Making Democracy Work

Online Voter Registration?

Plans are being made to establish online voter registration (OVR) in Iowa.  One critical flaw needs to be addressed - the need for an Iowa drivers license.

Unfortunately, most online voter registration systems adopted in other states require a drivers’ license or state identification card issued by that state in order to use them http://lwv.org/blog/problem-online-voter-registration.  The LWV of Iowa, the Ames League and several other organizations voiced support for OVR to Iowa’s Voter Registration Commission last Tuesday, while expressing concerns about the plan to link access to it to those holding Iowa DOT-issued DLs or IDs. Ames League’s Remarks to the Voter Registration Commission.

After the hearing Secretary of State-elect Pate commented that the problem of providing to college students and others without Iowa IDs would need to be addressed.

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    LWVUS: Restore Voting Rights to Citizens with Felony Convictions!

LWVUS: Restore Voting Rights to Citizens with Felony Convictions!

BREAKING NEWS! The Iowa delegation to the League of Women Voters 2014 National Convention in Dallas is proud to report that the League of the Women Voters of the U.S. just approved the following proposal:

To restore voting rights in federal elections to citizens with felony convictions who have been released from prison or who have been paroled or placed on probation, and to use the resources of LWVUS to provide support to Leagues who are working to repeal state felon disenfranchisement laws. Many thanks to the LWV of Clackamas County, Oregon for bringing this resolution forward

Key Convention Center Proposal Reports are Online

Would you like to see the numbers, key to the discussion, for yourself?    Go to www.amesgatheringplace.com , select Additional Resources in the banner menu. Select 2009 Multi-Use Facility Study Final Report and 2013 Ames Hotel Analysis report.

Ninety-three attended the Monday February 24th informational meeting at City Hall.  The panel responded to questions submitted in writing by audience members and cable TV viewers calling in.

The State of Voting Laws Today

By Linda Murken, President, LWV of Ames

In a webinar yesterday, Feb. 5, Tim O’Brien, Public Advocacy Voter Protection (PAVP) Project Manager with LWVUS, gave an update on state legislation on voting issues in 2013.  There was actually some good news amidst the bad.

The bad news first  . . .

Eight states passed more voter restrictions in 2013.  North Carolina takes the prize for doing about just everything they could to further restrict voting–require voter photo ID, eliminate same day registration, eliminate pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, reduce the early voting period–while the other states were more moderate, choosing only one or two from the list.

In all, 25 states–including Iowa–introduced bills to adopt voter photo ID.  LWVUS considers Iowa one of the 10 states to watch in 2014 because of this.

Requiring voters to present proof of citizenship at the polls is an emerging issue–seven states introduced bills.

Seven states also introduced bills that would end election-day registration and/or restrict third parties, such as the League, from registering voters.

Eight states introduced bills that would reduce or eliminate early voting.

Now the good news  . . .

Twenty states introduced bills to adopt early voting.

Twenty-two states have or will soon have on-line voter registration and 14 more introduced bills.  (As you know, Iowa is not among them.)

And the US League and several state Leagues continues to actively litigate in states where access to voting has been restricted by law.  (The League was instrumental in the successful fight in Florida against the third-party voter registration law.)

And the most important news!

On January 16  a Voting Rights Act Amendment was introduced in Congress.  It would restore and update pre-clearance requirements to cover jurisdictions with recent patterns of discrimination, increase transparency in election [...]