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Tag: Texas (page 2 of 2)

Mail-In Ballot Fraud: Harvesting Votes in the Shadow of Texas’ Voter ID Controversy

by Andrew Lindsey

Almost every American realizes that democracies are only as legitimate as their rules for counting the votes. Voter fraud is an unfortunate reality in this country that undermines citizens’ faith in the electoral franchise, but few agree on its pervasiveness. Recently, a number of states have moved to enact stricter voting laws based on a concern that voter fraud is a considerably underrated threat to our electoral system. Opponents of these laws maintain that lawmakers are engaging in partisan exaggeration to disenfranchise minority constituents, and numerous lawsuits have already been filed in both state and federal court. Texas is a salient example, and many predict that the recent ruling against its voter identification (ID) law will make its way to the Supreme Court in the near future. Continue reading

Former Chief of the DOJ voting section visits William and Mary

Last week John K. Tanner visited William and Mary Law to talk to students about his 40+ years of experience in election law. Mr. Tanner is the former Chief of the voting section of the DOJ, having joined the section in 1976. Most recently, Mr. Tanner represented the Texas Legislative Black Caucus in the recent Texas redistricting suit.

Mr. Tanner met with students to discuss the complicated issues behind the Texas redistricting plan and the subsequent law suits. The suit represented by Mr. Tanner, along with similar suits filed, led to the Supreme Court’s approval of a federal court drawn plan late last month. Redistricting in Texas was taken out of the hands of the legislature after protests that the plan unlawfully discriminated against minorities. Continue reading

News Brief: Texas Supreme Court rejects redistricting maps

by Allison Handler

The Supreme Court has rejected redistricting maps drawn by a Texas federal court. The judicially-created maps were created as a response to the Texas legislature’s failure to comply with Section 5 of the Voting rights Act. However, the Supreme Court decision throws the future of the redistricting map into question as the 2012 elections approach. According to reporting by the New York Times, the new map may not differ significantly from the one created by the Texas court, one which some say favors representation of Hispanic communities and the Democrats. The initial map proposed by the state legislature favored Republicans, but was never submitted to the Department of Justice for pre-clearance.

There may not be enough time before the election to prepare the maps appropriately. The Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott hopes to have interim maps in place by the end of January so that the state’s primary can take place on April 3rd. Abbott moved the federal court conference on the issue to January 27, ahead of schedule. The date of the primary has already been moved back from March 6th to the current April date, though it is not clear whether the state will be able to hold the election by April either. Continue reading

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