Thursday, October 11, 2018

Vote Suppression: The Games Continue

As reported by Amy Howe in Howe On The Court The Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case of Richard Brakebill v. Secretary of State of North Dakota which challenges North Dakota’s requirement that voters produce identification that includes their current residential address. Lawyers for those challenging the requirement argued that the requirement would prevent thousands of Native Americans from voting because they often do not have traditional addresses. In addition, Native Americans are disproportionately homeless. The law in question was put on hold by the Federal District Court hearing the matter when North Dakota was ordered to permit voters with identification showing a street or mailing address to exercise their franchise. But now the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit put that order on hold. In declining to hear the case on whether to continue the lower court order, voters in the final election will be required to show identification with a current residential address.

Justice Ginsburg dissented with Justice Kagan joining her:

“ The risk of voter confu­sion appears severe here because the injunction against requiring residential-address identification was in force during the primary election and because the Secretary of State’s website announced for months the ID require­ments as they existed under that injunction. Reasonable voters may well assume that the IDs allowing them to vote in the primary election would remain valid in the general election. If the Eighth Circuit’s stay is not vacated, the risk of disfranchisement is large.”

In the meantime, suit has been filed against Brian Kemp the Georgia Secretary of State alleging voter suppression in the hotly contested governor's race where Stacey Abrams seeks to become the first African American governor.  The lawsuit claims that the Secretary of State is refusing to certify 40,000 new applications for voter enrollment.  Mr. Kemp happens to be Ms. Abrams' opponent.

Margaret Drew | Permalink


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