Think Progress: The Supreme Court Will Hear A Republican Party Lawsuit To Make Citizens United Even Worse

-By Ian Millhiser

February 19, 2013- The Supreme Court’s election-buying decision in Citizens United v. FEC enabled wealthy corporations to spend unlimited money to change the course of American elections, and a subsequent lower court decision gave the green light to super PACs funded by unlimited donations from millionaires, billionaires and corporations. Today, the Supreme Court announced it would hear another case — brought by none other than the Republican National Committee — that would go even further towards transforming American democracy into the Wild West.

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The Virginian-Pilot: Photo ID voting bill moves closer to passage in Va.

-By Bill Sizemore

February 13, 2013- A requirement that all Virginia voters present photo identification at the polls moved a step closer to passage today.

State Sen. Mark Obenshain’s bill (SB1256) was endorsed by a House subcommittee, 5-1, and now advances to the full Appropriations Committee.

The measure would invalidate several forms of ID currently accepted at the polls, including voter identification cards issued by the State Board of Elections, which contain no photo. The state spent $2 million last year mailing new cards to all registered voters and educating Virginians about changes the 2012 General Assembly made to voting requirements.

FULL STORY HERE:

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Huffington Post: Barbara Boxer Pushes Voting Reform With LINE Act

February 13, 2013- President Barack Obama addressed the need for voting rights protection in Tuesday's State of the Union speech.

Listening closely was U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who joined HuffPost Live on Wednesday to discuss her own proposed voter reform legislation. Called the LINE Act, Boxer's election reform bill would require new national standards relating to the minimum number of voting machines, election workers, and other election resources to be in place by the end of 2013.

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Huffington Post: Obama Presidential Voting Commission To Be Announced

-By Ryan J. Reilly

February 12, 2013- President Barack Obama will announce a bipartisan presidential voting commission to focus on improving the Election Day experience, The Huffington Post has learned from two sources outside the White House with knowledge of the plans.

The commission is one of a number of efforts the Obama administration is making to address the problems that plagued voting on Election Day 2012. The commission, which will focus specifically on Election Day issues and not broader voting reform, will likely be co-chaired by one Republican and one Democratic lawyer, according to one of the sources.

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Salon: The white South’s last defeat

Hysteria, aggression and gerrymandering are a fading demographic's last hope to maintain political control

-By Michael Lind

February 5, 2013- In understanding the polarization and paralysis that afflict national politics in the United States, it is a mistake to think in terms of left and right. The appropriate directions are North and South. To be specific, the long, drawn-out, agonizing identity crisis of white Southerners is having effects that reverberate throughout our federal union. The transmission mechanism is the Republican Party, an originally Northern party that has now replaced the Southern wing of the Democratic Party as the vehicle for the dwindling white Southern tribe.

As someone whose white Southern ancestors go back to the 17th century in the Chesapeake Bay region, I have some insight into the psychology of the tribe. The salient fact to bear in mind is that the historical experience of the white South in many ways is the opposite of the experience of the rest of the country.

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AllGov: Federal Judge Approves Minnesota Law Banning Campaign Lies

February 4, 2013- Minnesota’s law prohibiting lying in political campaigns has been upheld by a federal judge.

The Minnesota Fair Campaign Practices Act made it a gross misdemeanor for someone to intentionally prepare, disseminate, or broadcast political advertising or campaign material “that is designed or tends to elect, injure, promote, or defeat a candidate for nomination or election to a public office or to promote or defeat a ballot question, that is false, and that the person knows is false.”

The statute was challenged five years ago by the 281 CARE Committee and the Citizens for Quality Education, which campaign against ballot initiatives that raise taxes or fees for school district funding.

The plaintiffs claimed the law violated their free-speech rights and restricted their ability to participate in political debate. They lost their first trial before a federal judge in Minneapolis. But the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling in May 2011.

That sent the matter to U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery, who ruled in favor of the defendants, two county attorneys and the state attorney general.

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Huffington Post: Report Outlines Plan To Fix Long Lines On Election Day

-By Chelsea Kiene

February 4, 2013- As the federal government works to address the long lines and administrative problems voters nationwide faced on Election Day, a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice argues that the first steps should be modernizing voter registration, providing a national period for early voting and setting minimum standards for polling place access.

During his victory speech on Nov. 6, President Barack Obama thanked Americans for turning out to vote, noting many people had waited in line for hours to do so. He made clear that voting reform would be a priority in his second term, when he said that the country needed to "fix" those long lines so that all Americans are able to carry out their constitutional right.

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