If you plan to vote by mail, 1) follow the instructions, 2) be aware that the lack of a signature match can lead to rejection, and 3) track your ballot. #vote
Check out this wonderful video that includes history and some great singers in its admonishment to vote! #vote
So let’s recap: By now, you are registered to vote and registered all of your friends, family, coworkers, and frenemies. You completed the Census and encouraged everyone else to do so. Now, you are ready to plan your voting experience. Let’s discuss the early voting process.
For people who prefer to vote in person, early voting (EV) is a viable option. Most states have the EV option, which ranges from 4 to 45 days depending on where you live. As I noted in a previous post, EV starts 9/18 in Minnesota and South Dakota. In Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan, and Wisconsin EV will begin on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
There are a few reasons to consider EV. With the large scale distrust of the postal service, (we’ll talk about vote by mail next week), casting a ballot on a machine is appealing to a large percentage of Americans. Moreover, the EV option should cut wait time on 11/3. Nonetheless, prepare yourself to have to wait to cast your EV ballot. Bring reading materials, a chair, water, an umbrella, etc. Election officials are anticipating high voter turnout. We saw extremely long lines on election day during the primary season. We can expect more lines regardless of how you cast your in-person ballot. You can find EV locations and hours here.
Finally, if you choose to vote in-person adhere to public safety protocols. Wear a mask and social distance from others. Be Safe and VOTE!
While Census Day was April 1st, it marked the beginning not the end of the count. The Trump administration has moved up the deadline for the Census count to September 30th. Congress can act to change the date to give more time for an accurate count. After all, we are in the midst of a pandemic.
The Census is vitally important to communities of color. The Census count determines the number of representatives that each state will have in Congress. Additionally, communities of color are usually under counted. When this happens, those communities don’t have enough schools, hospital beds or other important services.
You can complete the Census for your household here: https://2020census.gov/en.html You can learn more about the deadlines and efforts to persuade Congress to act here. contact Congress and tell them to extend the deadline here. You can read an article on how important the Census is to our communities here.
Well now, here’s an idea. Let’s make the main thing, the main thing.
LaTosha Brown, a Selma native who co-founded Black Voters Matter, issued a statement saying that it is time to reimagine American democracy.
This week, I want to talk about voter registration. In most states, voter registration closes 25-30 days before an election. This year that means, in some states, October 4, 2020 is the last day to register. You can go to www.vote.org to check registration deadlines. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic many voter registration outlets, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, was closed for several months. Additionally, other voter registration sites, such as libraries and social service agencies were closed. In 2016, 33% of all registrations came from the DMV. There are a few states (21) that allow you to register and vote on the same day, even through election day. Here are a few websites where you can register to vote or check your registration: https://www.whenweallvote.org/; https://www.spreadthevote.org/; https://www.vote.org/
If you’re not registered, you can’t vote. Know before you go!!
As we count down to the election, we have important dates to keep in mind as we get closer to 11/3. In fact, the election is not in less than 90 days. In some states, it is less than 50 days away. The election will begin as early as Friday, September 18, 2020, which is when early voting starts in Minnesota and South Dakota. In Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan, and Wisconsin voting begin on Saturday, September 19, 2020. You can find election dates and rules at https://www.vote.org/ There are three things that everyone should do: 1. Register to vote or if you’re already registered, encourage or assist others; 2. Confirm your registration and your polling place, and 3. Know the various ways that you can cast a ballot and the deadlines. I have a timeline on my website (click the VIP tab) and other resources at www.gildadaniels.com.
A consequence of COVID-19 is widespread DMV closures and the inability to register to vote. You can read about Nevada’s experience here. DMVs and other voter registration options are sparse or non-existent in most states. Additionally, organizations that usually engage in voter registration activities are unable to do so in this state of emergency. #voterregistration #votingrights #COVID19
Filed a complaint in Florida seeking accommodations for the many Floridians who are displaced and/or unable to cast ballots in the presidential primary. Read the full complaint here:
Considering expanding the vote to all residents of a locality regardless of citizenship status, read here.
Jan. 27, 2020 By Kristen Torres “The Queens delegation is split over a city bill that would grant green card holders and many other legal immigrants.”
