Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of July 20th, 2016)

State of the States (Week of July 20th, 2016)

For the Week of July 20th

TABLE OF CONTENTS

KEY QUOTES

“Of the 2 million purged, 1.2 million are questionable purges…We shouldn’t be playing games with people’s voter registrations and fundamental right to vote. Instead we should be trying to get them to the polls.”

Ohio state Representative Kathleen Clyde (D) expressed her frustration with Ohio's discriminatory voter roll maintenance procedures. The Representative's frustrations are shared by many Ohioans who have shown up to the polls only to be told they could not vote due to being purged from the voter rolls. While turning away voters based on unnecessarily strict registration laws is upsetting in itself, a Reuters analysis of purged Ohio voters shows an even more disturbing trend emerging from Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted's office: a clear partisan and racial disparity in the state's voter purge. Since the 2012 election, more than 144,000 voters in Ohio's three largest counties were taken off the voter rolls, with voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods twice as likely to be purged as those in Republican-leaning neighborhoods. The analysis also turned up evidence that 15 percent of voters whose ballots were rejected in 2015 because they were listed as "Not Registered" were purged from the voter file just a few months before the election. Ohioans, the ACLU of Ohio, and other voting rights advocacy groups filed a lawsuit challenging the purges as a violation of the National Voter Registration Act. In late June, a federal district court judge ruled for the state. The Sixth Circuit court will hear an appeal on July 27th, 2016.

"He campaigned in the primary on a message of anger and divisiveness, and that is not a message that’s going to resonate with the general election."

Illinois state Senator Jason Barickman (R) is just one of many Republican state legislators that have expressed their discontent with their party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump. In fact, he is just one of a growing number of Republican state lawmakers who are "lukewarm on Trump." With the Republican Convention off to a chaotic start, Republican candidates fear not only Trump's potentially toxic effect on down ballot races, but also a fractitious right-wing voter base. As the party's standard-bearer, Trump's bigoted and misogynistic platform has wormed its way into many state GOP candidates' platforms and campaign messages. However, as state Sen. Barickman said, "That is not a message that's going to resonate with the general election."

STORIES OF THE WEEK

Judge issues injunction, allows voters without IDs to cast ballots

Patrick Marley & Jason Stein, (Journal Sentinel)
July 20, 2016

Paring back the state's voter ID law four months before the presidential election, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that Wisconsin voters without photo identification can cast ballots by swearing to their identity.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee creates a pathway for voters with difficulties getting IDs who have been unable to cast ballots under the state's 2011 voter ID law.

The judge issued his preliminary order because he found that those arguing for a pathway for some voter without IDs were "very likely" to succeed.

The ruling will allow voters to use affidavits instead of IDs to vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election. But this new system will not be in place for the Aug. 9 primary for congressional and state legislative races because Adelman determined election officials needed more time to implement it.

Adelman, a former Democratic state senator, was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton. ...

Adelman in 2014 ruled that the voter ID law was unconstitutional, but that decision was overturned on appeal. The case has stayed alive — on narrower grounds — as the two sides have argued over whether there should be a way for some voters to cast ballots even if they don't have IDs.

A separate lawsuit in federal court in Madison is seeking to show that Republicans adopted voter ID and other laws over the past five years with the goal of benefiting their party and making it harder for minorities to vote.

[Read More]

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

David Kurtz, (Talking Points Memo)
July 20, 2016

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. ...

While the appeals court struck down the law, the voter ID requirement in Texas does not appear to be going away. Rather, the appeals court ordered the lower court to devise a remedy that preserves the intention of the voter ID law–to protect against voter fraud, which experts maintain is exceedingly rare–while mitigating the discriminatory effects on people who cannot readily obtain the ID required under the law.

The appeals court did not say so explicitly but seemed open to a solution along the lines of recent carve-outs in Wisconsin's voter ID law that allows people unable to obtain voter ID easily to cast their vote anyway.

