Supreme Court Blocks Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked Wisconsin from implementing the nation’s strictest voter photo ID law that could have denied more than 300,000 registered voters the right to vote in the Nov. 4 election.

The one-page order gives opponents of the law 90 days to file a formal petition asking the Supreme Court to take up the case. The court’s three most conservative justices, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, dissented.

It is estimated that some 300,000 registered Wisconsin voters—mostly African American, Hispanic, students and young voters (18–24) and those older than 65—do not currently have the types of IDs the law requires.

There have been a number of legal challenges to the photo ID law that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and the Republican-majority state legislature passed in 2011. The most recent when the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project filed an emergency request asking the Supreme Court to block the ruling.

Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair says:

As we showed in the federal District Court, approximately 300,000 registered Wisconsin voters, disproportionately voters of color, lack the forms of ID that would have been required under the state’s restrictive voter ID law. These voters have a fundamental right to vote, a right that should not be denied by politicians who manipulate the voting rules weeks before Election Day. In a democracy, elections should be free, fair and accessible to all Americans.

Also announced yesterday, a federal judge struck down Texas’ very strict voter ID law.

On Oct. 8, the key parts of North Carolina’s restrictive voting rights law go forward, and last week the court allowed new voting restrictions in Ohio that severely curtailed early voting opportunities to go forward.

The Fair Elections Legal Network says that over the past two years, more than 30 states have introduced legislation or enacted laws that would curb voters’ access to voting. Find out more here.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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The Voting Issue Heats Up in NC and We’re Striking Back

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Things are heating up in North Carolina over the controversial Voter Suppression Law that ends same-day registration, serves up harsh voter ID provisions and slashes days from early voting.

The law is a modern day form of discrimination against the state’s most vulnerable individuals and has caused a wave of backlash among citizens and community groups.

Working America’s members are leading the pack and fighting back.

Our North Carolina members have started a campaign to promote voter education and registration throughout the state. We’ll show residents how to exercise their right to vote in the wake of these new laws, and send a message to politicians that they can’t take our power away from us.

WA member Howard Hill phrased it perfectly in a recent letter to the editor when he wrote, “The truth is, with these laws in effect, people who need to vote the most will have that much more difficulty doing so… This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. We know what’s better for the working class and our community. So let’s act like it.”

We’re working to ensure that our fellow citizens have the information that they need to ensure their voices are heard by focusing on key issues like the importance of absentee ballots and registration deadlines.

Our members hope to reach and educate 364,250 North Carolinians in the Triad area about the laws, and so far activists have written letter to editors, canvassed neighborhoods, and reached out to community groups and classrooms.

We’re fired up and ready to go, ensuring that the voice of the working class is heard, and telling politicians that we have the power.

Anti-labor candidates everywhere should be very afraid.

To find out how you can help, email Jasmine Whaley at: [email protected]

Photo courtesy of -ted on Flickr.

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“Moral Monday” Spreads Across North Carolina

Since the end of April, Moral Monday protests have occurred every Monday in front of the state legislature in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Moral Monday rallies have gathered thousands of supporters, and over 900 have been arrested through civil disobedience actions. These massive protests have been centered on issues of economic justice and basic fairness—cuts unemployment benefits, the failure to extending Medicaid for 500,000 uninsured people, cuts to public school funding, voter suppression, and other issues.

This Moral Monday protests have begun to spread across our state. This past Monday, in conjunction with the Raleigh protest, a Moral Monday march was organized in Greensboro. Since many people couldn’t travel to Raleigh to voice their support, activists organized a Greensboro Moral Monday rally to focus on voter ID laws and looming cuts to early voting.

Over 200 people marched and chanted, toted signs saying “Save Early Voting,” “Voter ID = Voter Suppression,” and “Keep Sunday Voting”.

“I thought it was wonderful,” said Working America member Carol Tweede, who attended. “Turnout was more than I ever expected. I feel very happy at these demonstrations, because everyone pulls together. It’s one great big body of people trying to help each other. It is so inclusive and nice to be around people who believe the same way you do, the right way.”

Across North Carolina, folks are standing up against the right-wing state legislature, not just in Raleigh.

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