Election 2012

Voter Suppression Laws in the News

Dan Froomkin wrote an amazing summary of Republican voter suppression efforts. I'd really like to hear from conservatives who can legitimately explain why they're making voting more difficult.

But early voting was apparently too much of a success for some people. In Ohio and four other states -- Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia -- Republican-led legislatures have dramatically reduced early voting in 2012 as part of what can only be explained as a concerted effort to suppress the votes of Democratic-leaning voters. Other parts of that effort include voter ID bils, intimidation of voter registration groups and the purges of voter rolls.

In Ohio and Florida, two of the most critical swing states in this year's presidential election, the GOP early voting rollback specifically included a ban on voting on the Sunday before Election Day.

Early voting started off a wildly popular, bipartisan element of voting reform. Indeed, of all the voting reforms this country has seen over the last decades, early voting is easily the most unassailable. It makes voting more convenient for the public and makes Election Day easier for election officials. Because it generally happens at board of elections offices, it takes notoriously unreliable volunteer poll workers out of the picture.

But Republican leaders cooled on the idea after 2008. "It just so happened that this was the first time that early voting had been used in large numbers to mobilize African American and Latino voters," said Wendy Weiser, who directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

And here's Jon Stewart with an hilarious/scary summary:

The only possible explanation is to disenfranchise Democratic voters. And that ought to be a criminal offense.

(h/t The Law Office of Maria Aspiazu)