PDA Voter Suppression Shows: Guests include Myrna Pérez, Senior Counsel Brennan Center for Justice; Edgardo Cortés of the Advancement Project; Kemba Smith and Linwood Christian, both are Felon Voting Rights Restoration Activists; Sara Mullen of ACLU of Pennsylvania and Chris Fields of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights on “OneNation” with hosts Andrea Miller and Rev. Terence Dicks

PDA Voter Suppression Show #2:

Restoring Democracy – Voting After a Criminal Conviction with Andrea Miller and Rev. Terence Dicks
Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Time: 1pm EST
Call In: (347) 202-0385

Voting is both a fundamental right and a civic duty.

However there remains one significant blanket barrier to the franchise: 5.85 million American citizens are not allowed to vote because of a criminal conviction.

As many as 4.4 million of these people live, work, and raise families in our communities, but because of a conviction in their past they are still denied the right to vote.

Felony disenfranchisement laws in the United States are deeply rooted in the troubled history of American race relations, and the disproportionate racial impact of these laws continues to this day.

Nationwide, 13% of African-American men have lost the right to vote, a rate that is seven times the national average.

Given current rates of incarceration, three in ten of the next generation of African-American men across the country can expect to lose the right to vote at some point in their lifetime – Brennan Center for Justice

Show: Restoring Democracy – Voting After a Criminal Conviction with Andrea Miller and Rev. Terence Dicks
Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Time: 1pm EST
Call In: (347) 202-0385

Our guests work to assist people with convictions in their past to regain their citizenship through restoration of their voting rights:

Myrna Pérez – Brennan Center for Justice
Senior Counsel, Democracy Program

Ms. Pérez works on a variety of voting rights related issues, including redistricting, voter registration list maintenance, and access to the ballot box.

Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Pérez was the Civil Rights Fellow at Relman & Dane, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Pérez graduated from Columbia Law School in 2003, where she was a Lowenstein Public Interest Fellow.

Following law school, Ms. Pérez clerked for the Honorable Anita B. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Ms. Pérez earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Yale University in 1996.

She obtained a masters degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 1998, where she was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service.

Prior to law school, she was a Presidential Management Fellow, serving as a policy analyst for the United States Government Accounting Office where she covered a range of issues including housing and health care.

Kemba Smith – Kemba Smith Foundation/Voting Rights Advocate

In Oct. 2012, Kemba Smith got her voting rights restored after a long struggle.

She is a national motivational speaker, author, and criminal justice advocate.

She was sentenced to 24.5 years in prison for conspiracy to participate in her boyfriend’s drug activities.

At the age of 24, Kemba Smith paid the price for loyalty, dearly.

In 1994, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine for her boyfriend’s drug activities, Kemba, 7 months pregnant at the time, was sentenced to 24.5 years in prison with no possibility of parole.

Although Kemba had no prior criminal record, mandatory minimum sentencing laws have made her and an increasing number of women casualties of excessive punishments that do not fit their crimes.

Kemba, raised in a protective, middle-class community near Richmond, Virginia, had spent the previous four years in an abusive relationship with Peter Hall.

In 1989, Kemba had met Hall as a 19-year-old sophomore at Hampton University.

He was eight years her senior and unbeknown to Kemba, the leader in a $4 million crack cocaine ring and one of the FBI 15 Most Wanted.

Their relationship was a tumultuous one. Kemba would end up making several unsuccessful attempts to leave Hall who abused her physically and emotionally.

When Hall was discovered murdered, the government held Kemba accountable for the total amount of the drugs in his drug conspiracy charge.

Edgardo Cortés – Advancement Project

Edgardo Cortés serves as the Director of the Virginia Voting Rights Restoration Campaign for Advancement Project.

He has worked in elections for more than 10 years, with experience in all facets of the electoral process including campaigns, non-partisan voter registration, federal election policy, and local and state election administration.

Prior to joining Advancement Project, he worked for the Virginia State Board of Elections where he was responsible for updating the state’s Help America Vote Act state plan and Voting System Certification program.

He has previously served as General Registrar for Fairfax County, Virginia, responsible for administering elections in the largest county in Virginia.

Edgardo also worked for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), serving as the Grants Director and as Deputy Director for Policy.

