Minority News: Voter ID Sparks Black Ire

July 22, 2011- Washington – Black Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta is joining several other Democrats arguing that the rise of voter–identification laws across many states is a coordinated attempt by Republicans to suppress minority and elderly votes.

Lewis, a civil-rights activist in the 1960s said, "We must fight back. We must speak up and speak out. We must never, ever go back. We will not stand idly by while millions of Americans are denied their right to participate in the democratic process."

Lewis spoke along with other Democrats and warned that the state laws must be rejected.

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LA Progressive: Prison-Based Gerrymandering

-By Sharon Kyle

July 18, 2011- When the ACLU Pasadena Foothills Chapter joined forces with the NAACP, LA Progressive and a host of other Southern California social justice focused organizations to sponsor a talk by former ACLU attorney, Michelle Alexander, author of, New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness I asked Ms. Alexander to give the audience her condensed version of the prison-based gerrymandering phenomenon.

Characterizing it as a modern-day 3/5ths Compromise, Alexander explained that in most states census residence rules require that incarcerated people be counted at their place of incarceration as opposed to their home address.

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NPR: The Politics Behind New Voter ID Laws

-by Pam Fessler

July 18, 2011- Voters going to the polls next year — and even some this year — will encounter a lot of new rules. Photo ID requirements and fewer options for early voting are among the biggest changes.

They're part of a wave of new laws enacted by Republican-controlled legislatures this year. Supporters say the rules are needed to ensure honest elections.

But Democrats say it's part of a concerted GOP campaign to suppress the vote. They say minorities, students, the poor and disabled — those most likely to vote Democratic — will be hurt the most.

Seven states so far this year have enacted new laws requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. Ohio and Pennsylvania are considering similar requirements, and several other states already have them on the books.

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Talking Points Memo: Florida League Of Women Voters Drops Registration Plan Over Restrictive Laws

-By Ryan J. Reilly

July 15, 2011– Democrats are calling attention to the effect that voter ID laws which have swept through state legislatures this year could have on voter turnout. But voter ID laws aren't the only restrictive measures imposed on the right to vote which civil rights organizations say are going to hurt voter turnout.

Take Florida. Voters there are already asked to show a photo ID when they vote. Now thanks to a law passed by Florida lawmakers, they're less likely to be registered in the first place.

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Talking Points Memo: Feds: Louisiana Not Providing Voter Registration Forms At Public Assistance Offices

-By Ryan J. Reilly

July 13, 2011- Federal officials are suing the state of Louisiana for failing to provide voter registration forms at public assistance and disability services agencies. The Justice Department said that the state is in violation of section seven of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Louisiana officials, the feds asserted, have failed to provide voter registration opportunities as required under NVRA because they haven't designated all offices in the state that provide public assistance as voter registration agencies (including the Office of Aging and Adult Services); failed to provide sufficient supplies of voter registration applications at the designated agencies; and failed to train and monitor employees to make sure they assist in processing voter registration forms."

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