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Iowa’s New Voter ID Proposal: Targeting Efficiency, Not Fraud?
01/17/17 |
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 01:30
Excerpt: 

Iowa voters would be required to show a state-issued driver’s license, a passport or military ID card when they vote, allowing poll workers to scan a bar code on that document to accurately call up each voter’s file in the state database.

Should the law be enacted, election officials would identify all currently registered voters and new registrants who do not have appropriate ID and provide them a free, permanent, driver’s license-quality voter card containing the necessary bar code. The card would not include a photo.

No currently registered voters would risk disqualification under the plan, [Secretary of State Paul] Pate said, and all new registrants without other ID would receive a free card. ...

Student leaders at Iowa’s public universities say they’re concerned adding an extra ID hoop to jump through will further discourage the youth vote...[as] the proposed change complicates what already can be a confusing process for first-time voters.

Pasadena [Texas] back under federal oversight through 2023 for Latino voting rights violations
01/17/17 |
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 01:00
Excerpt: 

A judge Monday ordered federal oversight of the city of Pasadena’s election system for the next 6½ years, the latest development in a landmark voting rights case that has highlighted contentious racial politics in the blue-collar suburb and beyond. In a final judgment issued Monday, Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal said the court would keep jurisdiction over Pasadena until June 30, 2023, to ensure “the city cannot immediately return to a map and plan that thwarts Latinos on the cusp of an electoral majority.” The ruling – issued on a federal holiday recognizing the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., whose civil rights crusade led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – said the city must seek “preclearance” from the U.S. attorney general or from the court before changing its election system.

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Vermont Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: Wednesday, November 2, 2016

For more information, visit the Vermont Secretary of State’s website (https://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections.aspx).

Election Day:

Polls open on Election Day between 5.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m., depending on the town. To find out when your polling place opens, check the Vermont Secretary of State’s website “My Voter Page” (https://mvp.sec.state.vt.us/) or call your town clerk. All polls close at 7.00 p.m. on Election Day.

In Vermont early voting is also available. See “Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot” below.

How to Find Your Polling Place: Check the Vermont Secretary of State’s website “My Voter Page” (https://mvp.sec.state.vt.us/) or call your town clerk.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines: You must register by 5.00 p.m. on the Wednesday before the election.  The deadline for this year’s General Election is 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. 

How to Check Your Registration: Visit the Vermont Secretary of State’s website “My Voter Page” (https://mvp.sec.state.vt.us/), call your town clerk, or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility: To be eligible for registration in Vermont, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a resident of the state of Vermont (and a resident of the town in which you apply to be added to the checklist);
  • Have taken the voter’s oath (a voter can administer the oath to himself and affirm as much on the registration application); and
  • Be 18 years or more of age on the Election Day.

There is no duration of residency requirement in Vermont; you may register the first day that you move to the State.

How to Register: Vermont’s residents may register to vote online, by submitting a voter registration form by mail or in person to their town clerk, simultaneously with the application for or renewal of a motor vehicle driver’s license, or by completing a voter registration application at a voter registration agency.

Online

You can apply to register online on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website “Online Voter Registration System” page (https://olvr.sec.state.vt.us/).

In Person; by Mail

You can register by submitting a voter registration form to your town clerk. You can obtain a voter registration form by:

Once completed, the voter registration form must be returned to your town clerk by mail or by hand delivery.  The application must be postmarked by 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday preceding the date of the election (i.e. Wednesday, November 2, 2016) or hand-delivered to your town clerk by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2016.

You will also have the opportunity to register to vote when you apply for or renew a motor vehicle driver’s license or by completing a voter registration application at a voter registration agency.

Identification Required for Registration:

The Vermont voter registration form requires either a Vermont driver’s license number or a Vermont DMV-issued personal identification number. If you do not have either, the form requests the last four digits of your social security number.