He was responsible for all federal policy related to the National Voter Registration Act and spearheaded the creation of the EAC’s Language Accessibility Program.

Edgardo has managed national non-partisan voter registration drives and Congressional field campaigns.

Edgardo holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Masters degree in political management from the George Washington University.

He lives in Springfield, Virginia with his wife and son.

Linwood Christian – Restoration Activist

Like thousands of African-American men, Linwood had a previous drug conviction. When he applied to have his rights restored in Virginia, he was denied because of moving violations.

After waiting two years, he again applied only to be told by the Commonwealth to “write an essay and describe his church activities.”

Linwood joined other PDA activists in Washington, DC where we hand-delivered a copy of the “church activities” letter to every Virginia Congress member.

A few days later Virginia announced a new and improved streamlined procedure for restoration of voting rights.

Linwood has regained his voting rights and continues to help other community members restore their voting rights.

PDA is supported solely by our members; please consider donating to PDA so that we can continue to provide this type of programming.

If you missed our last show, Voter Suppression – What’s Happening In Your State and What You Can Do About It, you can listen to it here or view it here:

Hosts:

Andrea Miller

Chesterfield, VA

Deputy Field Director, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)

andrea@pdamerica.org

804-608-1195

Holding elected office is a privilege – voting is a right

http://www.onenationpda.org
http://www.pdacommunity.org/resources/jomsocial/62-andrea-miller/profile
http://www.facebook.com/andrea.miller.96742277
https://twitter.com/acqsys
 

Rev. Terence A. Dicks

Augusta, GA

PDA Southern Organizer/PDA Georgia Coordinator

TerenceDicks@gmail.com

706-306-5731

http://www.pdacommunity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=50&Itemid=85
http://www.pdacommunity.org/georgia/2116-georgia-voter-suppression-republican-buying-of-southern-lawmakers-among-topics-at-pda-progressive-central-the-peoples-convention-in-charlotte-nc
http://www.pdacommunity.org/georgia/2116-georgia-voter-suppression-republican-buying-of-southern-lawmakers-among-topics-at-pda-progressive-central-the-peoples-convention-in-charlotte-nc
 

Show #1 Guests:

Sara Mullen, Assoc. Dir. of the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Chris Melody Fields, Election Protection Coordinator for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law

Sara Mullen started in 1997 as a volunteer in the ACLU of PA Pittsburgh office.

She joined the staff as the office manager in Jan. 1998 and became Asst. Dir. of the Pittsburgh Chapter in 2000.

Mullen transferred to the Philadelphia office in Nov. 2002 and currently heads the Community Organizing Dept. and oversees the communications program.

She received her BA in Middle Eastern History from the University of Chicago in 1993.

Mullen previously worked in academic publishing.

Chris M. Fields is campaign manager for the Lawyers’ Committee Election Protection program coordinating coalition efforts to inform voters about their rights and that every vote is counted.

Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee in Dec. 2011, Fields worked in the govt. affairs div. for a biological resource center on the global health/biosecurity agenda.

Fields spent two years as Outreach Dir. for Common Cause advancing the democracy reform agenda and fighting for the Fair Elections Now Act that would create publicly financed campaigns for Congress.

Voter Registration Deadlines

http://www.rockthevote.com/election-center/registration-deadlines

Select your state on Rock the Vote

https://register2.rockthevote.com/registrants/map

ACLU of Pennsylvania: Defending liberty where it began:

http://www.aclupa.org
http://www.facebook.com/aclupa

https://twitter.com/aclupa
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aclupa
http://www.youtube.com/aclupa
 

Voting Assistance:

866OurVote

http://www.866OurVote.org

1-866-OUR-VOTE

(1-866-687-8683)

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org
http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights
 

Map of Shame: Voter Suppression Legislation:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/page?id=0042
Combat Voter Suppression:
 
http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights/page?id=0117
http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights/page?id=0123

Voting Laws We Enforce:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights/page?id=0024
Voting Rights Act: Objections/Observers Search Index
http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/section_5
 

Voting Rights Litigation:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights/page?id=0025

Redistricting Program:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights/page?id=0071

Election Protection/Electoral Reform:

http://www.866OurVote.org

Voter ID Stories and Consequences:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/page?id=0046

Publications/Testimony/Other Documents:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights/page?id=0027