[Read More]

COMING UP

August 2

Primary Election - Kansas
Primary Election - Mississippi
Primary Election - Missouri
Primary Election - Washington
Special Election - Texas HD-120

August 4

Primary Election - Tennessee

August 9

Primary Election - Connecticut
Primary Election - Minnesota
Primary Election - Vermont
Primary Election - Wisconsin

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN

Abortion

AL: Federal judge blocks two Alabama abortion laws - Montgomery Advertiser
AZ: Abortion providers file lawsuit to stop new Arizona law - Arizona Daily Star
CO: Seven Dems Win Planned Parenthood Awards - Colorado House Democrats
FL: State renews defense of abortion restrictions - The News Service of Florida
TX: Hispanic women bore brunt of Texas abortion law, data shows - The Dallas Morning News
U.S.: Anti-Abortion Groups Take New Aim With Diverse Strategies - NPR

Guns

SC: Target S.C. gun violence - The Post and Courier
U.S.: In some U.S. cities, police push back against 'open-carry' gun laws - Reuters

Health Care

AR: Proposed Arkansas telemedicine regulations stall in legislative panel - Times Record
MO: Kander won't disqualify cigarette tax ballot initiative, despite court decisions - St. Louis Public Radio
MT: Medical Marijuana Measure Qualifies for Montana Ballot - Associated Press
U.S.: Further Medicaid Expansion Depends on Elections in 2016 - Bloomberg BNA

Labor

AZ: Business groups aim to keep pay measures off ballot - Arizona Capitol Times
CA: Jerry Brown, unions remain embroiled in negotiations - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
CT: Connecticut unions taking steps to get workers rehired - Associated Press
NJ: Labor Seeks Stronger Workplace Violence Protections for Healthcare - NJ Spotlight

LGBT

NC: McCrory signs change to HB2 restoring state discrimination lawsuits - The Charlotte Observer
WY: Gay community warns bathroom suit sends wrong message to trans students, businesses - Casper Star-Tribune
U.S.: CfA Releases Report Showing State Anti-LGBT Laws Coordinated at National Level - The Rainbow Times

Voting Rights

KS: ACLU sues to block new Kansas voting regulation championed by Kobach - Lawrence Journal-World
NC: Changes to North Carolina voting laws could put thousands of 2016 ballots at risk - Reuters
OH: As the GOP Convention Begins, Ohio Is Purging Tens of Thousands of Democratic Voters - The Nation
TX: Appeals court calls Texas voter ID law discriminatory, orders changes - The Dallas Morning News
VA: State Supreme Court hears felon voting challenge - Daily Press
WI: Judge issues injunction, allows voters without IDs to cast ballots - Journal Sentinel
US: 'Gerrymandering On Steroids': How Republicans Stacked The Nation's Statehouses - Here & Now

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

CO: Service industry union, environmentalist team up to target Colorado in new 2016 election effort - Denver Post
FL: Eric Lynn goes up with first TV ad in HD 68 race in Pinellas County - Florida Politics
FL: Joyner endorses Sean Shaw for state House 61 - Tampa Bay Times
HI: Former Rep. Fale Fined $1,000 - Civil Beat
IL: Some GOP state lawmakers lukewarm on Trump heading into convention - The Southern Illinoisan
IL: Are the Republicans following state campaign finance law? - Capitol Fax
MI: Dems target Wayne County seats in bid to retake House - Detroit News
MO: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon endorses John Rizzo in Jackson County state senate race - Kansas City Star
MN: Minnesota special legislative session set for late August - Star Tribune
NY: SD-58: Danks Burke Raises $231K In Bid For O’Mara Seat - State of Politics
NY: Corwin retirement a boon for Republicans - Buffalo News
NY: Outside Money Starting To Filter Into 60th State Senate District - State of Politics
NY: Senate campaign focuses turn to Long Island, Hudson Valley, Buffalo - Times Union
ND: Replacement named for late state Rep. Curtis Hofstad - Associated Press
OR: Republicans call on GOP House candidate to withdraw over Obama Facebook post - The Oregonian
SC: Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson boosted Haley group coffers - The Post and Courier
TN: Rep. Jeremy Durham suspends his campaign, doesn't resign - The Tennessean
TX: Miles Nominated to Replace Ellis for Houston Senate Seat - The Texas Tribune

CONTACT

Carolyn Fiddler
National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
fiddler@dlcc.org