The fight over the restoration of voting rights continues in Florida. The state supreme court ruled that Amendment 4, which potentially returned the right to vote to more than1 million people in Florida, required the completion of fines and fees before voting rights could be restored. Read the story here.
This article argues for a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to vote. It highlights the recent gains in rights of restoration work as examples for the need for uniform standards.
A federal judge in North Carolina blocked it’s voter ID law finding, among other things, troubling racial disparities. “The evidence suggests that minority voters are not just less likely to have an acceptable form of ID, but that the legislature excluded photographic ID that could have greatly reduced that discrepancy,” the judge wrote.
January 1st is a significant day in civil rights history. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which proclaimed that “all persons held as slaves … are, and henceforward shall be free.” It is said that slaves in the confederate states watched all night on December 31, 1862, to see what freedom looked like on January 1st. Accordingly, 157 years later, in the African American culture, we continue to attend watch night services on New Year’s Eve. Maybe in 2020, we can truly see what freedom looks like. #freedom #watchnight #vote
Civil rights museums to visit in Alabama are discussed here: Venture Bound: Alabama museums detail civil rights movement
Restoration of rights has become a focal point in recent years. This article highlights the misinformation that takes place in Illinois and elsewhere across the country. Illinois is among the few states where formerly incarcerated regain their voting rights after release, but many are misinformed and unaware.
There’s a wide range of dependence across and within the states. Here’s a state-by-state look at how welfare, education and roads could be impacted by the next budget that Trump signs.
History often focuses on children of the movement—youngsters who were active participants in the fight for civil rights. But there were other young people who played a part in that history, as well—descendants of the movement, those who witnessed their parents or relatives fight to end segregation in the South.
And here is their stories……
Mississippi Power paid tribute to four iconic individuals for their pioneering work in advancing the causes of human and civil rights at the 2017 Heritage Awards Saturday night.
This year’s honorees, Victoria Gray Adams, Lawrence Guyot Jr., Col. Lawrence Roberts and Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts all stood as symbols of hope and perseverance in the face of tough circumstances.
This article discusses the harm that Trump’s unfounded pronouncement of voter fraud could do the right to vote. You can read more here: http://www.phillytrib.com/news/trump-s-voter-fraud-unicorn-could-pose-grave-threat-to/article_0e763bde-6374-50cc-a2f0-6af4af1801a7.html
Republican lawmakers plan to submit a bill to the state legislature that would serve as a setback to the restoration of rights for previously convicted persons. You can read more here.
The Va. governor acted one month after the state Supreme Court threw out a broader clemency effort.
This decision allows more than 600,000 citizens, who were shut out, the opportunity to cast a ballot in 2016. #restoreVRA #voterid #Texas
A majority of the full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the heavily litigated and controversial Texas voter ID law does have the effect of discriminating against minority voters, and ordered the state to devise a remedy to that problem before the November elections. “We conclude that the district court did not clearly err in determining that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect on minorities’ voting rights in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” the court majority wrote.The unexpected ruling against the Republican-backed voter ID law by the conservative appeals court came as it faced a Supreme-Court-imposed deadline of Wednesday to rule in the case.
Here’s a good piece that addresses the frustration over the lack of convictions in the Freddie Gray case. Even if they don’t lead to prosecutions, hopefully, we can have real talk and real change. #policereform #civilrights #FreddieGray
On Monday, Police Lt. Brian Rice became the third officer acquitted in the death of Freddie Gray. Rice, 42, was the highest-ranking officer of six officers charged in Gray’s death. He was cha…
When I served at the DOJ, federal observers were an important part of maintaining order in some jurisdictions. DOJ believes that the Shelby decision eliminates most election day coverage. #RestoretheVRA
WASHINGTON – Federal election observers can only be sent to five states in this years US presidential election, among the smallest deployments since the Voting
Here’s a nice graphic with the breakdown of USSC decisions.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe defended his decision to restore the voting rights to more than 200,000 persons. Criticism from those who believe that the punishment should continue long after citizens have completed their sentences, including probation and parole, has been relentless. In the first month of the governor’s order, approximately 6,000 persons registered to vote; compared with less than 2,000 the previous year. You can read more here:
The US Supreme court in a 4-3 decision upheld the use of race as a factor at the University of Texas. This means that other schools who use race as one of many factors in its admissions decisions should feel a little more secure for now. Read more here.
