While some states like New York have moved to make voting easier, others are making it harder, perhaps to deliberately depress turnout – through new laws that require voters to show an ID when they vote. By passing the bills on just the second day in session, the new Democratic majorities in the state Assembly and Senate are making good on campaign promises, but it will take more effort to transform New York into a state where voters can cast a ballot as easily as anywhere else. But 86 percent of black respondents and 74 percent of Hispanic respondents believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Scratch that, 1953. Now he’ll need to put the country back together, Franklin Foer writes. In the past two decades, Oregon has taken several steps to become one of the most voter-friendly states. In Wisconsin, a study found that the number of Democrats who didn’t vote because they lacked proper ID exceeded Trump’s margin of victory, and that the biggest decreases in turnout were in black neighborhoods, a clear signal that race-based voter suppression was in play. And while blacks account for 22% of the state's population, 31% of registered voters lacking photo ID are African American. Not exactly an epidemic of vote tampering or voter impersonation. McMahon previously worked as a journalist in Albany, as an Assembly Republican staffer and a budget adviser for almost 30 years, giving him great insight into the goings-on in the Capitol. But Democrats are in the midst of a long-awaited push for voting reforms now that they control the state Senate – and they are moving fast to boost the state’s national standing on voting access. New York may have been slow to change the status quo until now, but the latest moves by the state Legislature show that the state is moving towards increased voter access. It will take time to transform New York into a national leader on voting access, but state lawmakers voted on Monday to make a big leap forward on the issue. It is among a dozen or so states that lack early voting and no-excuses absentee balloting, and it is the only state that schedules separate primaries for state and federal elections. A bill to close the LLC loophole was also included in the batch of bills passed by the Legislature on Monday. “You’re really seeing states going two different directions on this and it looks like New York this week has a chance to join the positive group,” said Morales-Doyle. That finding is supported by data from other pollsters that suggest that the vast majority of black people are facing levels of anxiety and fear about the future that are unprecedented in recent memory. (C) 2020 City and State NY, LLC. The numbers not only suggest that policies such as voter-ID requirements and automatic voter purges do, indeed, have strong racial and ethnic biases, but also that there are more subtle barriers for people of color that compound the effects of these laws. This year’s federal election is the first since a 2013 court decision voided key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The new data support perhaps the worst-case scenario offered by opponents of restrictive voting laws. While other efforts require constitutional amendments in order to take effect, the experience of other states illustrates the higher voter turnout that New York might get once changes like same-day registration and no-excuse absentee voting take effect – assuming that the latter two proposed constitutional amendments pass the next Legislature and are approved by voters in subsequent referenda. It is time for New York state to catch up, so we can once again lead the way forward.”. As was the case for poll taxes and literacy tests long ago, restrictive election laws are often, on their face, racially neutral, giving them a sheen of legitimacy. “There is not a lot of research that shows increased turnout with early voting,” he said. She added that Cuomo included $7 million in last year’s budget proposal to fund early voting, money that she expects the governor will include in his budget proposal to be released on Tuesday. Editor’s Note: We’ve gathered dozens of the most important pieces from our archives on race and racism in America. Here's why: increasingly, it's becoming harder and harder for folks of color to vote in some states. Young people would pre-register to vote before they turn 18 and any citizen who got a driver’s license would get on the voting rolls automatically. That suggests that concern about disenfranchisement arises from experience, not necessarily from party or ideological affiliation. