Later this year, we will commemorate 50 years since the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, which established federal guidelines requiring states to ensure access to the ballot for all Americans, particularly historically disenfranchised African Americans. The passage of the Voting Rights Act came about as a result of a hard-fought battle waged by civil rights leaders in the country, some of whom lost their lives for the cause.
Earlier today, the Fair Elections Legal Network, along with the Nashville law firm of Barrett, Johnston, Martin & Garrison, LLC, filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s voter ID law’s exclusion of student ID cards. On behalf of the Nashville Student Organizing Committee and nine individual plaintiffs, the suit maintains that Tennessee’s voter ID law violates the 14th Amendment and 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In 2011, the Texas state legislature passed what has come to be considered one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country. Among the list of acceptable IDs to present at the polling place, students IDs are noticeably missing. Of the fourteen states with strict voter IDs in place during the 2014 general election, six did not accept student IDs for voting purposes, Texas included.
Earlier today, Federal District Judge Peter Economus granted a preliminary injunction to block amendments and revisions to Ohio’s early voting law. The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the behalf of the League of Women Voters, NAACP, and several African American churches, challenges an Ohio state statute and directives issued by Secretary of State Jon Husted, which collectively reduced early voting from 35 to 28 days, reduced weekend and eve
This week, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos began hearing arguments on the Texas’ voter ID law, which is considered the harshest in the country. Opening remarks were given on September 2, and the trial is expected to last two weeks.
A petition in Missouri to create one of the most expansive early voting periods in the country will not appear on the November ballot. The citizen petition, which would have established a no-excuse early voting period of 42 days including weekend voting, failed to receive enough verified signatures to appear on the ballot this fall.