Election Protection Smartphone App.:

http://www.866ourvote.org/pages/election-protection-smartphone-app
 

Grand Marshal of The Lawyer’s Committee 50th Anniversary Campaign and National Advisory Commission is veteran civil rights leader GA Rep. John Lewis:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/fiftieth
 http://johnlewis.house.gov/john-lewis/biography
http://johnlewis.house.gov
 
Click to see/print out .pdf with these organizations and links
 

Maps to find out your state’s voting rights and voter suppression information:

ACLU Map:

http://www.aclu.org/know-your-voting-rights-state-state-voter-information
 

Map of Shame: Voter Suppression Legislation Tracker:

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/page?id=0042

Cost of Freedom Map:

http://www.costoffreedom.info

Election Protection Coalition Map:

http://www.866ourvote.org/state

Non-Profit Vote Definitions of Felon/Ex-Felon by State:

http://www.nonprofitvote.org/voting-as-an-ex-offender.html
 

Voting Rights for ex-felons is the issue discussed at 1 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 11, 2012 for “OneNation – Protecting the Vote” with Andrea Miller on Blog Talk Radio – in the second in a series of shows on Voter Suppression by the Progressive Democrats of America. Co-hosts include Terence Dicks, Greg Peterson and others.

(Across the USA) – Voter Suppression in the 2012 Elections will be the topic of the first six weekly Blog Talk Radio shows entitled “One Nation” in an ongoing effort by the Progressive Democrats of America to explain voting rights and laws that differ widely across America and may hinder millions of voters from casting ballots specially minorities, the elderly and students.

The weekly “One Nation” with Andrea Miller online broadcast is live each Thursday at 1 p.m.

Producers hope the show will evolve into a daily broadcast in 2013.

A longtime progressive activist, Miller is the deputy field director for the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).

Miller believes Voter Suppression efforts are a vicious attack on the American People and the U.S. Constitution.

“Purely southern issues that have now become issues literally throughout the country,” Miller said. “A lot of those (voting rights) battles that people fought in the 1960s and the early 70s” are being fought in 2012.

“We were pretty sure we fought it, we won it, it’s over, it’s done,” Miller said of voting rights.

“Now we are seeing some of those same struggles come back in places like Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and in places where we never thought we’d be dealing with issues like voting rights and Voter Suppression,” Miller said. “Now we are seeing voter struggles in cities and states.”:

During the “One Nation” Voter Suppression shows the guests will explain how Republicans and right-wing groups hatched plans to inhibit voting rights.

Because Voter Suppression laws vary widely, the guests will tell listeners how to find out about the voting laws in your state and how you can protect your right to vote.

“As Progressives, its sounds like we have a very good opportunity to here to inform the public how to fight and overcome voter suppression,” Miller said.

Producers hope everyone interested in Voter Suppression will embed the shows on their websites and pass along the information to as many prospective voters as possible because in many states deadlines are fast approaching involving Voter ID cards and allowing felons to vote.

Blog Talk Radio offers dozens of user-friendly ways the shows can be shared and repeated on most social sites, blogs and websites.

“We need to encourage people to vote early so if there are any problems you can make sure you can vote in your county,” Miller said “College IDs – and other forms of identification – may not be considered legal as a voter ID.”

Americans need to know who is making decisions for us – and fight to oust those who trample our rights,” said civil rights activist Rev. Terence A. Dicks, a resident of Augusta, Georgia since 1966.

Television and the internet tend to memorize people resulting in a lack of community involvement, Dicks said.

“There comes a time when you have to get off the laptops – get off the internet – and get out in your community and find out what is going on,” said Dicks, PDA Southern Regional Organizer and PDA State of Georgia Coordinator.

“You have got to find out who is making the decisions for you because that’s the key” to fight those who are taking away your rights, Dicks said.

“Because the people you think are looking out for you – really aren’t,” he said. Until recent years, Progressives “have had a tendency to be quiet and go along.”

PDA members believe that with numerous right-wing organizations and Republican lawmakers taking away our liberties, this is the most important time for Progressives and undecided voters to pay attention to our constitutional rights since before the ratification of the Voting Rights Act 1965.

Voter Suppression is the modern-day disenfranchisement of our rights – being orchestrated by the some of the same people responsible for the collapse of the American and world economies.

