Kansas and Arizona both use a “dual” election system based upon the form of voter registration one uses.
Both states refused to allow those who use the federal voter registration form, which requires only an attestation of U.S. citizenship, to vote in state and local races after losing a legal challenge earlier to require the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to add the state-specific requirement of proof of citizenship to the federal voter registration form for Kansas and Arizona. Voters using the federal voter registration form can only vote in federal races.
This “dual” election system is being litigated in Kansas, and on Monday, the U.S. District Court for the state of Kansas, once again, struck down that state’s proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration, finding that Secretary of State Kobach had failed during trial to show evidence of widespread voter fraud. Judge Rejects Kansas Law Requiring Voters to Show Proof of Citizenship:
The ruling was a blow to Mr. Kobach, a Republican who has emerged as a national figure on [voter suppression], a candidate for governor of Kansas and an ally of President Trump in part by claiming that large numbers of noncitizens have cast ballots in American elections. Experts on election law say that there is no evidence that voter fraud is a pervasive problem.
For Kansas voters, the decision means that in elections this fall, people will not be required to provide proof of their citizenship in order to register to vote, as required under a Kansas law passed in 2011.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Party Politics, Scandals
Tagged voter suppression, voting rights
The U.S. Supreme Court began the day with 19 argued cases yet to be decided. This included two of the most highly anticipated cases of this term involving political gerrymandering, Gil v. Whitford (Wisconsin) and Benisek v. Lamone (Maryland).
Today the U.S. Supreme Court disappointed everyone by punting on these two cases. It was an anticlimactic end to these gerrymandering cases, which are likely to return in the future with additional cases moving through the appellate courts pipeline.
In Gil v. Whitford (.pdf) Chief Justice Roberts held that “The plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate Article III standing.”
The right to vote is “individual and personal in nature,” Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U. S. 533, 561, and “voters who allege facts showing disad- vantage to themselves as individuals have standing to sue” to remedy that disadvantage, Baker, 369 U. S., at 206. The plaintiffs here al- leged that they suffered such injury from partisan gerrymandering, which works through the “cracking” and “packing” of voters. To the extent that the plaintiffs’ alleged harm is the dilution of their votes, that injury is district specific. An individual voter in Wisconsin is placed in a single district. He votes for a single representative. The boundaries of the district, and the composition of its voters, deter- mine whether and to what extent a particular voter is packed or cracked. A plaintiff who complains of gerrymandering, but who does not live in a gerrymandered district, “assert[s] only a generalized grievance against governmental conduct of which he or she does not approve.” United States v. Hays, 515 U. S. 737, 745.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, Party Politics, Redistricting
Tagged discrimination, First Amendment, gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, voting rights
The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission hosts (during election years) candidate debates for contested races between those seeking public funding (clean) and those raising funds privately. AZ Blue Meanie posted the entire statewide schedule earlier, but here’s the listing for the few contested Democratic races, statewide. The Republicans have their own contested candidate forums. Videos of these debates will be posted online as well.
Governor (3 candidates – Steve Farley, Kelly Fryer, David Garcia): August 2, 5:30 p.m., view online at Arizona PBS
Secretary of State (3 candidates – Katie Hobbs, Mark Gordon, Leslie Pico): July 18, 5:30 p.m. view online at Arizona PBS
Superintendent of Public Instruction (2 candidates – Kathy Hoffman, David Schapira): https://azpbs.org/news/horizon/horizon-episodes/#episodePlayer (held on June 13)
Corporation Commission (3 candidates for 2 seats – Sandra Kennedy, Bill Mundell, Kiana Sears): June 27, 5:30 p.m. view online at Arizona PBS
Phoenix Councilmember and Mayoral Candidate Daniel Valenzuela
With popular Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigning his office to run for Kyrsten Sinema’s Ninth Congressional House Seat, a special non-partisan election will be held this November to elect his successor who will preside over the fifth largest city in the country.
There are two Phoenix Council Member Democrats vying to succeed him. They are Kate Gallego (who represents Phoenix District Eight) and Daniel Valenzuela (who represents Phoenix District Five). The Blog For Arizona is profiling both candidates and interviewed both on their positions on the issues and their vision for moving Phoenix forward. This piece describes Councilmember Valenzuela’s goals and vision for the fifth largest city in the country.
Posted in Abortion, Activism, Arizona State Legislature, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Campaigns, Civil Rights, Commentary, Community, Corruption, Crime, David Gordon, Debates, Economics, Editorial, Education, Elections, Endorsements, Energy, environment, Ethics, Gender Equality, Gun Policies, Healthcare, Housing, Immigration, Infrastructure, International, Labor, Law Enforcement, Legislation, Maricopa, Mexico Border, Party Politics, Political Events, Poverty, Propositions, Science, Transportation, Uncategorized, Water
Tagged Daniel Valenzuela, Greg Stanton, kate gallego