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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dems Counter-Attack to Protect Voting Rights in the States

From Reid Wilson’s WaPo Govbeat post, “Democrats push back on voting rights“:

Last week, operatives tied to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee launched what they call a 50-state initiative to promote voting reforms that would make it easier to cast a ballot. The effort is being run by American Values First, an outside group organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and run by Michael Sargeant, the DLCC’s executive director. Democrats will push legislation similar to a Colorado measure signed into law earlier this year that requires all elections to be conducted by mail.
Legislators in at least seven other states will propose bills that would tweak election laws in other ways. In some states controlled by Democrats, the measures have a good chance to pass. In other states with divided control or that operate under Republican control, Democrats plan to use the measures as political cudgels, painting the GOP as opposed to basic voting rights.
The new push comes in response to Republican initiatives to rewrite election laws in key states. Republicans in North Carolina and Florida moved to cut the number of days on which a voter can cast a ballot early. Arizona and Florida both imposed new restrictions on groups that sign up voters for absentee ballots. And Republican-led legislatures in states from New Hampshire to Michigan to Florida passed legislation requiring voters to show photo identification before they receive a ballot.

Wilson notes that Colorado Dems passed a bill that will “require residents to vote entirely by mail,” joining Washington and Oregon, where automatic registration linked to drivers licenses failed by a single vote. Democrats are optimistic about passing it, however. Elsewhere Dems are fighting to establish “no fault” absentee voting, which is now in place in 34 states and to lengthen registration periods.
It’s good Dems are showing assertive leadership on restoring and strengthening voting rights in the states. It’s important, however, that their constituents are well-informed about which party is all about making it harder to vote. Some generic ads making that point in the states might be a worthy DNC project.

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