Less than 10 weeks from the opening Democratic presidential primary, would-be voters in New Hampshire are fighting two separate battles in federal court alleging their franchise is being suppressed by new state laws.
This week, a lawsuit brought by the state Democratic Party and the League of Women Voters went to trial. The groups allege that a 2017 law creates an unconstitutional burden on people who want to register less than a month before an election.
Last week, a federal judge declined to stop — at least in time for the Feb. 11 primary — a law requiring college students and others to establish full-fledged residency in order to register.
Both the two-tier system with added paperwork for late-in-the-campaign registrations and the added residency requirements for voters were created when the Legislature was in Republican hands. The GOP lawmakers acted after President Trump alleged without evidence that there had been widespread voter fraud in the state, which Hillary Clinton carried by less than 3,000 votes in 2016.
Georgia's plans to remove at least 300,000 names from the voting rolls before the primary in March are badly flawed and should be delayed or dropped altogether, one of the country's most renowned nonpartisan civic activist groups says.
The national League of Women Voters and its Georgia chapter have made that request to the Republican secretary of state, maintaining the biggest problems are with the state's policy of cancelling registrations of people simply because they haven't voted in five years.
The state's plan, announced two weeks ago, is getting heightened scrutiny because the primary could be a turning point in the Demoratic presidential contest and there will be three important races next fall: The parties will be competitive in a tight contest for Georgia's 16 electoral votes and both Senate seats. Republicans have won every statewide contest since 2004 but the record could be threatened if there's a big turnout from Democrats who have not been regular ballot-casters.
Organizer: League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia
Tour the eastern edge of District 1 to hear about gerrymandering, redistricting, and how the Democracy Act can reform the system. Meet at Armstrong Center and board a bus to be guided through the ins and outs of District 1, gerrymandering, redistricting and the much-needed reform of the Democracy Act.
- Dr. Kimberly Martin, assistant professor in political science and international relations at Georgia Southern University Armstrong campus, will define Gerrymandering, how it differs from redistricting and why it matters.
- Pat Byrd, chair of Fair Districts GA, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to reforming the redistricting system in Georgia, will outline the Democracy Act, why it makes sense for Georgia and what voters can do to support it.
End with a postcard writing party back at Armstrong in support of the Democracy Act.
Location: The Armstrong Center, 13040 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA
To reduce political influence over legislative and congressional lines, a growing number of states are taking up bipartisan reforms such as Independent Redistricting Commissions to ensure that districts promote the will of voters, not politicians. Maryland, as one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation, must join this movement. Join Common Cause Maryland and the League of Women Voters of Maryland in Baltimore City to learn about California's Citizens Redistricting Commission and how we can adopt a similar model here in Maryland that will help Tame the Gerrymander! We'll be joined by California Commissioner, M. Andre Parvenu - a geographer, urban planner, community outreach specialist, and a former Zoning Analyst with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. As we prepare to re-draw our district boundaries in 2021, come learn how to join efforts this upcoming session to create a process that will lead to fair maps.
Location: Function Coworking Community, 4709 Harford Rd., Baltimore, MD