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Showing blog posts tagged with voter protection

Voting Rights Act and the Supreme Court: What Happened Yesterday

Angelia Wade is an associate general counsel at the AFL-CIO. She sends us this takeaway of the opening oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. This is a case of extreme importance for voting rights advocates.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Shelby County, Alabama versus Holder. It was a spirited oral argument that drew clear and noticeable reactions from otherwise staid attorneys as we sat in the lawyers’ lounge, an area for attorneys barred before the Supreme Court but who are unable to get in the courtroom if the courtroom is at capacity, as it was yesterday. We could only hear the argument, not see the justices. The comment that received the most attention was that of Justice Antonin Scalia, who claimed the renewal of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act represented the "perpetuation of racial entitlement.” He further insinuated that no one in Congress was going to vote against the renewal of Section 5 in 2006, (Section 5 was renewed 98-0 in the Senate and 390-33 in the House) because lawmakers did not want to lose votes. He stated, "Even the name of it is wonderful, the Voting Rights Act. Who's going to vote against that?" He further claimed, “I don't think there is anything to be gained by any senator to vote against continuation of this act. And I am fairly confident it will be re-enacted in perpetuity unless—unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution.” But this case is not about the Court’s opinion of why senators or representatives vote the way they do, even if it is out of some kind of “political correctness” or fear.  

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Akron Area Voting Machine Troubles Slow Ohio Voters

Akron Area Voting Machine Troubles Slow Ohio Voters

The AFL-CIO Voter Protection rapid response team has dispatched a team of lawyers to Summit County, Ohio, where there have been reports from across the country about problems with voting machines, lack of paper ballots, moved polling places and other issues.   

In one precinct, some voters were in line from 6:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. before finally voting with provisional ballots. 

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Election Protection Alert: Voting Groups Issue Emergency Alert—No Photo ID Required at Pa. Polls for People Who Voted Before

Election Protection Alert: Voting Groups Issue Emergency Alert—No Photo ID Required at Pa. Polls for People Who Voted Before

In an emergency alert sent to voters this morning over social media, radio PSAs, email and phone calls, the Election Protection Coalition told Pennsylvania voters:

Today is Election Day. Vote. You do not need a photo ID in order to vote in Pennsylvania if you have voted before. First-time voters will need to show some form of ID, photo or non-photo. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) if you have any questions or concerns.

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Election Protection Alert: Phony Email Alerts and T-Shirt Bans

Election Protection Alert: Phony Email Alerts and T-Shirt Bans

The website The Root and AFL-CIO and SEIU staff members in Pennsylvania report an email and Facebook posting seemingly aimed at African American voters warning them not to vote an automatic “straight Democratic” ticket because it supposedly would not include President Obama.

Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania voter was told he would not be allowed to vote unless he removed a shirt with President Obama’s name on it. The AFL-CIO Voter Protection rapid response team reports both issues have been resolved.

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AFL-CIO Leaders on the Ground Getting Out the Vote

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka meets with workers in Brilliant Ohio. Ohio AFL-CIO photo

Over these final few days before Election Day, AFL-CIO officers have been on the ground in key states talking with union members about the vital importance of getting out the vote, they’ve also joined in neighborhood walks and made phone calls alongside volunteers in union phone banks.

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Get Your 'Vote Hands' Ready for Nov. 6

We're getting down to the wire and here's a reminder to get your "vote hands" ready for Nov. 6. Call our Election Protection Hotline if you experience any problems at the polls: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). You also can text REPORT to 235246 (standard data and messaging rates may apply) and someone from the rapid response team will get back to you.

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It’s Your Vote and Your Right: Be Prepared to Protect It on Election Day

It’s Your Vote and Your Right: Be Prepared to Protect It on Election Day

We know that Nov. 6 in polling places around the country, there will be thousands of tea party-trained “poll watchers” and cadres of Republican lawyers on hand with one goal: to slow, suppress and intimidate voters.

But you can be prepared to protect your vote and your right. First, before you go to the polls, make sure you visit the AFL-CIO’s My Vote, My Right voter protection site where you can learn about voter ID laws and steps to take to protect your right to vote tomorrow.   

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Six Steps to Protect Your Vote

6 Steps to Protect Your Vote

As unpatriotic as it sounds, some people would deny American citizens the right to vote, even those who are fully entitled to cast their ballot. The only way to make sure to avoid being the victim of such tactics is to know what your rights are and know who to talk to if you have a problem.

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Florida Again Leading the Way in Assaulting the Rights of Voters

Photo courtesy of ecgarrison

Recent years have seen an assault on the rights of voters across the country, from stringent identification requirements to the throwing away of valid voter registration applications. While most states are seeing only one or two of the variety of assaults on the rights of voters, Florida, as it has in the past, is leading the way in different ways of denying legitimate citizens their right to vote.

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Volunteer to Be Poll Monitor on Election Day

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker at a My Vote, My Right event in Philadelphia.

Poll monitors work outside polling locations on Election Day to greet voters, answer questions and report problems. This year, more poll monitors than ever are needed. Restrictive photo ID laws have challenged the right to vote, the cornerstone of democracy. Despite victories in Pennsylvania, where the photo ID law will not be in effect, and the restoration of early voting in Ohio, the battle is not over.

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