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Voting Legislation. Voting Rights Act This act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. Section 2 outlawed the discriminatory.

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Presentation on theme: "Voting Legislation. Voting Rights Act This act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. Section 2 outlawed the discriminatory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voting Legislation

2 Voting Rights Act This act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. Section 2 outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting. Despite some setbacks and debates, the Voting Rights Act had an enormous impact. It re-enfranchised black southerners, helping elect African Americans at the local, state, and national levels.

3 Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires certain areas of the country to obtain preclearance from the US Attorney General or the US District Court for the District of Columbia for any changes with reference to voting. These areas are known as covered jurisdictions. Thus, any covered jurisdiction must be given approval before any new electoral practices can be administered. This is necessary due to the purpose orintent of some areas to dilute, or weaken the strength of minority voters by changing electoral practices that give minorities an unfair chance to elect someone of choice. Voting Rights Act

4 Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) Passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Bush on October 29, 2002, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) embodies the most sweeping overhaul of elections laws since the Voting Rights Act of Pursuant to its provisions, every state must examine the way it promotes democracy and implement fundamental changes to the electoral process. Some of the changes under the new HAVA requirements will affect the way you register to vote, the way you cast ballots and the way you exercise your power as citizens. The most visible changes to the election process for voters include: New Voting Equipment HAVA required county elections officials to buy and deploy new voting systems designed to improve the process and enable almost every voter to vote independently and confidentially.

5 Provisional Voting Rights Every person who shows up at a polling place on Election Day is entitled to a provisional ballot, even if there is a question about whether they are a registered voter. New Voter Registration Rules Voter registration rules have also been changed by HAVA. Every person who registers or re-registers to vote after January 1, 2006, is now required to include on their voter registration affidavit their state driver's license number, if they have a current and valid driver's license, or their state identification card number, if they have one, or, if they have neither a driver's license nor a state ID, the last four digits of their Social Security number, if they have a Social Security card. If a person does not possess a driver's license, state-issued identification card or a Social Security card, he or she will still become a registered voter. But, if they do have this information, they must provide it. Any person voting for the first time who registers by mail who does not provide this information will be asked to show a form of identification when he or she goes to the polls, or to provide a copy of that identification with his or her vote-by-mail ballot. There are 30 forms of identification that can be used for this purpose under HAVA, including a government issued check or a utility bill that includes the person's name and address.

6 Florida HB 1355 Third-Party Voter Registration Organizations: requiring such groups to submit voter registration applications within 48 hours of receipt instead of 10 days, identify registration agents collecting applications, and act as a fiduciary to voters whose applications have been collected; requiring registration forms to contain certain identifying information; mandating that the Florida Division of Elections maintain a database of forms issued to third-party voter registration groups; applying the provisions of this section retroactively to existing third-party voter registration groups. States Move to Change Voting Laws

7 “The State has filed a First Amended Complaint seeking to have the court declare the preclearance obligation in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. To recap my past posts on this topic: under the Federal Voting Rights Act, the State of Florida has to “preclear” changes to election laws. Preclearance can be done through the U.S. Department of Justice or by filing suit in D.C. The State initially sought U.S. DOJ approval, but then withdrew several of the proposed election law changes and filed suit in D.C.” “The State now alleges that preclearance itself is “not a rational, congruent, or proportional means of enforcing the 14 th and/or 15 th Amendments” to the U.S. Constitution.”

8 According to the ACLU, in 2011, legislatures in 18 states debated voter ID legislation, which would create unnecessary hurdles by requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot. Millions of Americans don’t have government-issued photo ID, including disproportionate numbers of African-American, elderly, disabled and student voters. And despite a lack of evidence that ID requirements will prevent fraud, voter ID requirements were ultimately enacted in 7 states this session, with 2 more still pending. Proposed Changes “The attack on voting wasn’t limited to voter ID. States also debated and enacted other voting restrictions that will make it harder for Americans to cast votes and have their votes counted, including restrictions on early voting and voter registration, proof of citizenship requirements, and more. ”

9 In Addition…. Also in 2011, Florida's governor and his cabinet -- acting as the Board of Executive Clemency -- adopted a policy change that makes it nearly impossible for people with past felony convictions to ever regain their voting rights. This voting ban affects an estimated one million Floridians. In Addition…. Also in 2011, Florida's governor and his cabinet -- acting as the Board of Executive Clemency -- adopted a policy change that makes it nearly impossible for people with past felony convictions to ever regain their voting rights. This voting ban affects an estimated one million Floridians. Alabama Arkansas Colorado Georgia Iowa Kansas Maine Minnesota Missouri Montana North Carolina New Hampshire Ohio Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia Wisconsin West Virginia States that have proposed changes

