Voter Suppression, Voter Expansion & Gerrymandering at Theology Uncorked


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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Vivian Harte started off her talk with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, mentioning that some states had literacy tests and secret ballots to discourage voting. Over time voter I.D.s were required, with 35 states now having some form in 2019. Arizona requires strict non-photo i.d. Almost no voter fraud across U.S., but voter i.d. has led to drop in minority & student voting. Voter suppression also curbs early voting and less access. Voter expansion in some states have automatic voter registration via DMV, same day registration, online registration, drop off boxes, pre-paid early ballots, auditing. Vivian also sang a song “Aid to America on Nov. 3rd”. Questions were about early voting in Arizona, signature changes over time, mail in date for the City of Tucson’s General Election. Then Cindy spoke about gerrymandering, which is the manipulation of district boundaries of an electoral constituency to favor a political party. Gov Eldridge Gerry did it in Massachusetts in 1812, in the shape of a salamander, hence the term “gerrymandering”. Gerrymandering is common and conflicts with the core of the US Constitution, violates 1st and 14th Amendments. Arizona has an Independent Redistricting Commission since 2000, and had 2 lawsuits in 2015 and 2016 challenging their decisions. LWV favors nonpartisan special commission that reflect diversity of the state’s population. 2020 Census will affect redistricting of 435 Congressional seats.
      Questions were about voter suppression via digital machines; is Arizona gerrymandered with Republicans dominating the legislature; IRC process and why is CD 1 so large geographically; what can the average voter do to speak up (RTS, calls/letters), and about the importance of 2020 Census.

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