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#ThomHartmann @Thom_Hartmann blog: Pushing Voter Rights to the Back of the Bus

by Thom Hartmann posted Feb 27 2013 2:56PM


Today in our nation's capital, President Obama helped unveil a new statue dedicated to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the fight to ensure African Americans in our nation were no longer denied the right to vote. Yet on the very day this historic statue is unveiled, lawyers for Shelby County, Alabama tried to convince the Supreme Court that racial bias is a thing of the past.  

Section 5 of The Voting Rights Act requires Alabama, and 15 other states, to get Justice Department approval before making any changes in existing voting laws.  The "Pre-Clearance" requirement became law because of a long history of those states trying to block minority voters from the polls. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been upheld numerous times, and even expanded under Republican presidents like Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

This challenge to the Voting Rights Act is just one of many Republican attempts to undermine our democratic process. And, after the discriminatory ID laws and long lines we saw at the polls in the most recent election, it's clear that we need more protection of our voting rights – not less. We shouldn't remove this requirement in the 16 states covered under the law, we should expand it to every state in our nation.
 
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said a half century ago, “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” We can help make his dream a reality, by eliminating the Republican's power to manipulate our elections. And we can do it by moving to a national popular vote. Let's take control of our democratic process, and remind our leaders that they work for us. Stand up for your voting rights, and go to NationalPopularVote.com.

Listen to The Thom Hartmann Program Monday through Friday 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL AM 1600.
Filed Under :
Topics : Politics
Location : AlabamaShelby County
02/27/2013 2:56PM
#ThomHartmann @Thom_Hartmann blog: Pushing Voter Rights to the Back of the Bus
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03/05/2013 6:33PM
National Popular Vote - 49% of the Way
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions. When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC. The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action. In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win. The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect. NationalPopularVote Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc
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