Tag Archives: Democracy

With Election Just 4 Months Away, FEC Essentially Defunct as GOP Member Leaves for Koch-Funded Group

The White House announced it would nominate Allen Dickerson, a proponent of Citizens United, to the elections board

By Eoin Higgins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-26-2020

After 10 months, the Federal Elections Commission in May regained a quorum with the confirmation of Republican appointee Trey Trainor—and promptly lost it just over five weeks later on Friday when commissioner Caroline Hunter resigned to join the Koch-funded group Stand Together, leaving the regulatory body again essentially powerless as the November general election draws closer.

“The FEC’s brief period of functioning appears to be over,” tweeted Public Integrity reporter Carrie Levine. Continue reading

Share Button

Voting Rights Advocates Warn of Impending ‘Disaster’ in Kentucky After Bid to Increase Slashed Number of Polling Sites Fails

Jefferson County has a population of roughly 767,000 and will have just one polling location.

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-20-2020

Photo: Big Dubya/flickr

Voting rights advocates sounded alarm Friday after a federal judge denied an effort to expand the number of polling places in Kentucky.

The state, which holds a primary election on June 23 in which Democrats will determine the candidate to face off against Sen. Mitch McConnell, will have “[f]ewer than 200 polling places,” reported the Washington Post, “down from 3,700 in a typical election year.” Continue reading

Share Button

Federal Judge Upholds Expanded Absentee Ballot Law in Virginia, Blocking Right-Wing Group’s Attempt at Voter Suppression

“No voter should have to choose between their health and their right to vote during the pandemic.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-1-2020

Photo: Tom Arthur [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Civil rights advocates applauded a victory for voting rights Monday after a federal judge denied a right-wing group’s request to restrict the use of absentee ballots in Virginia.

The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law argued last week in favor of upholding the law, passed by Democratic legislators in February, which would allow Virginia voters to use absentee ballots in the 2020 election without providing an excuse. Continue reading

Share Button

Think Trump and Republicans Wouldn’t Try to Cancel an Election? Look at What GOP in Georgia Just Pulled Off

“Having NO election is rigging an election.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-19-2020

 

Brian Kemp takes the oath of office becoming the 83rd Governor of the state of Georgia Jan. 14, 2019 at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Photo: Georgia National Guard/CC

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will be permitted to hand-pick the state’s next Supreme Court Justice after that same high court ruled last week that a special election set for Tuesday could be canceled.

Kemp and his Secretary of State, Brad Raffensberger, moved to cancel voting in the state earlier this year after state Supreme Court Justice Keith Blackwell announced he would step down after his six-year term expires at the end of 2020. Continue reading

Share Button

Growing Number of COVID-19 Cases in Wisconsin Fuels National Demands for Vote-by-Mail

“Congress is running out of time to ensure that the chaos that happened in Wisconsin doesn’t unfold on a national scale come November.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-27-2020

Photo: Don Moynihan/flickr

The increasing number of COVID-19 cases among people who voted in-person for Wisconsin’s April 7 election is fueling demands for Congress to help fund the implementation of expanded vote-by-mail provisions in every state for the rest of this year, particularly for the nation’s general election scheduled for November.

“So far, 36 people who tested COVID-19 positive after April 9 have reported that they voted in person or worked the polls on election day,” Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, told Politico Monday As the outlet reported: Continue reading

Share Button

‘A Day That Will Live in Infamy’: This Is What It Looked Like When Wisconsin Forced In-Person Voting During a Pandemic

“People are being forced to risk their lives to place their vote or fulfill their right as an American to vote.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-7-2020

Photo: Don Moynihan/flickr

As footage of Wisconsin’s crowded polling stations flooded the internet Tuesday, public health officials and civil rights advocates condemned the state’s Supreme Court and Republican legislative leaders for allowing in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic and thwarting Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ last-minute efforts to address voter safety concerns.

“It’s not going to be a safe election. People are going to get sick from this,” Brook Soltvedt, a 60-year-old textbook editor who is in charge of running the polling place at Thoreau Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin’s capital, told The Cap Times. Continue reading

Share Button

Closing polling places is the 21st century’s version of a poll tax

Californians wait in line to vote on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Joshua F.J. Inwood, Pennsylvania State University and Derek H. Alderman, University of Tennessee

Delays and long lines at polling places during recent presidential primary elections – such as voters in Texas experienced – represent the latest version of decades-long policies that have sought to reduce the political power of African Americans in the U.S.

Following the Civil War and the extension of the vote to African Americans, state governments worked to block black people, as well as poor whites, from voting. One way they tried to accomplish this goal was through poll taxes – an amount of money each voter had to pay before being allowed to vote. Continue reading

Share Button

From border security to climate change, national emergency declarations raise hard questions about presidential power

Global Climate Strike NYC in New York, Sept. 20, 2019. Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch /IPX via AP Photo

Daniel Farber, University of California, Berkeley

As wildfires, storms and other climate-driven disasters grow larger and more damaging, climate change is a major concern for many Democratic voters, who are in the midst of a primary fight that has come down to two major candidates: Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Both candidates say climate change would be one of their top priorities as president – but there’s an important difference between their approaches.

Sanders has pledged to declare climate change a national emergency and use executive power to lead “a ten-year, nationwide mobilization” to remake the U.S. economy. Continue reading

Share Button

‘Good News for Democracy’: Wisconsin Appeals Court Rejects Voter Purge Targeting More Than 200,000 People

“A win over voter suppression is a win for the people of Wisconsin.”

By for Common Dreams. Published 2-28-2020

A Wisconsin appeals court overturned a ruling that would have allowed the purge of more than 200,000 from the state voter rolls before the 2020 general election. (Photo: Penn State/flickr/cc)

Voting rights advocates applauded a Wisconsin appeals court ruling Friday which is set to stop a voter purge from going forward—sparing more than 200,000 people from having their names removed from voter lists.

A three-judge panel unanimously rejected a lawsuit filed by conservative law group Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty arguing that the voter purge of about 209,000 should go forward ahead of the 2020 election.

The decision represented “good news for democracy for all,” tweeted Mary Kay Henry, president of the SEIU. Continue reading

Share Button

Think the US is more polarized than ever? You don’t know history

Union dead at Gettysburg, July 1863. National Archives, Timothy H. O’Sullivan photographer

Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia

It has become common to say that the United States in 2020 is more divided politically and culturally than at any other point in our national past.

As a historian who has written and taught about the Civil War era for several decades, I know that current divisions pale in comparison to those of the mid-19th century.

Between Abraham Lincoln’s election in November 1860 and the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army at Appomattox in April 1865, the nation literally broke apart. Continue reading

Share Button