Here’s an interesting article that connects past and present realities. GRD
Fifty years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. made his first public visit to South Carolina to deliver a speech on a school field in Kingstree about the importance of voting. About 5,000 came out on a rainy day to hear him.
Source: Post and Courier
In Maryland and Virginia, former felons have the ability to vote, with some restrictions. For example, in Virginia, they must complete probation or parole. Nonetheless. 40,000 persons in Maryland and more than 200.000 persons in Virginia now have access to the ballot box. These measures, however, may be met with litigation that could affect their ability to vote in the 2016 election. Read the New York Times article here.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory stating that House Bill 2, which among other things, requires persons to use the bathroom of their birth, violates two civil rights laws-Title VII (employment discrimination) and Title IX (sex discrimination). Read more here.
Interestingly, HB2 was hastily passed, much like NC’s restrictive voting law passed in 2013 after Shelby v. Holder that removed same day registration, limited early voting, and instituted a restrictive voter id requirement.
Civil rights case involving disabled riders and Uber drivers, read more here:
Here’s an interesting article found in the Washington Post that discusses new millennium housing discrimination on sites, like AirBnB. A recent study showed that racial sounding African American names could determine, in some circumstances, whether a room/house was available for rent. Read more here:
New and more restrictive laws are in place in some Super Tuesday states. http://ow.ly/YWuKn
After months of unrest, student protests, and a presidential resignation, The University of Missouri has appointed Michael Middleton as the interim president of the university. Middleton is no stranger to the university or the fight for Civil Rights. In 1968, Middleton became the third black student to graduate from the University’s law school. Shortly after graduation. Middleton started his legal career in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. His professional and personal experiences may be just what the University needs.
A HUD audit revealed that roughly 297 families are living in HUD housing but making more than the federal income limits. Congressman David Jolly threatened to cut $104 million from HUD’s budget if the agency did not fix the “problem.”
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will look into an incident between a white male resource officer and black female student that occurred in a South Carolina high school. The video shows the resource officer dragging the student across the classroom, after the student refused to leave the classroom.
On October 10, 2015, thousands upon thousands of people gathered in the nation’s capital to continue the movement for justice for all. Hear from three people who participated in the first Million Man March as they comment on the significance of the movement in their lives.
With SCOTUS’ recent rulings, many are wondering what the hollowed Voting Rights Act could mean for the 2016 elections. Journalist Ari Berhman shares his thoughts here.
Those incarcerated awaiting trial or convicted of misdemeanors would be able to register to vote and learn about their voting rights under legislation in the Maryland General Assembly this year
Voting Laws Roundup 2021 | Brennan Center for Justice
— Read on www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-laws-roundup-2021-0
Because the House and Senate have approved different proposals, lawmakers will have to decide how far they want to go within a matter of weeks.
— Read on dailyprogress.com/content/tncms/live/
All eyes are on state legislatures. This is something to watch.
Measure would bar the use of qualified immunity as defense.
The work begins. State legislatures are positioned to roll back voter access gains. #VOTE
One of the bills introduced by Republican state lawmakers will require people who vote via mail-in ballot to have ballot notarized by a notary public before the ballot is sent in. Another would purge those who have not voted in the Primary and the General Election in Arizona for two straight voting cycles.
“With the deadline to register to vote in the January U.S. Senate races winding down in a week, there’s a major push from some Get Out the Vote organizations to especially get 18- to 29-year-olds on the books and registered to vote. The Georgia secretary of state’s office reports in the last four years, registration”
The Republican lawsuits have been in large part a complete failure. Lest we forget, these lawsuits aimed to disenfranchise voters in predominate people of color cities. This is voter suppression and discrimination. #votersuppression
“Black voters in Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Atlanta were crucial to Joe Biden’s victory. Those are also the places where President Trump’s campaign has targeted its legal efforts.”
As a former Deputy Chief in the DOJ Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, I can attest that the Biden administration has tremendous work to do to restore public confidence and increase institutional morale.
“Former leaders in the Justice Department’s civil rights division say the Biden team will have a heavy lift on its hands.”