Voter IDs and Roll Purges

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No More Voter ID… for Now: A federal court in North Carolina foiled the GOP-majority legislature’s effort to require photo ID for voting last week. The decision comes as the state chapter of the NAACP awaits a trial regarding its December 2018 lawsuit against this law. If successful, the voter ID requirement could be struck down in its entirety before the 2020 primaries.

Critics of the 2018 law argued that it was not an effort to combat voter fraud but a blatant effort to suppress turnout for communities of color and college students, as a federal court previously struck down a similar law a few years ago. (read more)

Typically, states with voter ID requirements have allowed things like a utility bill — even student IDs in some cases — to proof a voter’s identity. But Republican lawmakers in “purple” states want to put a stop to it.

Making It Harder to Prove Who You Are: Arizona’s Republican state Rep. Kelly Townsend is apparently preparing to introduce legislation that would ban the use of utility bills, vehicle registrations, and even bank statements as ways for voters to prove their identity before casting a ballot. Plus, it was mentioned not once, but twice that young voters, who overwhelmingly backed Democratic candidates in 2018, would not be allowed to use their student ID cards.

Although the bill would explicitly outlaw the use of student ID cards, they’re already not accepted by election officials because Arizona schools don’t include students’ addresses. Even if a university were to add students’ addresses to their ID cards, the bill is just one of the many tactics Republican state lawmakers are using to suppress turnout for college students during the 2020 election. (read more)

More From the GOP 2020 Playbook — Purge the Voter Rolls: It’s clear by now that part of the Republican strategy is to remove as many voters as they can off the rolls and implement strict requirements for already eligible voters to cast a ballot — leaving many voting-rights groups worried about whether the damage is already done.

After Georgia officials were given the OK to proceed with a massive voter roll purge, a federal judge ruled against a lawsuit seeking to restore at least 100,000 of those voters’ registrations by the voting-rights group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams. (read more)

And, an appeals court last week not only upheld Wisconsin’s purge of more than 200,000 voters, but decided that it should happen sooner than previously planned. The Wisconsin Election Commission, having been sued by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, was ordered to speed up the process. (read more)

And Finally, a Walk Down Memory Lane: Mother Jones revisited their 2017 story on three DOJ officials from the Bush Jr. administration and their efforts to purge voter rolls in key swing states. What they’ve found since then hasn’t been pretty, either.

Some of the attorneys worked for the Trump administration’s bogus commission on election integrity, others previously headed up the DOJ’s voting and civil rights division. Now, they’re a self-proclaimed conservative version of the ACLU working to trim voter rolls and push the debunked myth of widespread voter fraud. (read more)

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