State of Elections

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Tag: Voting Rights (page 2 of 2)

The Territorial American Exceptionalism to the Fundamental Right to Vote

By Ajinur Setiwaldi

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights of U.S. citizens. Congress explicitly states as much in the National Voter Registration Act. Chief Justice Warren invoked the principle when delivering the Reynolds v. Sims  opinion in 1964, stating, “undoubtedly, the right to suffrage is a fundamental matter in a free and democratic society.”

If you’re a U.S. citizen born and living in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Marina Islands, or Guam, your right to vote in federal and presidential elections is a lot less fundamental than that of citizens living on the mainland. If you’re willing to move to one of the 50 states, you can join the franchise. Even if you move to D.C., you will still have a larger say on who the next president will be than you would if you live in the territories thanks to the 23rd Amendment.

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New Hampshire’s Appeal for “Ballot Selfie” Ban Filed with the First Circuit

By: C. Rose Moore

The State of New Hampshire filed an appeal on September 9th with U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit seeking to overturn the New Hampshire District Court’s decision in Rideout v. Gardner, Opinion No. 2015-DNH-154-P.  There, the court struck down RSA § 659:35, I, which prohibited voters from “taking a digital image or photograph of his or her marked ballot and distributing or sharing the image via social media or by any other means.”  The plaintiffs in that case, namely a state representative, Leon Rideout, a disgruntled dog-lover, Andrew Langlois, and a patent-attorney, Brandon Ross, who posted his photo after the investigations started with the tagline “Come at me, bro,” were being prosecuted under the law.

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Voter Registration Series, Article 1: Mississippi

By: Caiti Anderson

The ability to vote is a powerful tool to ensure one’s voice is heard among the clamor of democracy.  However, this right has remained elusive to many throughout American history.  The long, hard slog to create a “more perfect union” comprises the battle for inclusivity in the American political process.  Over the next few weeks, this series will study the history of voter registration through the comparative analysis of the history of voter registration in different states and the growing movement towards automatic voter registration.  Today’s article will examine Mississippi and the ongoing journey towards fair voter registration laws in that state.

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“Remember the Ladies”

By: Caiti Anderson

Suff.On March 31, 1776, Abagail Adams wrote her now infamous “Remember the Ladies” letter to her husband, John Adams.  Abigail urged John to, “…Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable [sic] to them than your ancestors…. If perticuliar [sic] care and attention is not paid to the Laidies [sic] we are determined to foment a Rebelion [sic], and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”  Abigail’s letter predicted the onset of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States by more than seventy years.  However, the full realization of this dream was not achieved until August 26, 1920, one-hundred and forty-four years after Abigail’s entreating words.  In celebration of the ninety-fifth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, today’s post will focus on the history surrounding women’s battle for the right to vote. Continue reading

Students’ Voting Rights – Keeping Madison’s Dream Alive?

New Hampshire’s House Speaker, William O’Brien (R-Hillsborough 4), made a name for himself in cyberspace and among voting rights advocates earlier this year when he openly voiced that students in New Hampshire should not be able to vote in-state unless they had established permanent residency in their college towns. O’Brien also vocally supported a recent bill to limit students’ franchise by prohibiting election-day voter registration, a device many students rely upon in New Hampshire to be able to participate in New Hampshire elections. While attempting to justify the proposed bills, H.B. 176 and H.B. 223  respectively, by citing the importance of eliminating voter fraud, his statements were significantly undermined when he also alleged (in a video posted on YouTube) that students in New Hampshire are foolish and merely “vote their feelings.” O’Brien further secured his poor reputation (and the Bills’ fates) by declaring that college students on Election Day cancel out the votes of other, more invested voters, relying on a “dearth of experience and a plethora of the easy self-confidence that only ignorance and inexperience can produce.”

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