Iowa needs to work harder to clean up voter rolls that wrongly list people as felons, two voter advocacy groups say.
So many misidentified people have been prevented from voting in this decade that the Justice Department should consider sanctioning the state, the Brennan Center for Justice and the League of Women Voters of Iowa contend. Their warning was delivered in writing to Secretary of State Paul Pate in June and was reported last week by the Des Moines Register.
Iowa has one of the country's strictest rules on felon voting: They may not go to the polls unless they're pardoned by the governor or the president. GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds unsuccessfully pushed this year for the legislature to restore voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences.
Voters in counties that were once under federal oversight because of past election discrimination are being purged from the registration rolls at much higher rates than other counties, according to new research.
The Brennan Center for Justice, in a report released this week, examined the culling of registered voters by state officials across the country in the previous three years. One aim was to see what had happened in the years since the Supreme Court struck down as antiquated the system for deciding which states and counties would require Justice Department approval before making any changes to election procedures – such as purging of voting lists.
This "preclearance" requirement, a central part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, applied to eight states in the South and parts of six other states where there was a history of racial discrimination in the political process.
The maps drawn for the election of the Louisiana Supreme Court are discriminatory against black voters, a civil rights group alleges in a new federal lawsuit.
The racial gerrymandering lawsuit was filed in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, the day before the release of a stark new report finding that the makeup of state supreme courts nationwide does not come close to reflecting the racial diversity of the country.
The plaintiffs in the Louisiana case, the state NAACP and two black voters, say only two African Americans have served on the state's highest court since the election of those justices began 105 years ago. One is on the bench now (there are seven seats), a time when the black population of the state is 32 percent, the second highest percentage of any state.
The suit asks the court to toss out the state judicial map as a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 1965 law designed to ensure minorities can fully exercise their franchise, and to order the boundaries redrawn before the next election.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Wickersham feeds a test ballot into a vote counting machine last fall. A new report finds many states need more money to secure their voting systems from cyberattacks.
States are taking steps to protect their voting systems from the sort of cyberattacks that marked the 2016 presidential election, but they lack the funds to do all that's needed.
That is the conclusion of a report released Thursday by four groups that monitor voting security or advocate for additional federal intervention to bolster cybersecurity for the political system: the Brennan Center for Justice, R Street Institute, Alliance for Securing Democracy and the University of Pittsburgh.
They sampled what is happening in six states, chosen in part because hacking was attempted in several of them in the past few years. In Illinois, for example, special counsel Robert Mueller's report found that Russian operatives hacked into the state database of registered voters and extracted some data before they were blocked.
One common theme among the states is their hunger for more federal aid to replace aging voting machines.