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Front Page » Table of Contents » Voting & Voter Rights

By Angelo Lopez on July 26, 2011

When I first opened up a Facebook account, I had a lot of fun connecting with other cartoonists and artists from around the country. I discovered a lot of cartoonists whose work I had never seen before, wonderful cartoons in local regional newspapers across the country. One of my favorite cartoonists who I met on Facebook is David Cohen. David Cohen was born in New York City, but has lived the last 40 years or so in Asheville, North Carolina- a liberal oasis in the Bible Belt.

His cartoons currently appear in the Asheville Citizen-Times, a Gannett owned daily. David is also a drummer/percussionist, and has played with a number of groups, including a seven year stint with 4-time Grammy winner David Holt and his band, the Lightning Bolts. He is currently playing with a Johnny Cash tribute band. David has a Facebook page to showcase his cartoons with a link here.

I decided to do an interview with him for Everyday Citizen. Here is the interview.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on November 2, 2010

Lately I've been hearing a lot of people express disillusionment with voting, and I don't blame them. With all that we hear about gridlock in government, the bad economy and the extreme slow pace of change, it seems to a lot of people like voting doesn't make any difference. In spite of that, I do think voting matters. The Founding Fathers, the various women suffragists, civil rights workers, and the many activists risked their lives for our right to vote. I'm a Democrat, but I think Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members, everyone should go vote and express their opinions. I think if you're a true American, you'd want all American to vote, whether they agree with you or not.

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By Diane Wahto on October 27, 2010

I registered to vote as soon as I turned 21. Even though I was too young to vote for him when he ran for president against Richard Nixon, John Kennedy had a great influence on my registering as a Democrat. I came from a family of Republicans, not so surprising in Kansas. After all, Kansas was historically a free state during the Civil War and had ties to Pres. Abraham Lincoln, one of the great Republican presidents, maybe even the last great Republican president. And, no, Ronald Reagan was not a great Republican president.

Since my first vote, two years after JFK was elected, I have missed voting in only one election. I missed voting for George McGovern because I had just moved back to Kansas from Michigan and didn’t have time to get registered to vote. My Kansas vote wouldn’t have helped McGovern anyway, but it did feel strange not going to the polls when everyone else was voting.

Read more of this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on December 21, 2009

On August 6, 1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was formed as an alternative to the segregated Mississippi Democratic Party.

Organized in conjunction with the Freedom Summer voter registration drives of SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and COFO (the Council of Federated Organizations), the MFDP following democratic party rules, elected 68 delegates, including 4 white delegates and went by bus to the 1964 Democratic Party Convention held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They contended that a Mississippi delegation, elected in a segregated process, violating party and federal law could not be lawfully seated and sought to be seated as the true delegation from their state.

This placed President Lyndon Johnson, seeking election to the Oval Office in his own right (having succeeded President John F. Kennedy after his assassination in the previous year), in an awful position: allow the MFDP to be seated along with the Mississippi Democratic Party and alienate the white south, or reject the MFDP and lose the black vote.

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By Gerald Britt on August 20, 2009

Here are some scenes from almost a year ago, remember?

It was, for so many of us, a euphoric period. America entered into an extended period of self congratulatory reveling; with a crumbling economy, two wars abroad from which our country was becoming increasingly disconnected yet our nation's capacity to transcend some of the worst of its past and elected the U.S.'s first African-American president.

However, I will never forget former New York Governor Mario Cuomo's wise council regarding electoral politics: "We campaign in poetry; we govern in prose." That's not just good for politicians to remember, its good for their constituents as well. Especially when it comes to the legislative process. Congress is divided between liberals, blue dog Democrats and recalcitrant Republicans.

In the balance is health insurance reform.

Read more of this post here ...

By John Atlas on August 19, 2009

Now we know that Karl Rove spearheaded the firing of David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney in New Mexico who refused to follow the Bush White House's orders to intimidate low-income voters by making false charges of "voter fraud." What the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and other major papers missed in their stories last week was that Rove was specifically targeting ACORN, the community organizing group that has waged some of the most effective voter registration drives in recent memory.

Rove viewed ACORN as a threat to the GOP because of its success in registering low-income voters and turning them out to vote on election day. I describe Rove's campaign against ACORN -- not only in New Mexico, but also in other "swing" states where more low-income voters could hurt GOP candidates -- in my forthcoming book Seeds of Hope, a history of ACORN, published by Vanderbilt University Press.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee released over 5,000 pages of White House and Republican National Committee e-mails, with transcripts of closed-door testimony by Karl Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers.

Read more of this post here ...

By Sarah Burris on August 18, 2009

One of the panels I attended at Netroots Nation was Repairing our Democracy: Voter Registration Modernization and other Solutions with speakers Secretary Debra Bowen California's Secretary of State, Dean Logan the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for Los Angeles County (the nation’s largest county), Jonah Goldman a national expert on voting and elections, and Justin Levitt counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice. The panel was also moderated by Eric Marshall, campaign manager for the National Campaign for Fair Elections in the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law's Voting Rights Project.

Highly knowledgeable experts on the panel seemed to develop the consensus that the system is broken.

"We must have a system of error correction that is speedy enough so that people aren't disenfranchised and the error is corrected," Secretary Bowen said. "We need more consistent rules of residency for students. Some places are down right hostile about allowing students to vote, some are welcoming, but many are very hard on students."

"There are huge barriers to over seas voters and our military. When I visited Iraq and Afghanistan I met with the voting official who is not elected but appointed to do the job. . ."

Read more of this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on June 26, 2009

Sick of news about the bailouts? You consider them to be unfair? Interference with the market? Meddling with capitalism? I've got another bailout for you to think about. It has to do with the Voting Rights Act.

That's right, the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Section 5 of the Act says that in seventeen (17) states that have a history of terrorism at the ballot box, the federal government must approve changes in the way voting is conducted.

And in an innocuous case of a little unincorporated area located northwest of Austin, Texas, a suit was filed which reached the U.S. Supreme Court and the implications of their ruling could set the stage for overturning Section 5.

Read more of this post here ...

By Sarah Burris on May 22, 2009

The Project Vote Blog had an interesting piece that turned my head this week about the voter registration rate this past election.

After all of the work we did - we meaning the folks at CREDO who developed the online voter registration widget Rock the Vote and many others used. The in person voting HeadCount did, and the thousands of other people affiliated with hundreds of campaigns and groups across the country, we had a net gain of about 1% in voter registration according to Project Vote's findings (PDF).

Not to belittle 1%, its actually quite good when you look at the numbers, and when we look at some of the states where elections were very close I can guarantee that those new voters made a difference. Still, there needs to be a new way that we work to cultivate new registrants that garners higher results.

Read more of this post here ...

By Sarah Burris on April 17, 2009

In a report released yesterday by Women's Voices Women Vote (pdf) evidence of continued voting problems are particularly high among women.

According to a report on the... report in the Chicago Sun Times

"While the study discusses obstacles to voter participation in general, it focuses on the unique impact it has on traditionally under-represented groups who comprise the majority (52%) of the population -- African Americans, Latinos, unmarried women and young voters -- it is unmarried women who drive this majority and the mission of Women's Voices Women Vote."

I would say it amazes me, but I'm not the least bit shocked. Particularly, since Oklahoma's Legislature which had promised to allow previsions for students to vote with their ID's, passed a bill that will go to a vote of the people to vote provisional ballot if they don't have an ID or voter card.

Anything to reduce the power of that 52% right?

Read more of this post here ...

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