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A unanimous three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals — including a George W. Bush appointee — struck down Texas’ discriminatory voter ID law today. You can read the opinion by clicking here.

According to Reuters, the judges said that  

“the evidence showed the law’s impact would ‘fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty.’”

Are you paying attention Thom Tillis?

 

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Think Progress has an amazing, but not terribly surprising story about the impact of the mandatory photo ID law that Ohio has adopted (and that North Carolina conservatives are trying to foist on us).

“Paul Carroll, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for four decades, was denied a chance to votein the state’s primary contests today after a poll worker denied his form of identification, a recently-acquired photo ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The poll worker rejected the ID because it did not contain an address, as required by Ohio law.

Carroll told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he got the ID from the VA after his driver’s license expired because he doesn’t drive anymore…”

You can read the entire story by clicking here.

 

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The following excellent editorial on mandatory photo ID laws for voting is cross-posted from this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal:

“Voter suppression, typically aimed at racial and ethnic minorities, the poor and women, has a long and sad history in the U.S. Even today, attempts to erect procedural barriers to frustrate voting continue in North Carolina.

House Bill 351, which requires photo identification at the polls, passed the General Assembly but was vetoed by Gov. Bev Perdue in June. It stands only five votes short of a House veto override and then almost certain Senate approval. Read More

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Another weekend “town hall” for House Speaker Thom Tillis, another open mouth, insert foot episode. (Thanks to the intrepid videographers at Progress NC for the link).  

Got that? The Speaker of the North Carolina House is bragging that he passed a far right piece of legislation that he knew would unfairly restrict voting by disabled people and seniors merely as an act of political gamesmanship! 

As in “The Governor doesn’t like this bill?? Well wait till she gets a load of this!” 

What is this —  high school?

 

 

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The group behind the misleading, confusing, and racially charged robo-call which caused investigative intrigue Monday was revealed today as Women's Voices, Women's Votes (WVWV), an ostensibly progressive and non-partisan electoral engagement organization with ties to the Clinton campaign.

A report by the Institute for Southern Studies unveiled the connection after Democracy NC issued a complaint to the State Board about the robo-calls earlier this week. 

Officially, Women's Voices Women's Votes' stated mission is to engage more "unmarried women" in the election process, and it claims to be leading a 3 million person nationwide registration effort.  However, the sincerity of this mission has been called into question with the revelation that Women's Voices was behind the misleading and confusing robo-calls placed to thousands of North Carolina residences late last week.  The calls provided vague information that caused many registered voters to question whether they were registered to vote.  It was also revealed that the organization was behind similarly dubious "registration efforts" in Virginia, Ohio and other states.

Both the North Carolina robo-call and the registration mailing planned for 276,000 North Carolina households come weeks after North Carolina's by-mail primary registration deadline, giving further cause to suspect it is not part of a legitimate voter registration effort.  Critics point out that the calls and mailings instead come just as North Carolinians are voting in mass in the state's primary, and has the potential to cause confusion for hundreds of thousands of voters.  Critics also point out that the message seems purposefully targeted at African-Americans and others who are already registered.

The Obama campaign has called the calls "extremely disturbing" and said they are similar to classic "voter suppression" techniques. 

Attorney General Roy Cooper has said the calls are illegal and has sent the group a strongly worded letter telling them to cease their calls

At the State Board's and Democracy NC's urging Women's Voices has apologized for "the confusion" and said they will try and intercept the mailing, but it is not yet known if this will be possible.

Here's WVWV founder and President Page Gardner's response to "the confusion" and their involvement 

The group's earlier robo-call featured a racially charged message from a "Lamont Williams" urging people to "make their voices heard," to anticipate voter registration packets in the mail, and then sign and return them.  However, it included no information about the date of the election, early voting or same day voter registration, and was placed to many residences where voters were already registered.  The message did not cite Women's Voices Women's Vote's involvement or provide a call back number.  You can hear a recording of the message here.

Chris Kromm at the Institute for Southern Studies has an exclusive report about the controversy. 

The report is all over the blogosphere and has been linked to at Daily Kos , Talking Points Memo, Politico , and America Blog .

Kromm writes:

"For such a sophisticated and well-funded operation, which counts among its ranks some of the country's most seasoned political operatives, such missteps are peculiar, as is the surprise expressed by Women's Voices staff after each controversy.

In at least two states, the timing of Women's Voices' activities have raised alarm that they are attempting to influence the outcome of a primary.  As we reported earlier, in Virginia, news reports surfaced the first week in February that prospective voters were receiving anonymous robo-calls telling voters that they were about to receive a voter registration packet in the mail."

Here's what Bob Hall at Democracy NC said about it before and now: 

"The reports from other states are very disturbing, especially the pattern of mass confusion among targeted voters on the eve of a state's primary," Democracy North Carolina's Bob Hall tells Facing South. "These are highly skilled political operatives — something doesn't add up. Maybe it's all well-intended and explainable. At this moment, our first priority is to stop the robo-calls and prevent the chaos and potential disenfranchisement caused by this group sending 276,000 packets of registration forms into North Carolina a few days before a heated primary election. We need their immediate cooperation."

Here's a clarification about how voter registration actually works in North Carolina put together by the Center for Voter Education.