Tag Archives: Voting

How the distortion of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s words enables more, not less, racial division within American society

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a cheering crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 27, 1965.
Bettmann/Getty Images

 

Hajar Yazdiha, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is just the latest conservative lawmaker to misuse the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to judge a person on character and not race.

In the protracted battle to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, Roy, a Republican, nominated a Black man, Byron Donalds, a two-term representative from Florida who had little chance of winning the seat. Considered a rising star in the GOP, Donalds has opposed the very things that King fought for and ultimately was assassinated for – nonviolent demonstrations and voting rights protections. Continue reading

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Federal Court Orders South Carolina to Redraw Racially Gerrymandered Congressional Maps

“It’s time for the South Carolina Legislature to adopt a map that allows us ALL to fairly participate in our democracy,” the ACLU asserted.

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-6-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Pix4Free.org

A portion of South Carolina’s Republican-drawn congressional map discriminates against Black voters and must be redrawn, federal judges ruled Friday to applause from civil rights groups.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for South Carolina in Columbia found that “race was the predominant motivating factor in the General Assembly’s design of Congressional District No. 1 and that traditional districting principles were subordinated to race.” Continue reading

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Progressive Democrats Announce Nationwide Democracy Rallies for Jan. 6 Anniversary

“We cannot be complacent; we are calling for an end to the ongoing violent and criminal attacks on our freedoms.”

By Julia Conley  Published 1-2-2023 by Common Dreams

March on Washington for voting rights on August 28, 2021 Photo: Elvert Barnes/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Progressive Democrats of America on Monday announced plans to hold rallies across the nation on Friday, the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, to call on lawmakers to do everything in their power to protect the U.S. from attacks on democracy, including the gutting of voting rights protections and threats to election officials.

The rallies are set to be held two weeks after the U.S. House select committee on the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol released its final report on an 18-month investigation into the insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s role in planning and orchestrating the attempt to stop lawmakers from certifying the 2020 presidential election. Continue reading

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A brief history of Georgia’s runoff voting – and how this year’s contest between two Black men is a sign of progress

Former President Barack Obama raises hands with Stacey Abrams and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock at a Oct. 28, 2022, campaign event in Georgia.
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

 

Joshua Holzer, Westminster College

In the U.S., all elections are administered by the states. But not all states use the same rules.

Georgia uses a version of runoff voting, which entails two rounds of voting. Typically, if a candidate wins more than 50% of the votes in the first round, that candidate is declared the winner. If not, the two candidates with the most first-round votes face off in a second round of voting.

There’s historically been concern that such a runoff system disadvantages Black candidates. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General John R. Dunne once argued that Georgia’s runoff voting system has had “a demonstrably chilling effect on the ability of Blacks to become candidates for public office.” Continue reading

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‘This Is Important’: DOJ to Step Up Poll Monitoring for Midterms

“It matters that the Justice Department is protecting the rights of voters and enforcing federal voting rights laws,” said the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 11-7-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Keith Ivey/flickr/CC

Amid mounting fears of voter intimidation and political violence on the eve of the U.S. midterm elections, federal officials on Monday announced plans to monitor polls in 64 communities across two dozen states.

“Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Division has regularly monitored elections in the field in jurisdictions around the country to protect the rights of voters,” the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement. Continue reading

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What to do if your vote is challenged on Election Day

You need to be prepared so you can vote on Election Day.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

 

Karen Figueroa-Clewett, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Leer in español

With the general election drawing close, it’s important to know your rights in case your vote is challenged.

The best way to ensure that your vote is counted is to advocate for yourself. I’m a civil rights attorney and lecturer for the University of Southern California’s undergraduate civil rights advocacy initiative, Agents of Change. Here are several straightforward ways to ensure your vote is counted and two practical remedies for you to consider if your vote remains challenged.

A major part of ensuring that you are able to vote is doing the necessary preparation before you even get to the polling place. Continue reading

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Florida Voters Urged to Act as More Than 15,000 Mail-In Ballots Flagged

“We need every Floridian to have their voices heard in this election, which is why those who voted by mail should check with their county supervisor of elections office to ensure their ballot was received without issue,” said one advocate.

By Kenny Stancil  Published 11-4-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Florida Political Review/CC

With more than 15,000 mail-in ballots having been flagged for signature or other issues so far in Florida, democracy defenders on Friday urged people to track their ballot online to ensure it has been accepted and to promptly fix mistakes so that votes are not thrown out during next week’s pivotal midterms.

Voters can check the status of their ballot by calling their county supervisor of elections office or using the online trackers available in most counties. They have until 5:00 pm ET on Thursday, November 10 to resolve any outstanding issues. Continue reading

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PA Supreme Court Ruling Could Toss Thousands of Ballots Over ‘Irrelevant Technicality’

Siding with a coalition of Republican groups, Pennsylvania’s high court ruled a week before the midterms that mail-in ballots received without a correct date on the outer envelope cannot be counted.

By Jake Johnson  Published 11-2-2022 by Common Dreams

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court – State Capitol. Photo: Craig Fildes/flickr/CC

Just a week before the midterms, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that state election officials cannot count ballots submitted without a correct date on the outer envelope, siding with a coalition of Republican groups that sued to block undated mail-in ballots.

In a two-page order, the six-judge high court ordered election officials to “refrain from counting any absentee and mail-in ballots received for the November 8, 2022 general election that are contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes” even if they were received on time, pointing to two specific Pennsylvania statutes. Continue reading

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Warnings of Right-Wing Violence Mount as Bolsonaro’s Son Claims ‘Biggest Electoral Fraud Ever’

One expert said that former U.S. President Donald Trump is Bolsonaro’s “idol and his model” as the Brazilian leader and his allies launch baseless attacks on the electoral system.

By Julia Conley  Published 10-28-2022 by Common Dreams

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil speaking during the Session: “Special Address by Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil“ at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 22, 2018. Photo: World Economic Forum/Flickr/CC

Political experts in Brazil are warning that President Jair Bolsonaro and his allies may be using a “roadmap” provided by former U.S. President Donald Trump to call the results of the country’s upcoming election into question before the votes are even cast.

Deploying almost the exact same language used by Trump following his loss of the 2020 presidential election, Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro, the right-wing president’s son, said Wednesday on social media that his father is “the victim of the biggest electoral fraud ever seen,” adding that there have been attempts “to manipulate the result” of the runoff election scheduled to take place Sunday. Continue reading

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‘Cold Hard Threat to Democracy’: GOP Sowing Chaos at Polls Even Before Election Day

“Voters deserve better than this when they exercise their constitutional right at the polls,” said one government watchdog.

By Julia Conley  Published 10-27-2022 by Common Dreams

A ‘Vote Here’ sign outside an election polling place at Woodbury City Hall in Woodbury, Minnesota during the 2020 general election. Photo: Tony Webster/flickr/CC

Government watchdogs are warning that Republicans are operating a well-funded, well-organized campaign to sow “an unprecedented level of suspicion and unfounded doubt” in this year’s midterm elections by lodging dubious legal challenges even before Election Day arrives and training thousands on how to create confusion at the polls.

As the Associated Press reported Thursday, more than 100 lawsuits have already been filed regarding the election, which is still 12 days away. The lawsuits have largely been filed by Republicans and focus on issues including mail-in voting, voting machines, and access for partisan poll watchers. Continue reading

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