If you are registering to vote in Vermont for the first time, you must include a photocopy of an acceptable form of identification.  Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • A valid photo identification (a driver’s license or passport);
  • A current utility bill;
  • A current bank statement; or
  • Another government document showing your current name and residential address.

If You Want to Vote Early

You can vote early in person at your town clerk’s office at any time from the date on which ballots are available (which shall be no later than 45 days before the Election Day) until the day before the Election Day. This means in-person voting for the 2016 general election began on September 26, 2016.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

You can vote absentee at any time from the date on which ballots are available (which shall be no later than 45 days before the Election Day, i.e., September 26, 2016).

You can request an absentee ballot up until 5:00 p.m. (or by the time of closing of the town clerk's office) on the day before the Election Day (Monday, November 7). You should, however, remember to leave time, if necessary, for the clerk to mail you a ballot. You can request an absentee ballot by asking for it by telephone, online, by mailing a request form, or in person at your town clerk’s office. If you are sick or have a disability, an absentee ballot can be delivered to your home.

You must then mail or deliver the voted ballot to your town clerk’s office. If you are mailing in your ballot, it must be received by the town clerk before close of business on Election Day. If you are hand delivering your ballot, you can return it to the clerk’s office before close of business on Election Day, or you can bring it to your polling place on Election Day and drop it off before 7.00 p.m. A ballot may be hand delivered by the voter, or by anyone authorized by the voter to hand deliver the ballot.

For more information on voting early in-person and absentee voting in Vermont, see the Secretary of State’s “Absentee Voting” web page (https://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections/voters/absentee-voting.aspx).

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

If you are not a first-time voter, you can vote without proving identification.

If you are a first-time voter in the municipality who registered to vote by mail and has not previously provided proper identification, then you must present your identification at the polling place. Acceptable forms of identification are: a valid photo identification (driver’s license or passport); copy of a current utility bill; copy of a current bank statement; or a copy of a government check, paycheck or another government document showing your current name and residential address.

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

Moving within the Same Municipality

If you have moved within the area covered by your former polling place, you may vote at that polling place if you make an oral or written affirmation that you continue to reside in the area covered by that polling place.

If you have moved to an area covered by a different police place but within the same municipality within 17 days prior to the election, you are entitled to go to the polling place location that corresponds to your old address and vote a regular ballot. If you moved 18 days or more before the election, you are permitted to correct the voting records and vote at the appropriate polling place upon oral or written confirmation. The affirmation must be made at the appropriate polling place before an election official.

Moving Between Municipalities

If you have moved to a different municipality within 17 days prior to the election, you are entitled to go to the polling place location that corresponds to your old address and vote a regular ballot. If you have moved 18 days or more before the election, you are not eligible to vote at the polling place located at your old address and must re-register to vote in the town of your new address.

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Under federal law, if you are in the military or are an overseas voter, you can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and request absentee ballots for a minimum of all federal elections in the current calendar year. Be sure to complete a new FPCA each year and every time your address changes. The FPCA is also known as Standard Form 76. For more information and for a downloadable version of the FPCA visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) Vermont-specific page. (https://www.fvap.gov/vermont).

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can receive their absentee ballots by mail, email/online or fax.  If you wish to use the email/online or fax option, you must so indicate on your FPCA.  Voted ballots must be mailed to your election official. Contact information can be found in the “Local Election Offices” section of the Voting Assistance Guide on the FVAP website (https://www.fvap.gov/vao/vag/chapter2/vermont).

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

If you requested your absentee ballot and haven’t received it at least 30 days before the election, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot. For more information and for a downloadable version of the FWAB visit the FVAP Vermont-specific page (https://www.fvap.gov/vermont).

For further information, you can also visit the Vermont “Overseas and Military Voter Services” web page (https://vermont.overseasvotefoundation.org/vote/home.htm).

If you have a felony conviction, you retain the right to vote in Vermont. You have the right to vote in an election even if you are incarcerated, on parole, or on probation.

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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2016 Election Information for your state