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Texas bill: A step towards better voter ID education, greater transparency
04/24/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 12:00
Excerpt: 

The state has a responsibility to educate the public about voter identification requirements under SB 14, the voter ID law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011. In July 2016, the state was also ordered by a federal court to engage in a $2.5 million voter ID education campaign as part of an interim remedy agreement. Despite evidence that the 2016 voter ID education campaign was not entirely successful, the state has not been forthcoming with details about the plan.

HB 3328 seeks to increase government transparency in the interest of improving voter ID education efforts by making information related to public spending on voter ID education public information subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act. The exceptions described in Sections 552.101 and 552.103 of the Government Code would no longer apply to such information.

Recent rulings that Texas' voting laws discriminate put pressure on the state, but the road ahead is long
04/24/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 01:00
Excerpt: 

Lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to address the discriminatory issues found with the voter ID law. But Democrats say it falls short of meeting the standards that a district court set last year.

Plaintiffs want District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi to consider throwing out the law after the legislative session and returning the state to the federal government's "pre-clearance" list.

But even if that happened, the Texas attorney general's office would almost certainly challenge the decision in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. ...

The parties in the [redistricting] case are set to meet in San Antonio on Thursday. The three-judge panel will hear updates on whether a trial is needed and what a timeline for the rest of the case might look like.

But the panel has moved slowly and methodically throughout the case for over six years. It is unlikely to grant the plaintiffs' requests — for new congressional maps for the 2018 elections and federal oversight — before tackling other remaining issues, such as whether the 2013 interim maps were also discriminatory.

And even if the court sided with the plaintiffs in a trial and struck down the maps, Texas could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court — dragging out the case even longer.

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Hawaii Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 10, 2016

http://elections.hawaii.gov/about-us/calendar/

Election Day:

The polls open on Election Day, November 8, 2016, at 7:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m.

Hawaii allows mail-in ballots and early in-person voting, which begins on October 25, 2016 and ends November 5, 2016. http://elections.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/FS500VS001-Early-Voting.pdf

How to Find Your Polling Place:

You can identify your polling location by calling 1-808-453-VOTE (8683) or looking it up online at http://elections.hawaii.gov/.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines:

You must register to vote at least thirty days before the election, by October 10, 2016, at 4:30 pm. 

Even if a voter misses the October 10 deadline, she can still register and vote.  At Early Walk-In voting locations, qualified Hawaii residents may register and vote on the same day. Early voting runs from October 25 to November 5. Early voting sites are listed at http://elections.hawaii.gov/voters/early-voting/.   

How to Check Your Registration: You can confirm whether you are registered to vote at http://elections.hawaii.gov/ or call 1-808-453-VOTE (8683).  Neighbor Islands may call toll free at 1-(800) 442-VOTE (8683).   Be prepared to provide name, residence address, and date of birth in order to verify your status.

Registration Eligibility: To register to vote, you must be a citizen of the United States that is 18 years of age or older and be a resident of Hawaii. 

How to Register: You may register online at http://elections.hawaii.gov/ or print and complete an application [http://elections.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/VR-PAB-English.pdf] and return it to your Clerk’s office [http://elections.hawaii.gov/resources/county-election-divisions/].

Applications are available at any of the following locations:

Office of Elections

Clerk’s Offices

State Libraries

U.S. Post Offices

State Agencies

Satellite City Halls

You may visit the Office of Elections or your Clerk’s Office to submit an application in person.

Identification Required for Registration: If you are registering to vote for the first time in Hawaii and are mailing in your application, you must provide proof of identification.

Proof of identification includes a copy of:

  • A current and valid photo identification; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.

If you do not provide the required proof of identification with the application, you will be required to do so at you polling place or with your mail ballot.

If You Want to Vote Early

Hawaii allows early voting, which begins on October 25, 2016 and ends November 5, 2016. http://elections.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/FS500VS001-Early-Voting.pdf

If You Want to Vote Absentee

In order to receive an absentee ballot, you must be registered to vote.   

You can vote absentee by mail by requesting an absentee ballot by November 1, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. To do so, complete the following form, https://elections.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/AB-Form-English.pdf, and submit it to your Clerk’s office, or use the online form at http://elections.hawaii.gov/voters/early-voting/.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Precinct officials may request that voters provide identification, and a voter must provide proper identification if requested by a precinct official.

VoteRiders has created Hawaii voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving Between Counties

Prior to the registration deadline, the voter should notify the clerk of the Board of Elections office in the voter’s NEW COUNTY.  If the person is otherwise legally eligible to register and has updated their registration before the deadline, the voter should be on the rolls at the appropriate precinct in the voter’s new county. 

On Election Day, the voter may go to the voter’s new polling place and apply to transfer his or her voter registration to the voter’s new precinct on a form provided at the polling place.  Any person so transferring voter registration shall be immediately added to the register of the new precinct and may vote only at the new precinct. 

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) created special provisions for

absent uniformed services and overseas citizens to vote by mail in primary, general, and special elections

for federal offices; and to allow these individuals to use a federal write-in absentee ballot (FWAB) in the

general election for federal offices.

Who are UOCAVA Voters?

  • Members of the United States Uniformed Services and the merchant marine and their family members
  • United States citizens residing outside of the United States

All military and overseas voters must be registered to vote in order to obtain a ballot. UOCAVA voters can register by completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The completed FPCA must then be received by or postmarked to the Clerk’s Office no later than 30 days prior to an election to be added to the voter rolls.

Registered voters may request an absentee ballot by completing a FPCA and returning it to their Clerk’s Office no later than 7 days prior to an election.

Voting an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens may send and receive voting materials by fax and email. Voted ballots must be received by the Clerk’s Office by the close of polls on Election Day. For the 2016 general election that deadline is November 8, 2016, at 6:00 p.m.

http://elections.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/FS516VS001-Military-and-Overseas-Voters.pdf

A person sentenced for a felony, from the time of the person’s sentence until the person’s final discharge, may not vote in an election, but if the person is placed on probation or the person is paroled after commitment to imprisonment, the person may vote during the period of the probation or parole.

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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Election Information for your state