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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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Oregon Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 18, 2016

For more information, visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.

Election Day:

Designated ballot drop off locations must be open for at least 8 hours, stay open until at least 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time, and have a prominent sign stating that the location as a ballot drop site.

Oregon is a vote-by-mail state, which allows voters to vote absentee once they have received their ballots. Ballots must be turned in by 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Election Day.

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s Oregon Drop Box Locator web page.  Contact your County Clerk for in-person voting.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines:

You must register 21 days prior to the General Election. The deadline for this year’s General Election is October 18, 2016.

How to Check Your Registration: Use the Oregon Secretary of State’s “My Vote” website or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility:

In order to be eligible to register in Oregon, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day; and
  • Not be currently incarcerated for a felony conviction.

In order to vote in Oregon you must have resided in Oregon during the six months immediately before the election.

How to Register:

Oregon residents may register in person, by mail, or online.

Online

In order to register to vote online, you must have either an Oregon Driver’s License or a State Identification Card. Applicants can apply to register on the Oregon Secretary of State’s “My Vote” website.

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration form by:

  • downloading a mail-in form from the Secretary of State’s website
  • picking up a form at a post office, library, or county elections office; or
  • requesting your county elections office or the Oregon Elections Division mail you a card.

In Person

You may register to vote in person at the county elections office. Oregon residents over the age of 17 may be automatically registered to vote when they visit the DMV to apply for, renew, or replace an Oregon drivers’ license, ID card, or permit.

Identification Required for Registration:

When registering you must provide a valid form of ID. Acceptable forms of ID are:

  • A current, valid Oregon DMV Driver’s License or Identification Card. A suspended license is valid, but a revoked license is not.
  • If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver’s License or Identification Card, the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver’s License/ID or a Social Security number and are registering by mail: a current and valid photo identification that shows your name, or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address.

If You Want to Vote Early

Oregon allows voters to vote once they have received their ballots in the mail.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Oregon is a vote-by-mail state, which allows voters to vote absentee once they have received their ballots. Ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Election Day.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

No identification is required to either return a ballot to a designated ballot drop off location or to fill out a ballot in person at voting booths established by the County Elections Official.

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

Moving within the Same County

If the voter has not received a ballot, the voter will need to go to the County Elections Office to update his or her registration and obtain a ballot. A voter’s registration can be updated any time before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Moving Between Counties

If the voter has not received a ballot, the voter will need to go to the County Elections Office to update his or her registration and obtain a ballot. A voter’s registration can be updated any time before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) Oregon-specific FPCA page.

UOCAVA voters may also request a registration card through the Oregon Secretary of State’s My Vote website or by calling 1-866-673-VOTE (8683).

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by U.S. Mail or access them online on the Oregon Secretary of State’s My Vote website. To request electronic transmission of the blank ballot, UOCAVA voters must mark the appropriate box and provide an email address on the FPCA (see Oregon-specific FPCA page). Ballots can be returned via U.S. Mail, email, or fax.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters. You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses). You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 days before the election. If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB. Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Oregon no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s Oregon-specific FWAB page.

Convicted felons may vote unless they are currently incarcerated.

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