-By Pete Williams, NBC News
August 22, 2013- Justice Department officials say they'll launch a few legal fight to block the Texas voter ID law.
Texas lost the first round when the federal government refused to give the state permission to enforce the law, under the preclearance part of the Voting Rights Act. But now that the Supreme Court has taken that power from the government away, the Obama administration is launching a new effort.
"We will not allow the Supreme Court's recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a written statement.
The government will claim that the voter ID law violates a different section of the Voting Rights Act that was left intact by the Supreme Court's decision.
-BY Ian Millhiser
August 19, 2013- North Carolina state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D) announced today that she is resigning her seat in the state legislature after 17 years of service. Instead she will work full time to reverse the blizzard of right-wing legislation enacted by Republicans since they took over the state government last January. In a message posted on her website, Kinnaird wrote that a major focus of her post-legislative work will be “a grass-roots project to make sure everyone in the state has a proper voter ID so that no votes are denied, even though” a recently enacted voter suppression law “is aimed at exactly that – repressing the vote.” Kinnaird’s replacement will effectively be chosen by Democratic officials.
-By Reid Wilson
August 19, 2013- After crying foul over Republican efforts to modify election laws in key states, Democrats are launching their own wide-ranging push to change the way Americans vote, kicking off the latest battles in a fight over voting rights that’s as old as the republic itself.
Last week, operatives tied to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee launched what they call a 50-state initiative to promote voting reforms that would make it easier to cast a ballot. The effort is being run by American Values First, an outside group organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and run by Michael Sargeant, the DLCC’s executive director. Democrats will push legislation similar to a Colorado measure signed into law earlier this year that requires all elections to be conducted by mail.
-By Nicole Flatow
August 13, 2013- When Rosanell Eaton was 21 years old and living in segregated North Carolina, she became one of the first African Americans in her county registered to vote, after successfully completing a literacy test that required her to recite the preamble to the Constitution. But now, at 92 years old, she faces new obstacles under the voter suppression law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) Monday. For one thing, she may not qualify for the voter ID card required under the new law, because the name on her birth certificate is different from the name on her driver’s license and voter registration card. Reconciling this difference will be a costly and time-consuming administrative endeavor. For another, she has participated in early voting since it was instituted in the state. Now, it’s been cut back a week.
-by Justin Acuff
August 3, 2013- Groundswell, the conservative behind-the-scenes organization that forms a coalition between prominent Republicans, right wing media, and conservative activists to wage a “30-front war against Obama and progressives” has been revealed to have played a role in the hype and false scandalization of the Benghazi “controversy.” A secret tape released by Crooks And Liars (audio below) has detailed the cooperation between House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ginni Thomas (the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), former Rep. Allen West, as well as high-ranking members of Judicial Watch and Breitbart. The meeting was presided over by Catherine Engelbrecht, one of the founders of the voter suppression group, True The Vote.