MSNBC: GOP’s electoral vote scheme likely illegal in Virginia

-By Zachary Roth

January 25, 2013- A scheme under consideration in Virginia to rig the Electoral College in Republicans’ favor could well violate a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, experts on the law say. But that very provision is itself under challenge by the GOP, and could be struck down by the Supreme Court later this year.

A Republican bill that would allocate Virginia’s electoral votes based on the popular vote in each congressional district cleared its first hurdle in the state legislature Wednesday. Had the bill been in effect in the last election, Mitt Romney would have won 9 of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, despite losing the popular vote in the state to President Obama by nearly 5 percentage points.

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Boxer Introduces Bill on Day One of the 113th Congress to Fight Long Election Lines

Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
January 22, 2013

Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

The “LINE Act” Would Set National Standards and Require Action by States Where Voters Waited in Line for Hours

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), on the first day of the 113th Congress, reintroduced her election reform bill – the LINE Act – which would help ensure that all American voters can cast a ballot in federal elections without enduring hours-long delays at their polling places.

President Obama signaled his commitment to this important election reform yesterday in his Second Inaugural Address when he said, “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”

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Orlando Sentinel: Analysis: 201,000 in Florida didn’t vote because of long lines

-By Scott Powers and David Damron

January 23, 2013- The long Election Day lines around Florida may have turned away more than 200,000 frustrated would-be voters who gave up and went home before they cast ballots — or else saw the lines and elected not to join them.

Analyzing data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel, Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen estimated last week that at least 201,000 voters likely gave up in frustration on Nov. 6, based on research Allen has been doing on voter behavior.

His preliminary conclusion was based on the Sentinel's analysis of voter patterns and precinct-closing times in Florida's 25 largest counties, home to 86 percent of the state's 11.9 million registered voters.

"My gut is telling me that the real number [of voters] deterred is likely higher," Allen said. "You make people wait longer, they are less likely to vote."

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Huffington Post: Colin Powell: Republican Party Should Say ‘We Want Everybody To Vote’

-By Chris Gentilviso

January 21, 2013- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell doubled down on his criticism of the Republican Party on Monday, questioning the GOP's efforts to institute voter ID laws.

In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Powell stressed that the party needs to be inclusive when it comes to the polls.

“Should we really have gone after reducing the turnout of voters in those places where we thought it would make a difference?" he asked. "The Republican Party should be a party that says, ‘We want everybody to vote,’ and make it easier for people to vote and give them a reason to vote for the party, and not to find ways to keep them from voting at all."

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Huffington Post: Rick Scott Pushes Election Reform, Endorses Extending Early Vote

– By Chelsea Kiene

January 17, 2013- WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced a new proposal Thursday to reform the state’s election laws, including a plan to increase the number of early voting days and locations.

The plan will allow supervisors of elections to offer more early voting, between eight and 14 days, and increase the number of early voting locations “to help reduce wait times, long lines, and to better convenience voters.” Scott also proposed reducing the length of ballots.

“Our ultimate goal must be to restore Floridians’ confidence in our election system,” Scott said in a statement. “We must continually push to make improvements, and I look forward to working with the Legislature on a bi-partisan bill to implement these reforms this session.”

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Thom Hartmann: Vote Rigging – The GOP is taking advice from Stalin .

The raging debate in Washington over the debt ceiling may help to determine the short-term fate of our nation – but the battle over the long-term future of our democracy isn't being fought on Capitol Hill. Voter Suppression ID laws, cuts to early voting, long lines in heavily Democratic precincts, and new hurdles to voter registration are nothing compared to this latest vote-rigging scheme. While most of us are focused on "fiscal cliffs" and budget battles in Washington, DC, the real fight for the future of our democracy is, right now, happening in State legislatures in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan. 

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Think Progress: Pennsylvania House Republicans Introduce Bill To Rig The 2016 Presidential Election

-By Ian Millhiser

January 16, 2013- Earlier this week, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus endorsed a Republican plan to rig the next presidential election to make it nearly impossible for the Democratic candidate to win the White House, no matter who the American people vote for. The election-rigging plan, which would allocate electoral votes by congressional district rather than by states as a whole in a handful of states that consistently vote for Democratic presidential candidates, would have allowed Mitt Romney to narrowly win the Electoral College last November despite losing the popular vote by nearly four points.

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Huffington Post: Supreme Court Rejects Republican National Committee Attempt To End Anti-Voter Intimidation Order

-Associated Press

January 14, 2013- WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned down an effort by the Republican National Committee to end a 30-year-old court order aimed at preventing intimidation of minority voters.

The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting an appeal of lower court decisions that left the order in place at least until 2017.

The order stems from a lawsuit filed by Democrats in New Jersey in 1981 that objected to a "ballot security" program the RNC ran in minority neighborhoods.

Republicans said the order hampers efforts to combat voter fraud, but U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise said voter intimidation remains a threat and preventing it outweighs the potential danger of fraud.

FULL STORY HERE:

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Washington Post: Supreme Court rebuffs GOP request to end order aimed at preventing voter intimidation

-Associated Press

January 14, 2013- WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned down an effort by the Republican National Committee to end a 30-year-old court order aimed at preventing intimidation of minority voters.

The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting an appeal of lower court decisions that left the order in place at least until 2017.

The order stems from a lawsuit filed by Democrats in New Jersey in 1981 that objected to a “ballot security” program the RNC ran in minority neighborhoods.

FULL STORY HERE:

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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.

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