Democratic Party Voting Rights Institute.
American Civil Liberties Union – research on voter suppression
Fair Elections Legal network – national, nonpartisan advocacy organization whose mission is to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies and improve overall election administration through administrative, legal, and legislative reform as well as provide legal and technical assistance to voter mobilization organizations.
Think Progress is following stories. http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/09/12/839261/exclusive-florida-to-restart-voter-purge-prior-to-presidential-election/
Current legislation before Congress
H.R.2082 – Military and Overseas Voting Enhancement Act
To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to require States to accept absentee ballots of overseas military and civilian voters which are submitted by the voter to a provider of express mail services not later than the day before the date of the election involved for transmission to the appropriate State election official, to require the Secretary of Defense to reimburse overseas military voters for the costs of using a provider of express mail services to transmit the ballot to the official, and for other purposes.
The Help America Vote Act – HAVA of 2002 was seen as an important step in bringing about voting reforms after the debacle of the 2000 Presidential election.
Its objectives were to replace punch card voting systems (such as in Florida), create the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections, and establish minimum election administration standards for federal elections. In relation to administration standards, it required states to make provision for provisional voting, statewide Voter Registration Databases, voter identification procedures and administrative complaint procedures.
HAVA had considerable support within the Democratic Party and amongst many liberal and progressive organizations anxious to reform the voting procedures.
Its impact has been, however, double-edged because it furthered the replacement of paper-based systems with electronic voting machines which are often paperless and thus without a valid paper audit trail.
Similary, some of the voter identification procedures adopted in some states, for example, the requirement for photographic ID have been challenged as discriminatory, and as, in effect, a mechanism for voter suppression. The Supreme Court judgement on the constituitonality of these requirements can be found here. It was a 6-3 decision regarding Indiana’s requirement for photo identification.
Rush Holt, Democrat New Jersey, has been very active on issues of voting reform. For more information about his initiatives go to Holt’s website. There you will find details of his latest proposal – HR 2894 Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibilyt Act of 2009.
Although it failed to be passed, The Emergency Election Assistance for Secure Elections Act HR 5036—EASY introduced by Rush Holt, New Jersey Democrat approved by a House committee in April raised important issues. It offered States the funds 1)to convert to paper-based electronic voting before Election Day; 2) to conduct audits of paper records. The option to have paper trails and audits thereof would be good. Although not mandatory, the financial incentives will support those states who want to change.
Combating voter suppression, voting irregularities and fraud
We all know that serious voting irregularities occurred during both the 2000 and 2004 elections. We should also be aware of continuing problems and the work being undertaken by the Democratic Party and various campaigns to monitor and combat such irregularities.
Sources on these issues:
Uncounted was produced, directed and written by David Earnhardt in 2007. It is an important and very current film. It documents how easy it is to change election outcomes and undermine electorl integrity across the United States. It covers a wide range of issues including ‘undervoting’, problems with electronic paperless voting, voter suppression, the use and misuse of provisional ballots and the privitization of the election process. DAUK showed this film in April 2008. The fiilm website is an invaluable resource. We have drawn extensively on the material provided there.
Invisible Coup – by Terri Murrary 2005
Conyers, John (2005) What Went Wrong in Ohio? Chicago: Academy Publishers.
Bob Fitrakis, Steven Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, (2006) What Happened in Ohio? New York: New Press.
Freeman, Steve and Bleifuss, J.(2006) Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count. New York: New Press.
Gumbel, Andrew (2005) Steal This Vote. New York: Nation. Harris, Bev (2004) Black Box Voting. Renton, WA: Talion Publishing.
Miller, Mark Crispin (2005) Fooled Again. New York: Basic Books.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?” Rolling Stone
BlackBox voting is a non-partisan campaign led by Bev Harris and was one of the earliest to identify and campaign against the range of problems associated with electronic voting Election Defense Alliance – a national election integrity organization
Velvet Revolution – a network of more than 120 election integrity and other organizations
Voters Unite – a non-partisan grassroots network for fair and accurate elections
VoteTrustUSA is a national resource for state-based organizations working for secure, accurate and transparent elections. It is a project of Verified Voting Foundation. Created and written by Elaine Capizzi