Tuesday, more than 350,000 Virginians (about 7 percent of the voting population) did not get to choose their new governor. As MSNBC‘s Ari Melber pointed out in an important piece this week, the problem in this case is not voter ID or low turnout, but rather an “often invisible barrier to voting” that affects millions more across the country.
In one of the best analogies ever found in a Supreme Court opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg likened the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance provision to an umbrella in a rainstorm: “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work…is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you’re not getting wet.” And like your umbrella, you don’t know how much you’ll miss it ‘til it’s gone.
A Wisconsin election bill that would change early voting opportunities for Wisconsin voters “for the worse” was heard today by the Senate Elections and Urban Affairs committee. Project Vote submitted testimony, cautioning against the bill and asking legislators to focus on improving voter access instead of restricting it.
Texas’ controversial voter ID law went into effect on Monday and has already raised some hackles about its discriminatory impact on voters, particularly women (including a Texas judge) who change their names due to marriage. And women are not the only ones facing obstacles to securing the required documents—obtaining an ID in Texas has more hurdles than the Olympics.