10 Iowa's governor issued an executive order making it nearly impossible for people with past felony convictions to ever regain their voting rights. In addition, legislation to require photo ID to vote Georgia passed legislation to shorten the early voting period. Texas passed legislation requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. Rhode Island passed legislation requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. Wisconsin passed legislation to require voters to show a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot and to shorten the early voting period. The Proposed Changes

11 Proponents vs. Opponents Sen. Bill Nelson (D–Fla.) announced that he will hold a Senate field hearing to find out whether states have enacted laws to suppress voter turnout. The announcement comes on the heels of his request last month for Attorney General Eric Holder to open an investigation into whether the law in Florida (HB 1355)— and similar laws in more than a dozen other states—is part of a larger effort to suppress voter turnout among minorities and senior citizens in the 2012 general election. The hearing is scheduled for January 27, 2012 in Tampa. “This legislation reforms many areas of our elections system and increases accountability in Florida elections. It improves our voter registration system, ensuring applicants can easily update their information and additionally, cracks down on voter fraud by providing greater oversight and control of third-party voter registration organizations to stop voter abuse.” Florida House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R-Miami) “This is our effort to tighten up and provide an election process that is dependable, reliable and accurate,” said Representative Baxley. “Your vote is very important. We want to make sure that your vote is tabulated correctly and with the utmost integrity. Election Day is not a voter registration event, it is a voting event.” Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala,FL)

12 According to the ACLU, in 2011, legislatures in 18 states debated voter ID legislation, which would create unnecessary hurdles by requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot. Millions of Americans don’t have government-issued photo ID, including disproportionate numbers of African-American, elderly, disabled and student voters. And despite a lack of evidence that ID requirements will prevent fraud, voter ID requirements were ultimately enacted in 7 states this session, with 2 more still pending. Proposed Changes “The attack on voting wasn’t limited to voter ID. States also debated and enacted other voting restrictions that will make it harder for Americans to cast votes and have their votes counted, including restrictions on early voting and voter registration, proof of citizenship requirements, and more. The map above details this voter suppression legislative activity during 2011.”

13 Proponents vs. Opponents Proponents of the measure say it’s an essential tool to stamp out voter fraud and point to provisions in the bill that will allow potential voters to obtain a free personal identification card to cast a ballot. Opponents of voter ID legislation, mainly Democrats and minority rights groups, have alleged the measure will disenfranchise the elderly, students and minority voters who can't readily access valid, state-issued IDs. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that while about 12 per­ cent of Amer­i­cans don’t have a government-issued photo ID, the figure for African-Americans is closer to 25 percent, and in some Southern states perhaps higher.)

14 "We are going to make sure we maintain the integrity of the election system. We're gonna do it by saying, if you can show pictures to buy Sudafed, if you can show a picture to get on an airplane, you should be able to show a picture to make sure we do what is incredibly inherent in our freedoms and that's the ability to vote.“ Governor Nikki Hailey, R, SC "This is what democracy is all about," Perry said. "It's our duty to ensure that elections are fair, beyond reproach.“ Governor and Presidential Nominee, Rick Perry, R, TX Dewhurst said Texas needed a system that ensures only citizens vote. Straus called it "a big day for voter integrity in Texas" following years of partisan fighting over the legislation. Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst, R, TX Proponents vs. Opponents

15 State Requirements for Voter Identification Strict Photo IDPhoto ID States that Require ID (Photo Not Required) Georgia Indiana Kansas Mississippi South Carolina Tennessee Texas Wisconsin Alabama Florida Hawaii Idaho Louisiana Michigan South Dakota Alaska Arizona Arkansas Colorado Connecticut Delaware Kentucky Missouri Montana North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Rhode Island Utah Virginia Washington

16 TTYN - Answer the following:  Are Voter ID laws legal?  Do the laws disenfranchise specific segments of our citizenry?  According to Abraham Lincoln; “No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.” If this is true, then is it not the responsibility of every citizen eligible to vote to do everything necessary in order to participate in the democratic process?  What side of the fence are you on?

17 So, what is all the commotion about?

18 Reconfigure the Electoral Map

19 Swing States

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