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. They indicate that voter suppression is commonplace, and that voting is routinely harder for people of color than for their white counterparts. Accordingly, 68 percent of black respondents in the PRRI poll think that disenfranchisement is a major problem, and a similar proportion believe that disenfranchisement is the biggest electoral problem in America. News that gave me a teeny bit of hope for 21st century politics: attorney general Eric Holder and the Department of Justice filed suit against a North Carolina voting law. In an ideal world, all eligible voters would be able to cast a ballot without much trouble. Restricted Stock Awards . Here's where conservative conspiracy theorists step in: raising a great hue and cry about the urgent need to curtail voting fraud. “It’s a big deal for the Legislature and the governor to sign these new laws,” said John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany. Minnesota, for example, allows early voting as far as 46 days before election day and turnout was an impressive 75 percent in the 2016 election. With 17 new state senators, the New York Legislature has had a unique opportunity to overcome such reluctance, and Democratic lawmakers made sure to note on Monday that they intend to introduce additional legislation to further loosen voting restrictions. In June, in its landmark Shelby County v Holder ruling, the supreme court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: section 4, the formula which determined which states had to get pre-clearance from the feds before changing any of their voting registration laws. “Easing access to voting and having New Yorkers exercise their constitutional right to have their voices heard shouldn’t be partisan or controversial,” she said. The North Carolina NAACP and the Advancement Project filed suit against the state the same day the law went into effect. There are times, watching current events unfold, when I'm convinced that we've all landed in some massive time machine that's sent the nation careening back into, say, 1963. But black and Hispanic voters are even more anxious and desperate, and that’s at least in part because democratic norms—if this trial run of racially inclusive democracy can even be referred to as a “norm”—are crumbling in their hands. According to the Pew Center on the States, of the nearly 7m ballots cast in North Carolina for the two primary elections and the general election last year, only 121 cases of alleged fraud were reported to the attorney general. The results, especially when analyzed by race, are troublesome. The state’s voting laws are in flux as lawmakers scramble to finalize new, more accessible voting procedures due to COVID-19. These include combining state and federal primaries into one day, implementing early voting, making it easier for voters to re-register when they move to the state, and allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Gov. All rights reserved. This includes becoming the first state to implement all-mail ballots – which made early voting unnecessary – and automatic voter registration. This is a modern day poll tax, a deliberate attempt to curtail the tremendous advances that the state has made in increasing voter participation for all North Carolinians. In this form of government, policy decisions are made by representatives chosen in periodic elections based on the principle of universal suffrage, which requires that all citizens (or at least all competent adults not guilty of serious crimes) be eligible to vote in elections. For black voters especially, the prospect of voter suppression fueling minority disenfranchisement nationwide isn’t an idea that takes much imagination. Republican officials in the state said that the voter-ID law might have been powerful enough to change the outcome of the presidential election in Wisconsin. There are informal roadblocks as well. The voting reforms that New York should pass, The coronavirus in New York, by the numbers, 2020 New York state legislative general election results, New York’s 2020 congressional election results. I'll be watching Holder's suit and taking notes, because there's still time to turn the time machine back to 2013. Photograph: David Becker/Getty Images, here are times, watching current events unfold, when I'm convinced that we've all landed in some massive time machine that's sent the nation careening back into, say, 1963. Restricted Stock Units vs. It's a test case for the nation, 'North Carolina's voter law is a modern day poll tax.' First, voter-ID laws and other, similar statutes aren’t passed in a vacuum, but rather in a country where people of color are significantly less likely to be able to meet the new requirements. Find the collection here. The survey’s respondents, as a whole, were actually more likely than those of any PRRI sample over the past seven years to report that things in the country are going in the right direction. As I see it, this has everything to do with disenfranchising folks you don't want to vote, and very little to do with actually curtailing alleged voter fraud, which appears to be more myth than reality. New York is also among the two-thirds of states that do not automatically register voters. But black and Hispanic voters are worried just as much about the elections to come.This project is supported by grants from the Joyce, Kresge, and McKnight Foundations. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said at a Monday press conference in the state Capitol that the latest bills were just a “first step” in reforming voting laws. More than that, the survey finds that the deep wounds of Jim Crow endure, leaving America’s democratic promise unfulfilled. In a region where, because of Jim Crow, many middle-aged or older people of color may not have had a parent who was even eligible to vote during their childhood, voting simply isn’t as established an intergenerational civic institution as it is in white communities—even as it faces new threats today.
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