Sunday, September 11, 2005

Voter ID in Florida:
The Department of Justice precleared the Florida changes on Tuesday 9/6. The DOJ letter approved the sections on identification required at the polls “provided that as set forth in [a letter from the state of Florida] dated August 24, 2005, provisional ballots voted by persons who fail to present identification will be counted if the canvassing board finds that the signature on the voter certificate matches the signature on the voter registration record.”
That's a very important change. The previous plan had been to -not- count the provisional votes of valid voters without ID.
I don't know if there's some way this can get applied to Indiana, Georgia, and the other places that are conspiring to deny the right to vote to those don't have ID or choose not to be subjected to an unwarranted search.
The quoted stuff comes from http://www.reformcoalition.org/
That's the sort of reform I can endorse.
OK, I just had some coffee, and want to elaborate on a thought I've ben having about this. Under new Voter ID rules, a bunch of people are going to go cast their votes, and be denied because they don't have voting licenses. What we should do is have a cookie cutter lawsuit ready to download. "My right to vote was abridged; I want $1,000,000." File dozens or hundreds of those and try to get to a jury.
In the Texas White Primary cases, a black dentist named Nixon sued for damages, asking for $5,000 (in 1930ish dollars, over $100,000 today) because his right to vote was denied. I don't know if he got the money, but he won his case. Post Bush v Gore, we've got lots of election lawyers. It seems to me that bringing these suits, win or lose, would have an impact on the process.

Update: Hasen reports a Georgia Lawsuit about voter ID. I havent found the suit,
but some coverage:
The Reverend Joseph Lowery and other opponents to the recently approved voter identification bill are expected to announce a federal lawsuit.
A news conference to discuss the filing of the lawsuit is set for tomorrow.
The Coalition for the People's Agenda, which Lowery chairs, is a plaintiff in the suit, along with other groups that also sent letters objecting to the bill to the U-S Department of Justice, which approved the new law last month.
Plaintiffs in the suit include The Coalition for the People's Agenda that is chaired by the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The ACLU is representing the plaintiffs in this case.
NAACP position article.

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