Showing posts with label voting laws. Show all posts
Showing posts with label voting laws. Show all posts

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Black Louisiana Senate Candidate Burns Confederate Flag in New Campaign Video

Gary Chambers, a Black U.S. Senate candidate from Louisiana burned a Confederate flag while speaking out against restrictive voting laws in his latest campaign video released on Wednesday.

Watch that video below:

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Crystal Mason to appeal her case to the Texas Supreme Court

Crystal Mason, a Black woman in Texas who has drawn national headlines over the years after she was handed a five-year prison sentence for illegally casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 presidential election, is seeking to challenge her conviction.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU of Texas), the national ACLU, and the Texas Civil Rights Project joined Mason’s attorneys in filing a petition this week to have Texas’ top criminal court review her case.

Mason was sentenced to five years in prison back in 2018 for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election, though the vote was never counted, according to a press release from the ACLU of Texas. At the time, Mason had been on supervised release for a previous federal conviction from years before. Convicted felons are barred from voting in the state if they haven’t completed their sentence.

The group said in the release that an appeals court recently shot down an appeal from Mason’s legal team back in March in the case. But the group added the court’s panel of justices also agreed then that Mason “was not aware the state considered her ineligible to vote.”

According to The Texas Tribune, Mason served time behind bars for several months before being released this past spring to a halfway house.

“The attorneys argue the lower court’s opinion violates Texas law and conflicts with DeLay v. State, a case involving former Republican U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, in which the Court of Criminal Appeals threw out his conviction on the basis that an individual must actually ‘know’ that their conduct violates the Election Code,” the group added.

Mason said in a statement this week that she is “more energized than ever before" and refuses "to be afraid.”

“I thought I was performing my civic duty and followed the election process by filling out a provisional ballot,” she said. “By trying to criminalize my actions, Texas has shown me the power of my voice."

"I will use my voice to educate and empower others who are fighting for their right to vote," she also said.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Appeals Court blocks Kansas, Alabama, Georgia voter ID laws

It's been a tough few weeks for Republican attempts at voter suppression. When forced to defend their blatant attempts to keep minority voters from the polls in court Republicans are failing miserably. Recently we have seen voter ID laws struck down in Wisconsin and North Carolina, and now you can add Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia to that list. George L. Cook III AfricanAmericanReports.Com

A U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday blocked an effort by Alabama, Georgia and Kansas for voters to furnish proof of citizenship when registering at the polls, which opponents say disenfranchises voters, especially minorities.

The decision effectively strikes down a rule that requires voters in the three states to provide proof they are United States citizens. Elsewhere, voters only need swear that they are citizens in order to cast a ballot.

"With just weeks to go before a critical presidential election, we are grateful to the court of appeals for stopping this thinly veiled discrimination in its tracks," Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters, which had sued to block the new requirements, said in a statement.

The Appeals Court of the District of Columbia said the League of Women Voters had shown there would be irreparable harm if the rule was permitted, and had also shown it was likely to win the case on its merits.

It ordered any voter applications filed since Jan. 29, 2016, to be treated as if they did not contain the proof of citizenship instructions.

Alabama and Georgia, which passed provisions several years ago, have not implemented their laws while at least 20,000 voters in Kansas, where the law took effect in 2013, have been blocked from registering to vote, the League's lawyers say.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

U.S. appeals court finds that Texas voter ID law is discriminatory

A Texas law requiring voters to show a government-issued form of photo identification before casting a ballot is discriminatory and violates the U.S. Voting Rights Act, a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ruled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a close decision among a special 15-judge panel, also sent the case back to a district court to examine claims by the plaintiffs that the law had a discriminatory purpose.

The New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit, which has a reputation as one of the most conservative federal appeals courts, asked the district court for a short-term fix to be used in Texas in the November general election.

Critics of the law and others like it passed in recent years in Republican-governed states said similar statutes are intended to make it harder for minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics who tend to back Democrats to vote. Backers of these laws say they are necessary to prevent voter fraud.

The court ruled 9-6 that the law had a discriminatory effect. The judges were divided differently on other parts of the ruling.

"We acknowledge the charged nature of accusations of racism, particularly against a legislative body, but we must also face the sad truth that racism continues to exist in our modern American society despite years of laws designed to eradicate it," the court said.

Challengers of the Texas law say that up to 600,000 people would be unable to vote if the law was fully in effect.

Read more: U.S. appeals court finds that Texas voter ID law is discriminatory

Sunday, March 30, 2014

We can cry about changes to voting laws or we can get ready!

In states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, and North Carolina voting times and polls have been curtailed and some type of voter ID is required. Let's be honest these are attacks on voting rights by conservative / republican legislatures. These laws effect mostly minority and lower income voters who vote democrat in overwhelming numbers. If anyone says otherwise they are either on drugs or seriously delusional.

We also have to deal with the fact that many of these laws may hold up in court. You see what republicans have quietly done is change their argument from the nonsense of voter fraud which they couldn't prove to one of voter fairness. They are now making the argument that it's not fair that urban counties can afford to keep polling sites open longer and have more early voting days when rural counties can't. They argue that there should be uniformity among all polling sites. This argument stands a much better chance of holding up in court.

Because of that can hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

We can whine, bitch, and moan about these laws or we can get ready to deal with them.

We should not even wait for these cases to wind their way through the courts. We should start mobilizing now. We should learn these laws inside and out. We must now what we are fighting against and be so prepared for it that these laws restricting voting are rendered useless.

Here are four things I think we need to do:

* Organize drives to get people voter ID. We must find those without ID and help them get it and provide transportation if nescecary. If there are state programs that will pay for the ID we must make sure people know about them and take advantage of them.

* Make sure that everyone that is eligible to vote is registered. Groups such as the NAACP, Urban League , National Action Network, and churches can help here. We as citizens can get our friends and family registered. It's not hard I have worked on many voter registration drives and one just have to be willing to give their time.

* We must learn where all of the early polling sites are and the hours that they are open. We must then bus voters there. If it means we have to use our own cars to give those a ride who can't get there because of the distance then so be it.

* We must flood these states with volunteers from other states to help out with all of the above. It's going to take a lot of organization and man power to get this done.

I'm sure that people much smarter than me can think of other things we can do but I believe these are things we should start doing NOW to get ready for the 2014 mid-term elections.

So what are we going to do people? Bitch and moan or take action?

George Cook