Indiana Is Making It Harder for Minorities to Vote, Lawsuit Alleges – Pema Levy Aug. 10, 2017 3:41 PM

A new state law would close hundreds of polling locations in areas with large minority populations.

The Indiana chapter of the NAACP is suing state election officials to block a new law that would shutter hundreds of polling locations in a county with a large number of African American and Hispanic voters. The lawsuit, filed in federal court Wednesday, alleges that the law specifically targets a particular region of the state with a large minority, poor, and elderly population, impeding the ability of those voters to cast a ballot.

The law was signed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in May, as Indiana was already increasing voting opportunities in whiter Republican strongholds while decreasing them in areas with more minority and Democratic voters. An investigation by the Indianapolis Star found that since 2008, when Barack Obama won the state, Republican officials have driven up turnout significantly in conservative, suburban areas by increasing the number of early voting locations. At the same time, they have driven down turnout in Democratic, urban areas by cutting the number of early polling stations. In May, the NAACP, its Indiana chapter, and Common Cause Indiana, a progressive watchdog group, filed a lawsuit over the disparity in early voting locations.

This spring, the Republican-controlled legislature added to this trend with the Lake County Precinct Consolidation Law. The law targets a single county that has the state’s second-largest African American population and its largest Hispanic population. Under the law, the county would have to eliminate or consolidate all voting precincts with fewer than 600 active voters as of the 2016 election. (Voters who are “inactive,” meaning that election officials have flagged them as potentially no longer residing in the county, are not counted, even though they are eligible to vote and often do.)

Article continues:

Hillary or Donald? Meet 6 voters from around the country who still haven’t made up their minds. By ADAM WREN November 05, 2016

The Undecided

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

They are small business owners and photographers, college students and nonprofit workers. They live in swing states Ohio and Florida and New Jersey and even barn-red Indiana. And they all have at least one thing in common: They have no idea who they’re voting for on Tuesday.

Undecided, still? It might feel like everyone has an opinion as we wrap up one of the most polarizing political races in recent history, but in fact, just 3 days from Election Day, uncommitted voters are estimated to make up about 15 percent of the electorate, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver. That’s a lot more than the 5 percent who were uncommitted at this point in 2012. Polling averages estimate that number to be less—roughly one in 20 voters—but either way, it’s significant: As polls tighten nationwide, the undecided few could just be enough to swing the election.

First Saudi Women Elected in Landmark Municipal Vote – By MARGHERITA STANCATI in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and AHMED AL OMRAN in Riyadh Updated Dec. 13, 2015 4:51 p.m. ET

Women nationwide voted, ran for first time

Women headed to the polls in Saudi Arabia for the first time in history Saturday, as nationwide municipal elections were held- elections in which women could also run for office for the first time. Lama al-Suleiman, pictured above, was elected in her North Jeddah district. Photo: Monique Jaques for The Wall Street Journal

Women headed to the polls in Saudi Arabia for the first time in history Saturday, as nationwide municipal elections were held- elections in which women could also run for office for the first time. Lama al-Suleiman, pictured above, was elected in her North Jeddah district. Photo: Monique Jaques for The Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabians elected their first female officials, voting at least a dozen candidates into seats on municipal councils in a small opening for this ultraconservative monarchy that imposes some of the world’s strictest limitations on women.

Only a fraction of the 2,106 seats on local councils went to women, partial results released by the electoral commission on Sunday showed. But the nationwide election on Saturday was a milestone nevertheless—the first in which women were allowed to both vote and run for office. Ahead of the vote, few had been expected to win.

In the coastal city of Jeddah, the atmosphere inside a girls’ school used as a polling station was jubilant. Women posed for pictures behind the ballot box and yelled “Mabrook,” Arabic for congratulations, to one another as they exited.

“I have goosebumps,” said Ghada Ghazzawi, a businesswoman, as she entered a polling station in an upscale Jeddah neighborhood on Saturday. “We have been waiting for this day for a long time.”

Many women saw the election as a turning point in this absolute monarchy where the political system remains firmly in the hands of the royal family, and women are still deprived of many basic rights—such as driving or traveling abroad without the permission of a male relative.


Article continues:

There Is Now Only One Country Left in the World Where Women Can’t Vote – by Valentina Zarya  DECEMBER 11, 2015, 5:53 PM EST

And it’s in Europe.

Saturday marks the first Saudi Arabian election in which women will be allowed to both run for office and vote in municipal elections.

In a statement released after the King Abdullah’s decision on the matter—which was made four years ago—Amnesty International said granting women the right to vote was “much overdue” and “does not go nearly far enough.”

While a number of restrictions remain, and the municipal councils have limited power in the religious kingdom, it is still a huge step forward for a country that has never seen a single female minister, and where simple day-to-day activities like driving are often forbidden.

While 2015 seems like a bit late for women’s suffrage, Saudi Arabia is actually not the last country to give women the right to vote. The only country that remains is Vatican City, home of the Roman Catholic church.

Article continues:

Senate ‘vote-a-rama’: A charade with consequences – By Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett 3/25/15 6:40 PM EDT Updated 3/26/15 11:28 AM EDT

The late-night vote marathon is aimed mainly at making the other party look bad in elections.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen experienced the consequences of vote-a-rama, after her vote on carbon tax provoked an attack by her opponent Scott Brown two weeks before her 2014 reelection. | Getty

Republicans will have to go on record against giving minimum-wage workers a raise and potentially vote against a plan meant to defend pregnant workers from discrimination. Democrats will take sides on Iran’s nuclear talks, with Republicans daring them to side against Israel.

And each party is trying to outdo the other on how much it loves Medicare.

The Senate’s famous budget “vote-a-rama” on Thursday won’t change any laws — far from it, it’s a daylong, only-in-Congress charade, the main purpose of which is to make the other party look bad and score political points.

And yet it has the potential to be among the most consequential days in Congress this year. Some of the roll calls are bound to show up in campaign ads and talking points and floor speeches: Just ask Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who was attacked by her GOP opponent, Scott Brown, two weeks before her 2014 reelection for voting to “pave the way” for a carbon tax, a vote that was more than 18 months old at the time.

“So many attacks are not based in the substance of what we do here,” Shaheen sighed when reminded of Brown’s broadside.

Read more:

%d bloggers like this: