Journalists are apt to think every day is a big news day; today really qualifies.
A federal appeals court judge in Florida — the same judge who blocked the state requirement that voter registrations be submitted within 48 hours – has ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice cannot stop the voter purge. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said the 90-day provision, which DOJ attorneys cited as too close to an election to purge rolls, did not apply to removing non-citizens from the rolls. Hinkle did say there were “some problems” with the program.
In New Hampshire, the state Senate voted to override Gov. John Lynch’s veto of a voter registration bill and passed a modified version of a photo-identification bill. And The Nation published a new rundown of the political questions at the heart of the current voting rights fight.
These stories aren’t causing as much of an uproar as the Pennsylvania House Republican leader’s comments Monday on voter identification or the furious reaction to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s assertion of Republican voter suppression, but they are definitely trending.
What We’ve Been Reading
“Make Voting Mandatory,” (Peter R. Orszag, 06/19, BloombergView)
“Last-minute voter ID changes facing Senate, House action today,” (Ted Siefer, 06/26, New Hampshire Union Leader)
“Federal judge rejects DOJ request to stop voter purge,” (Kathleen Haughney, 06/27, Orlando Sentinel)
“GOP: Obama planning to ‘Steal’ the Election,” (Ari Berman, 06/27, The Nation)
“Angry Twitter Birds: Unhappy NYC Voter Demonstrates Power, Reach of Social Media,” (Doug Chapin, 06/27, The Election Academy)
The big-ticket stories this morning haven’t really buzzed as much as other controversial voting rights stories this summer. They are mostly policy-oriented, and social media users — and the public — aren’t interested in stories on the slow process of judicial review and legal adjustment.
But the last article in our list brings up a curious and potentially lasting phenomenon. It’s an exploration of how voter anger and engagement is more possible through directed media campaigns.
Here at News21, we’ve followed directed campaigns by many secretaries of state and “get out the vote” accounts on Twitter and have enjoyed watching the way these accounts try to encourage voter participation and education. Secretaries aren’t followed nearly as often as national organizations like Rock The Vote or the League of Women Voters. As a whole, these accounts demonstrate the fledgling possibilities inherent in social media voter conversations.
It’s the kind of thing that drives this daily post (and our Twitter account), and it’s worth a read for any voting policy wonk, public opinion specialist or voter in general.
Remember to follow us @WhoCanVote.