaign-disclosure-bill-moves-to-house We urge everyone to contact their Congress Members, sign our petition, and demand passage of this bill so corporations cannot spend millions in secret to elect candidates who will put profits over people.

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About ProtectOurElections.org

ProtectOurElections is a national collaboration of grassroots organizations that have joined together  to reclaim our democracy, providing oversight to rescue our elections from partisan politics and privatization. 

Five recent developments have harmed our elections in significant ways:

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Hand-Marked Paper Ballot for Every Vote Cast

A hand-marked paper ballot is essential for every vote cast. That means, among other things, that Direct Recording Electronic voting systems (DREs), which do not have paper ballots, have no place in our democracy.

The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 2894), introduced last year by Rush Holt, would replace DRE systems by 2014 and is supported by many organizations, including some endorsers of this campaign. Other endorsers of this campaign do not support HR 2894 as written but would consider doing so with the following amendments:

  • Assistive paper-ballot marking devices for optional use by the disabled or other voters who wish to use them ONLY IF the voter declines the use of a hand-marked paper ballot first before voting.
  • Replace all DRE systems in time for the 2012 general election.

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