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    Voter ID Tag

    A Wake County Superior Court judge in North Carolina has written a ruling so outlandish that state Democrats and Republicans, who are normally at each other's throats, have found themselves in rare agreement. The Raleigh News and Observer reports:
    A judge has just thrown out two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution that voters approved in November.

    The California Motor Voter program was promoted as a way to make registering to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) more convenient. Eligible applicants would completing a driver license, identification (ID) card or change of address transaction with the DMV, and then would be automatically registered to vote by the California Secretary of State (unless they choose to opt out), The new rule is as successful as I anticipated. The only law that really works in California is the one involving unintended consequences.

    A California law, which goes into effect on April 1, automatically registers people to vote when they apply for a new driver's license or new state identification card. The Golden State permits anyone who claims to be in the country legally, even without proof, to obtain a license. So, logically, I anticipate that California could be getting a whole, new crop of illegal immigrant voters.

    A federal judge has once again struck down the Texas voter ID law, stating that the changes the lawmakers made over the summer did not eliminate the discriminatory language. From The Hill:
    U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the law was enacted with the deliberate intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters. Ramos said that it violates the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution.

    A federal judge has again rejected the 2011 Texas voter ID law, stating that the legislators meant to discriminate against minority voters. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos made this same ruling in 2014, which forced an appeal. The Fifth Circuit issued a stay against the order. The Supreme Court stepped in and allowed Texas to use the voter ID law. But last July the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans asked the judge "to re-examine the decision" since the judges found that "some of the evidence used by the judge wasn't relevant." The two sides reached a deal for the 2016 election, which allowed a voter to "sign a declaration swearing that he or she has had a reasonable difficulty that prevented obtaining one of the accepted forms of photo identification."

    Oh, Democrats. Why can't you look in the mirror and just admit your problem? The Democrats suffered a massive blow when President Donald Trump crushed Hillary Clinton in the presidential Electoral College race. But Democrats also suffered in Congress and at the state level. To fix that, the party wants to fight over the next round of redistricting and loosen the voting laws. Guess who will guide the push? Former President Barack Obama and his former Attorney General Eric Holder!

    North Carolina wanted to reinstate its voter ID law in time for the elections, but a deadlocked Supreme Court denied them this opportunity. From The Wall Street Journal:
    The high court, in a brief written order, declined to stay an appeals court ruling from July that struck down North Carolina’s Republican-backed voting rules. The appeals court found state lawmakers enacted the rules with the intent to discriminate against black voters.

    The battle over voter ID has been thrust into the forefront of this election cycle's news coverage, and advocates on both sides of the issue have been working hard to win the hearts and minds of voters, even as most politicos are focused on getting whatever votes they can to win on Tuesday. North Carolina is one of many states in the U.S. where no documentation is required to vote; and in this last ambush video from James O'Keefe, a series of encounters with North Carolina election officials shows just how easy it can be for an imposter to cast multiple votes. Project Veritas Action released the video exclusively to MailOnline:
    By this time in 2016, the state government hopes, naysayers who see the voter ID law as a barrier to minorities and the poor will see hundreds of thousands of new, zero-cost IDs coming out of voters' wallets and purses. For now, though, O'Keefe is using North Carolina as a proxy for the other 42 states – and the District of Columbia – which don't require voters to show a photo ID. His crew used publicly available election rolls to identify 'inactive' voters and then chose 30-year-old men for him to impersonate. The final footage shows election officials, over and over, accepting O'Keefe's claim that he was one of those people. 'With almost three-quarters-of-a-million inactive voters and no voter ID law in place, we could have turned the election results for most major candidates in the state,' he claimed Monday. 'What we uncovered in this video illustrates how easy it would be for a well-orchestrated campaign with no regard for the law to change the outcome of a major election. Voter laws across the country need to be changed immediately to prevent this sort of potential voter fraud.'
    Watch:

    AP reports via HuffPo:
    The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election. A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented. The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold. The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Early voting in Texas begins Monday. The Supreme Court's order was unsigned, as it typically is in these situations. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, saying they would have left the district court decision in place. "The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters," Ginsburg wrote in dissent. Texas' law sets out seven forms of approved ID — a list that includes concealed handgun licenses but not college student IDs, which are accepted in other states with similar measures.
    The Supreme Court Order is here. It denies a request to vacate the stay issued by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals putting on hold the trial court ruling invalidating the law.

    An en banc ruling of the Fifth Circuit has issued a stay against last Friday's order striking down Texas voter identification laws. The Court looked at four key factors when deciding whether or not to grant a stay pending appeal: (1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies. The first two factors are the most important, and the court focused on them when deciding to issue the stay. First, the court looked to the Supreme Court's tendency to preserve the status quo on the eve of an election in order to protect the process from confusion and misapplication of the rules.
    Here, the district court’s decision on October 11, 2014 presents similar logistical problems because it will “be extremely difficult, if not impossible,” for the State to adequately train its 25,000 polling workers at 8,000 polling places about the injunction’s new requirements in time for the start of early voting on October 20 or even election day on November 4. The State represents that it began training poll workers in mid-September, and at least some of them have already completed their training. The State also represents that it will be unable to reprint the “election manuals that poll workers use for guidance,” and so the election laws “will be conveyed by word of mouth alone.”

    A federal District Court judge has ruled that Texas' embattled voter ID law is unconstitutional. This news came just hours after the Supreme Court granted a request from civil rights activists to block similar requirements in Wisconsin. In a 147 page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas Nelva Gonzales Ramos held "that SB 14 creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose." Judge Ramos also held that SB 14 constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax. Although the Supreme Court last year freed Texas from onerous federal pre-clearance requirements, much of Ramos's opinion focuses on Texas' (admittedly) dark history of discrimination and racial tension. Additionally, the opinion appears to accept arguments made by Justice Department attorneys that voter fraud is "extraordinarily rare" and that SB 14 amounts to nothing more than “a solution in search of a problem.”
    This history describes not only a penchant for discrimination in Texas with respect to voting, but it exhibits a recalcitrance that has persisted over generations despite the repeated intervention of the federal government and its courts on behalf of minority citizens. In each instance, the Texas Legislature relied on the justification that its discriminatory measures were necessary to combat voter fraud. In some instances, there were admissions that the legislature did not want minorities voting. In other instances, the laws that the courts deemed discriminatory appeared neutral on their face. There has been a clear and disturbing pattern of discrimination in the name of combatting voter fraud in Texas. In this case, the Texas Legislature’s primary justification for passing SB 14 was to combat voter fraud. The only voter fraud addressed by SB 14 is voter impersonation fraud, which the evidence demonstrates is very rare (discussed below). This history of discrimination has permeated all aspects of life in Texas...
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