Voter Suppression and Election Integrity

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Voters are being disenfranchised in record numbers in recent years, as tactics for voter suppression have proliferated.  This primary the problem finally took the center stage.  While widespread electoral dysfunction persists, laws aimed at suppressing voters are proliferating since Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was gutted.  Since then, 22 states have enacted laws making it harder for people to vote.  Greg Palast estimates the number of disenfranchised voters will top 7 million this year.

Of course, some disenfranchisement is unintentional, as rules vary from state to state and are confusing.  Of course, many poll workers are hard-working, dedicated people who care deeply, but there are a handful of partisan or incompetent people that are mucking things up.  To add to the problem, a lot of the election equipment is old, crappy and prone to tampering.  With everything coming to light, it’s time to demand changes that protect every American’s sacred right to vote.  We must be vigilant.

We believe it’s time for a complete overhaul and a Constitutional Amendment to protect every American’s right to vote.

THE PROBLEMS - Voter Suppression is Rampant and Elections are Not Secure

 

SOLUTIONS:

  • DEMAND BETTER LEGISLATION - SEE BILLS BEFORE CONGRESS (below)
  • DEMAND CONGRESS RESTORE VOTING RIGHTS AMENDMENT
  • DEMAND TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS WITH PAPER BALLOTS
  • DEMAND STATES USE ERIC INSTEAD OF CROSSCHECK, which has 99% false positive rate, disenfranchising millions of voters.
  • DEMAND THAT YOUR STATE RESTORES FELON VOTING RIGHTS after serving time
  • DEMAND OPEN PRIMARIES SO THAT ALL VOICES ARE HEARD
  • BRING AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION TO YOUR STATE
  • DEMAND PUBLIC OVERSIGHT OF ELECTIONS
  • MAKE ELECTION DAY A NATIONAL HOLIDAY
  • MAKE NOISE IF YOU SEE SOMETHING WRONG
  • REPEAL H.A.V.A. (Help America Vote Act 2002)
  • HOLD BIG MEDIA ACCOUNTABLE TO COVER WHAT IS HAPPENING
  • PETITION FOR REDRESS – AFTER VOTING FIASCOS in Arizona, NY and beyond many citizens have pursued lawsuits and petitions to demand re-votes, full audits, asking for an investigation by the Department of Justice and firing incompetent elections officials.

 

BILLS BEFORE CONGRESS

  • The SAFE Act - Paper Ballots and Hand Counted Audits for all Federal Elections HR 1562
  • Constitutional Amendment regarding the right to vote HJ Res 74
  • Secure Elections Act S 2261
  • PAPER Act HR 3751
  • Voter Empowerment Act HR 12
  • Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017 HR 2978 /S 1419
  • Automatic Voter Registration HR 2876
  • Weekend Voting Act HR 1094
  • FAST Voting Act of 2017 HR 1398
  • Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act HR 946
  • 21st Century Voting Act  (1) making Election Day a national holiday, (2) making voter registration automatic and permanent, and (3) restoring the right to vote to persons released from prison. HR 893
  • Election Infrastructure and Security Promotion Act of 2017 HR 1907
  • Streamlined and Improved Methods ACT HR 787
  • Every Vote Counts Amendment - to abolish the electoral college HJ Res 65
  • Amendment to the Constitution to protect the voting rights of the citizens of the US. HJ Res 28
  • Voting rights for residents of all United States territories and commonwealths HJ Res 91
  • National Voting Rights Act Mobilization Day H Con Res 9

PEOPLE POWER PROGRESS UPDATES

In April 2016, Virginia restored voting rights to 200,000+ ex-felons!

In February 2016, Maryland restored voting rights to 40,000 ex-felons!

In October 2015, California passed automatic voter registration, now dozens of other states are considering similar laws.

In March 2015, Oregon showed a new way forward on voting rights with a new law that ensures Oregonians are automatically registered to vote.

In January 2015 President Obama mentions mandatory voting as a solution.

31 states have online voter registration.

ACTION STEP 1:  REGISTER TO VOTE (REGISTER ONLINE HERE)

ACTION STEP 2:  ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS TO VOTE

Share why you care about voting. Positive peer pressure actually has an influence. Remind them to vote prior to election day and follow up on the day of any local or federal elections via phone calls, text and social media.

ACTION STEP 3:  DEMAND UNIVERSAL VOTER REGISTRATION (which just passed in OR & CA)

Sign this Common Good petition

Sign this USPIRG petition

ACTION STEP 4:  START A CONVERSATION ABOUT MANDATORY VOTING

After the dismal turnout of the last few elections (36.4%) CNN ran a series of opinions after asking the question: Should Americans be forced to vote?, The Washington Post ran an opinion piece called A case for compulsory voting, and The Atlantic published A Feasible Roadmap to Compulsory Voting.   It seems that Americans may just be ready for what some think is a radical idea. In the 1920s Australia took a bold step and required every voting-age citizen to vote (compulsory voting) - just like jury duty in the U.S. Within four years voting participation jumped from 59% to 91%! Today ten countries have compulsory voting; voters pay a small fine if they don’t vote. Another 14 countries have non-enforced compulsory voting. Even though this could take many years to put in place in the US, we can start talking about it and understand what it means.
 

10 countries have enforced compulsory voting (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Congo, Ecuador, Luxembourg, Nauru, Peru, Singapore, Uruguay)

14 countries have non-enforced compulsory voting


Jury duty is mandatory; why not voting?

Mandating voting has a clear effect: It raises participation rates. Before Australia adopted compulsory voting in 1924, for example, it had turnout rates similar to those of the U.S. After voting became mandatory, participation immediately jumped from 59 percent in the election of 1922 to 91 percent in the election of 1925.“  Peter Orszag - Bloomberg News  

“I'm not here to tell you to vote, I'm here to remind you that other people can't. Compulsory voting is the guarantee of voter freedom, not its opposite.” - Van Badham – The Guardian

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