For updated global info & data on COVID-19, please click HERE.For updated global data & graphs on COVID-19, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases and death counts in USA by state, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida via Florida COVID Action, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida, via Florida state government, please click HERE.The Supreme Court of United States is hearing arguments regarding voting rights case, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that could give state legislatures the green light to change voting laws, making it more difficult for some to vote.
In the video “Supreme Court Seems Ready to Sustain Arizona Voting Limits“, below:
In the video “Major voting rights dispute in Arizona to be heard by Supreme Court“, below:
Looking ahead to 2022 midterm elections, state Republican lawmakers across the country — especially in swing states like Georgia — are proposing new laws that would restrict access to voting, in the video published on Feb 24, 2021, “Republican lawmakers eye mail-in voting limits at the state level“, below:
In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting: no longer would state and local governments with a history of racial discrimination in voting have to get pre-clearance from the Justice Department before making changes in voting procedures. Chief Justice John Roberts said, at that time, that time had changed and the law was unconstitutional in treating some states differently from others. Justice Roberts also added, another provision, Section 2, of the law still bars discrimination in voting nationwide and would be sufficient to police discriminatory voting procedures. (excerpt from wikipedia, in italics: Section 2 is a general provision that prohibits every state and local government from imposing any voting law that results in discrimination against racial or language minorities. Other general provisions specifically outlaw literacy tests and similar devices that were historically used to disenfranchise racial minorities.)
A key provision of the Voting Rights Act requiring federal oversight of states with a history of racial discrimination has been struck down by the Supreme Court. Jeffrey Brown discusses the ruling with the National Law Journal’s Marcia Coyle, and the court’s argument that the U.S. is no longer divided as it was in the 1960s, in the video published on Jun 25, 2013, “High Court Strikes Down Key Provision of Voting Rights Act“, by PBS NewsHour, below:
The question of “Should the Court or should the Congress decide on the current formula in determining whether Voting Rights Act is violated” is raised in the video above.
In the video published on Mar 1, 2021, “Jeffrey Rosen and Ali Velshi on Upcoming SCOTUS Case on Arizona Voting Rights“, by National Constitution Center, below:
Now, in 2021, Section 2 is being challenged. The issue involves two Arizona laws: 1. bars the counting of provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct. 2. provision bars the collection of absentee ballots by any one other than a family member or caregiver. In the 27,000 square miles of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, many people aren’t even on a postal route. Some people have to travel an hour or two to get to a mailbox, so voting requires the active assistance of friends and neighbors. The active assistance also involve party activists who collect absentee ballots from people who don’t have cars so that the sealed ballots can be delivered to a post office or drop box. The Republican-dominated state legislature wants to take away such assistance by making it a felony. The Republicans contend that the law banning ballot collection is a legitimate anti-fraud provision.
Lawmakers in Arizona are working on new legislation designed to curb voting rights in the wake of ex-President Donald Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, in the video published on Feb. 18, 2021, “GOP Tries To Curb Voting Rights“, below:
Myrna Perez, Director of the Voting Rights and Elections Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, states that “33 state have introduced, refiled or carried over more than 165 restrictive laws this years.”The Biden administration has withdrawn the Trump Justice Department’s brief which sided with Arizona Republicans in the case. But the new administration is not siding with Democratic Party arguments either.The Supreme Court had established a variety of tests under Section 2 to prevent vote dilution in congressional redistricting in the past, but this is the first time that the court will examine a state law that has been found to disproportionally result in the denial of the right to vote for minorities.
Lauren Groh-Wargo, who managed Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor, joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the fight to keep states like Georgia and Arizona blue in 2022 as Republicans push hundreds of “egregious” restrictive voting laws. She says Democrats in Congress need to pass “federal action this year” to protect voting rights: “It’s time for Democrats nationally to understand how pressing this crisis.” in the video published on FEb. 24, 2021, “Fmr. Abrams Campaign Manager: GOP Voter Suppression ‘An Existential Threat’, The Last Word, MSNBC“, below:
The 2020 election was a revelation. More than 100 million Americans learned how easy it is to vote by mail or to vote early. Turnout broke records and participation was the highest since 1900. Now Republican lawmakers want to turn back the clock and cancel the election reforms that fueled the big vote. In 33 states, Republicans have offered 250 bills that would tighten voting laws – either cancel or curtail absentee mail voting, abolish automatic voter registration, stiffen voter photo ID rules, require proof of citizenship and cut the amount of early voting time. Battleground states like Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania are the prime focus of what nonpartisan election experts and newspaper editorials are calling a new wave of vote suppression. In states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, Democratic governors stand ready to block restrictive GOP measures. And Democratic legislators have mounted a counter-attack to make the 2020 reforms permanent by authorizing mail voting for all voters in all elections, expanding the days for early voting and increasing access to automatic voter registration, in the video published on “Republicans Challenge Who Gets to Vote in 2022“, by The People vs The Politicians, below:
This Republican voters suppression effort will not only impact the Democratic leaning minority, students and younger people, disabled people, low-income people, older people who no longer drive, but also historically Republican leaning groups such as rural votes, seniors, blue collar voters, and veterans. This final ditch effort of those Republicans still remaining in the party are seen as an extinction burst by many. Living in our modern days, with ease of electronics and electric vehicles, I can envision a reality where all voters would be provided with an iPad (with security feature) so all votes are completed electronically or a reality where many owners of self-driving vehicles would simply donate/share their vehicles’ use on the Election Day to transport all voters without transporting vehicles to the polling place. Democracy of the future will be very different from that of today. Many issues or problems will simply disappear or take on a different face. Until then, the final ditch effort of those remaining Republicans are seen as an extinction burst by many.
The state Senate has seen public infighting this session among Republican lawmakers. The Arizona Capitol Times’ Julia Shumway explains what’s going on and breaks down the key players, in the video published on Feb 21, 2021 “What’s behind GOP infighting at Arizona’s Capitol“, below:
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