The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2011 would protect the right to vote, the indisputable cornerstone of our democracy, without interfering with rights granted under the First Amendment. Congress should act quickly to pass this needed legislation.
When drawing legislative districts, New York State counts incarcerated persons as "residents" of the community where the prison is located, instead of counting them in the home community to which they will return, on average, within 34 months. This practice of prison-based gerrymandering ignores more than 100 years of legal precedent.
Public financing of elections, as a state and local democracy reform, can help enhance the political voice and power of working-class people and people of color. It is an effective antidote to the outsized influence corporations and major donors currently have on both politics and policy.
In 2012, just 61 large donors to Super PACs giving an average of $4.7 million each matched the $285.2 million in grassroots contributions from more than 1,425,500 small donors to the major party presidential candidates.
Missouri is considering a bill requiring all voters to present government issued photo identification at the polls. The fact that Missouri is introducing a restrictive voter identification bill is particularly unfortunate considering the legislature passed such a bill in 2006 and it was struck down as unconstitutional under the state's constitution by the Missouri Supreme Court.