Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) commends Ohio Governor John Kasich’s use of his line-item veto power, striking a provision in the state’s transportation budget that would have restricted students’ voting rights. The Governor’s veto of this detrimental provision showed he was listening to concerns of advocates that were echoed by the media and the public.
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.
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.
The Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) will meet this Wednesday to finally determine what will constitute a “valid” photo ID for voting purposes this November. Nonprofit civic engagement organizations across Virginia have already begun education campaigns to prepare voters for the change that was passed in 2013.
After nearly three long years of litigation, Wisconsin’s voter ID law remains in limbo.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the contentious voter ID law supported by Gov. Walker was constitutionally sound. Even so, the law remains blocked by a federal district court decision that came to the exact opposite conclusion nearly four months ago.