News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

An Arizona law disqualifies ballots cast at the wrong polling place. It's impact is felt most strongly by minority communities.

In Arizona election rules case, Supreme Court mulls what's left of Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will take up its most consequential case since the election about the future of a functional and fair democracy.

Hanging in the balance are the most meaningful remaining voting rights protections for minority groups under federal law. But even if the justices don't make a sweeping ruling upholding or eliminating those, their decision in a dispute over election restrictions in battleground Arizona will shape the fate of similar rules across the country.

Arizona disallows ballots cast at the wrong precinct and also bars so-called ballot harvesting, the term for campaign operatives or community activists collecting and delivering others' sealed vote envelopes. Last year a federal appeals court ruled that both laws violate the Voting Rights Act because they disproportionately disadvantage Black, Latino and Native American voters.

Keep reading... Show less
Big Picture
Erin Scott/Getty Images

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida is one of the lead sponsors on a GOP election integrity bill.

Senate Republicans introduce their own election reform legislation

Days before the House is set to take up the sweeping democracy reform package known as HR 1, a handful of GOP senators proposed new legislation to "restore confidence" in American elections.

The so-called Save Democracy Act, which would create nationwide voting restrictions, was introduced Thursday by Rick Scott of Florida, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming — three of the eight Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 election results. Lummis' home-state colleague John Barrasso is also co-sponsoring the bill, although he did not object to the election certification.

The Republican bill stands about as much chance of passing in the Senate as the doomed HR 1 does. With the filibuster still intact, neither bill is likely to achieve the 60 votes needed to pass, despite new polling that show the public's growing appetite for reform following the contentious presidential election.

Keep reading... Show less
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Wisconsin's method of cleaning its voter registration list may disenfranchise a significant number of voters.

Voter purges put eligible Wisconsinites' rights at risk, new report finds

A new study suggests some voters in Wisconsin, particularly members of minority communities in that perennial tossup state, may lose their voting rights thanks to flaws in the state's process for maintaining registration lists.

At least 4 percent of Wisconsin voters' registrations were incorrectly flagged as out of date in 2018 because they were suspected of having moved but had not done so, Yale University researchers found.

Their report offers a number of caveats that demonstrate the incorrect labeling is likely higher than 4 percent. And in a place where the state Supreme Court is considering whether to purge 129,000 voters — and where the last two contests for presidential electors were each decided by fewer than 25,000 ballots — every registration is critical.

Keep reading... Show less

Will 2021 be defined by voting rights and electoral reform?

This story was originally published by Ms.

Reilly is the outreach and communications coordinator for RepresentWomen, a nonpartisan organization advocating for policies that would result in more women holding office.

Keep reading... Show less