“American exceptionalism and denial means that no one will admit it, but between book burning, abortion bans, criminalizing trans kids, the Supreme Court’s attack on voting rights, and now this, we are truly veering on fascism.”
Florida is poised to establish a first-of-its-kind police force dedicated to stopping and investigating so-called “voter fraud” following the passage on Wednesday of a bill further overhauling the state’s voting system, a year after sweeping changes to election laws sparked outcry among voting rights advocates.
The Republican-led state House passed the new legislation, S.B. 524 in a vote of 76-41 on Wednesday, days after the state Senate approved the bill in a vote of 24-14. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had requested even more spending on an election police force than that $3.7 million plan that was passed, is expected to sign the bill. Continue reading →
A sweeping Pennsylvania voting rights law that won praise from across the political spectrum when it was passed in 2019 was struck down by a state court Friday after Republican lawmakers—several of whom had voted for the law—claimed it unlawfully helped President Joe Biden to win the state in 2020.
The conservative-leaning Commonwealth Court ruled 3-2 that Act 77 is unconstitutional, reasoning that an 1838 amendment to the state constitution says Pennsylvanians must vote in person on Election Day unless they meet certain criteria. The rule must be overturned by the adoption of a new amendment, said the court. Continue reading →
Voting rights advocates responded with alarm to reports this week that around half of the mail-in voting applications in Texas’ fifth-largest county have been rejected as a result of a recently enacted voter suppression law that experts say is part of a nationwide Republican effort to restrict access to the polls.
According toThe Texas Tribune, election officials in Travis County—home of the state capital, Austin—said they have rejected around half of the 700 requested vote-by-mail applications they’ve received so far ahead of the March primaries. The officials say they are complying with S.B. 1, a controversial law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last September. Continue reading →
Makeshift Fence Memorials to Capitol Police Officers Brian D. Sicknick and Howard Liebengood o January 12, 2021. Photo: Elvert Barnes/Wikimedia/CC
To mark the one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and demand free and fair elections, more than 200 grassroots-organized candlelit vigils are planned for Thursday in cities and towns across the United States.
The vigils will be held in nearly every state in the country, with some gatherings including voter registration drives and voter outreach events to counteract what organizers say is an effort by “the same faction that attacked our country on January 6” to restrict voting rights and attack fair voting districts all while “quietly preparing future attempts to sabotage free and fair elections and with [them] our democracy.” Continue reading →
As a report published Wednesday revealed that political consulting firms raked in $1.4 billion while simultaneously working for campaign committees and purportedly independent groups during the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, progressives renewed calls for Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act to protect and strengthen democracy.
The report—entitled Dual Agents—was published by Public Citizen and further discredits Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, thehighly controversial 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which affirmed that corporations are legal persons and that they, labor unions, and other outside groups could spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the outcome of American elections—as long as they don’t coordinate with candidates or campaigns. Continue reading →
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC
Wisconsin Republicans, at the urging of Sen. Ron Johnson, are pushing to unilaterally seize control over federal elections in the battleground state, an effort that observers warned is part of the GOP’s multi-pronged assault on democracy in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s defeat last year.
The New York Timesreported Friday that the state Republican Party is taking “direct aim” at the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), an agency that the GOP established six years ago. According to the Times, “The onslaught picked up late last month after a long-awaited report on the 2020 results that was ordered by Republican state legislators found no evidence of fraud but made dozens of suggestions for the election commission and the GOP-led Legislature, fueling Republican demands for more control of elections.” Continue reading →
The removal of both U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Ron Bloom, chair of the Postal Service Board of Governors, was demanded Friday night after it was reported that DeJoy had purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of publicly-traded bonds from an investment firm for which Bloom is a managing partner—a transaction critics say is a gross breach of government ethics.
With Bloom and DeJoy—both appointed during former President Donald Trump’s tenure—already under fire from defenders of the U.S. Postal Service for a scheme to slow mail service and undermine the nation’s federal mailing system from within, the new reporting by the Washington Post revealed that DeJoy “purchased 11 bonds from Brookfield Asset Management each worth between $1,000 and $15,000, or $15,000 and $50,000” between October of 2020 and April of this year. Continue reading →
In response to the GOP’s ongoing nationwide assault on voting rights that threatens to restrict ballot access for tens of millions of Americans, the Brennan Center for Justice released a new analysis Tuesday showing that if the Senate joins the House in passing the For the People Act, Congress can “thwart virtually every single one” of the more than 250 voter suppression bills have been introduced by Republican lawmakers in 43 states.
Last week, legislation intended to make voting more difficult—particularly for communities of color and other Democratic-leaning constituencies—was advanced in Georgia by the GOP-controlled state Senate, while Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill that curbs early voting. Continue reading →
With Postmaster General Louis DeJoy reportedly preparing to unveil plans for another round of service cuts and operational changes as soon as this week, President Joe Biden is facing growing calls from lawmakers, mail carriers, and others to take urgent steps to protect the U.S. Postal Service from further damage, pave the way for DeJoy’s removal, and shore up the agency’s finances for the near and distant future.
The Washington Postreported over the weekend that DeJoy—a Republican megadonor to former President Donald Trump—soon intends to “outline a new vision for the agency, one that includes more service cuts, higher and region-specific pricing, and lower delivery expectations.” Continue reading →
“Democrats have a clear choice. They can get rid of the filibuster to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the For the People Act to stop GOP voter suppression, or they can allow the GOP to undermine democracy for the next decade.”
Since former President Donald Trump failed to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Republicans in more than two dozen states have introduced over 100 bills to restrict voting access, an alarming development that voting rights advocates have pointed to as yet another reason for Democrats to abolish the filibuster, an anti-democratic tool currently allowing the GOP minority to block the enactment of a suite of popular pro-democracy reforms.
Mother Jones journalist Ari Berman on Thursday reported on the GOP’s ongoing nationwide push to make voting more difficult—particularly for communities of color and other Democratic-leaning constituencies—and in some cases to empower state legislatures to overturn election results. He called state-level Republicans’ efforts “a huge scandal that should be getting as much attention as Trump’s plot to overturn the election.” Continue reading →