A special election in Bexar County, Texas is providing a trial run for a possible “interim remedy” to the state’s voter ID law:
Contrary to what many may think after a federal appeals court ordered changes in the Texas Voter ID Law, Bexar County elections administrator Jacque Callanen said, “Voter ID is still in effect for any election in the State of Texas.”
Callanen said what has changed is how people without an ID can still vote, but must still prove who they are… polling sites have been given Reasonable Impediment affidavits only for those who do not have voter ID’s, instead of voters who already do.
Along with the affidavit, voters must present a valid voter registration card or other form of non-photo identification, “then they’ll vote using a provisional paper ballot. ‘We’ll do the research on it after the election, and we will count them if they qualify,’ Callanen said.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday all parties submitted a joint motion to expedite the interim remedy schedule, requesting that an August 17 hearing date be moved up to “the Court’s earliest convenience after August 5,” allowing more time to implement changes ahead of the 2016 general election. Early voting in Texas starts October 24.
“Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is appealing a ruling that changes Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Federal Judge Lynn Adelman ruled last week that voters who don’t have proper ID can cast [regular] ballots after swearing out an affidavit verifying their identity…
“Schimel is asking the judge to stay the ruling. And he’s appealing the case to the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. If the stay is not granted the voting-by-affidavit order would be in effect for the November elections.”
A “major victory” for Virginia’s constitution and the rule of law, and a “potentially fatal blow” to Governor and former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe’s hoped-for “legacy” of swinging the state to his friend and former boss Hillary Clinton:
In a 4-3 ruling, the court declared McAuliffe’s order unconstitutional, saying it amounts to a unilateral rewrite and suspension of the state’s policy of lifetime disenfranchisement for felons.
The court ordered the Virginia Department of Elections to “cancel the registration of all felons who have been invalidly registered” under McAuliffe’s April 22 executive order and subsequent orders.
Federal district court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos released a scheduling order providing guidelines for an “interim remedy” to Texas’ voter ID requirement that allows voters without an accepted form of identification to vote in the 2016 general election using a voter registration certificate.
Details are to be finalized by August 17.
The sponsor of a bill requiring Missourians to submit a photo ID before voting predicts the Legislature will override Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto in September. State Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) notes the Missouri Senate passed his bill 24-8 in May. The Missouri House approved Kraus’ bill 112-38 in May. An override requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers, which means at least 23 votes in the Senate and 109 in the House.
Interestingly, the proposed voter ID requirements that Governor Nixon vetoed – present a state-issued photo ID or sign an affidavit and vote a regular ballot – are the same temporary court-ordered provisions the ACLU requested and won in Wisconsin.
In what six dissenting judges called an “ill-conceived, misguided, and unsupported majority opinion” based on a misconstruction of the law that amounts to “little more than a naked disparate impact test,” a divided 5th Circuit affirmed a district court’s finding that Texas’ photo voter ID law “violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act through its discriminatory effects” and instructed that court to fashion an “interim remedy” as soon as possible that “disrupts voter identification rules for the 2016 election season as little as possible.”
No ID? No problem for Wisconsin voters, says Judge Adelman, who still doesn’t like voter ID and still denies voter-impersonation fraud exists:
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued a preliminary injunction order Tuesday in a case challenging the state’s law requiring voters to have photo identification, granting a request from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU’s request called for an affidavit option for voters who face a “reasonable impediment” to obtain a valid photo ID. Adelman’s order will allow the affidavit option for voters in the general election on Nov. 8.
Adelman’s order calls for affidavit voters to receive regular ballots, rather than provisional ballots that could be verified before being counted.
“Wake County isn’t using all of the tools available to keep clean voter rolls. Wake County could do more to ensure election integrity this November.”
Another county with more registered voters than eligible voting-age citizens:
“Defendant has violated and continue[s] to violate Section 8 [of the National Voter Registration Act] by failing to conduct reasonable voter list maintenance for elections for federal office and by failing to produce records and data related to those efforts, as required by Section 8,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief commanding Defendant to permit inspections of election records.
“Plaintiff also seeks a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief requiring Defendant to conduct and execute reasonable voter list maintenance programs in compliance with federal law to ensure that only eligible voters are registered to vote in Wake County.”
More not-nonexistent voter fraud that changed the outcome of an election in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley:
A former Weslaco city commissioner has admitted to cheating to get re-elected in 2013. Lupe Rivera Monday pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully assisting a voter — one of 16 counts he was charged with in a mail-in ballot fraud scheme.
Rivera’s challenger contested the election, which was decided by just 16 votes, alleging voter fraud. The judge found that 30 ballots were illegally cast and ordered a new election (after a protracted appeal, the redo election was held in November 2015; Rivera lost), and Texas’ Attorney General filed 16 charges against Rivera – including the unlawful assistance charge for filling out a mail ballot “in a way other than the way the voter directed or without direction from the voter.”
As punishment for intentionally defrauding the voters of Weslaco, stealing enough votes to steal an election, and tying up the courts for over a year, Rivera’s plea deal sentences him to just a year of probation and a $500 fine.
A state court challenge to North Carolina’s voter ID requirement is set to go to trial starting September 26, just one month ahead of the state’s October 27 early voting start date.
The question before [Wake County Judge Mike] Morgan will be whether the 2013 election law overhaul is an extension of the voter registration process, as lawmakers have argued. The challengers argue that requiring N.C. voters to show one of six approved IDs or cast a provisional ballot is a “qualification” that goes beyond the bounds of the state Constitution.
An appeal of a separate, federal case in which the voter ID requirement was upheld is pending in the Fourth Circuit.
Voter turnout in the state’s March primaries, the first requiring photo voter ID, was similar to previous presidential primaries: 36% in 2016, compared to 37% in 2008 and 35% in 2012.