“You have a very polarized electorate and Congress,” Dicks said.

Right-wing interests “want the country to go in a certain direction – especially economically,” Dicks said adding Progressives much ask “who is setting the regulations, who is guarding the hen-house, who is making the laws?”

“It takes a relatively few votes for certain things to go a certain way,” he said, adding he believes Progressives are the majority yet are not doing enough to take on those who caused the collapse of Wall Street. “The stakes of so high economically, people are anxious.”

“Because of social issues, you have a very vocal minority who doesn’t feel a lot of the people in the lower and middle income brackets – know what they are talking about,” Dicks said.

Back in the 70s, “Dick Nixon and those guys talked about a silent majority – and today I suspect Progressive thinkers are in the majority but I also know we have been very silent,” Dicks said. “Only since 2006 have we started coming into our own as Progressives.”

Republicans and right-wing interests “have invested so much money and sunk a lot into these elections – as far as being able to get state, federal and local contracts,” said Dicks, who believes the right-wing blame Pres. Obama rhetoric has been exposed as lies recognized by undecided voters.

“People in the middle “are not just listening to what people are saying – they are also watching what they are doing,” he said because the middle and low-income families have lost pensions, investments and property.

“It hurts you when you can’t go to the bank and get the loan to start that business, or if you are a family farm and want to look at organic farming,” Dicks said. “You just can’t go into your local banks anymore and get what you need.”

“You can’t put your kids through college – there are just so many things you cannot do now in the wake of a deregulated financial system,” Dicks said.

Voter Suppression guests will include voting rights experts, well-known and respected civil rights leaders, federal lawmakers, national political candidates and others.

Sponsored by the PDA, future shows will deal with other important progressive issues like Ending Corporate Rule; Clean, Fair, Transparent Elections; Economic and Social Justice; End War and Occupation, Redirect Funding; Healthcare for All/Single Payer and Stop Global Warming/Environmental Issues.

During the shows, listeners are invited to speak with the host and guests by calling (347) 202-0385.

The 2012 Presidential Election battleground states are Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia.

Convicted felons have a lifelong voting ban in Kentucky, Virginia, Iowa and Florida (most punitive law).

Except Maine and Vermont, every state prohibits felons from voting while in prison, according to experts. In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence.

Georgia ACLU Felon Voting Rights Info

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/felon-voting-rights_n_1924535.html

In some states the process of re-registering to vote often is difficult and rules vary – for example:

Ex-felons must wait for a certain period of time after the completion of their sentence before rights can be restored – while in some states ex-felons must apply to have voting rights restored.

Voter Suppression may result in 700,000 minority voters under age 30 being unable to cast a ballot in November 2012 because of Photo ID laws in certain states, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis

According to a Sept. 12, 2012 Associated Press story about the study by Sonya Ross the new photo requirements potentially could turn away:

  • 170,000 to 475,000 young black voters
  • 68,000 to 250,000 young Hispanic voters
  • 13,000 to 46,000 young Asian-American voters
  • 1,700 to 6,400 young Native American voters
  • 700 to 2,700 young Pacific Islander voters

The Brennan Center for Justice has been Tracking Voter Suppression in the 2012 Elections.

“Since 2011, there has been a surge in suppressive voting laws, with 24 laws and executive actions passing in 17 states,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice reports on Voting Law Changes, Voter Suppression and Ballot Security. “These laws could make it harder for millions of voters — particularly minorities, immigrants, the elderly, and the young — to cast ballots in the 2012 elections.”

In Georgia, “we are starting to build up a network of Progressives,” said Dicks, who has organized 10 PDA chapters across Georgia.

“We do the traditional voter registration and we are ramping up our 2012 Election Protection act” that include educating the electorate about new Georgia Voter ID Laws, training poll monitors and watchers, providing felons with complicated voting rights information, and receiving voter suppression help from the ACLU, Dicks said.

“We are getting our poll monitors in place,” Dicks said, adding that residents must have two forms of ID when voting.

Georgia voter registration cards are issued and the information on those cards must exactly match a resident’s state voter ID cards with their photos or their driver’s license.

Georgia residents who do not have driver’s licenses must pay for their official state ID cards or apply for a free Voter ID card, Dicks said.

A state of Georgia website lists acceptable forms of ID needed to receive an official voter ID card – and that list doesn’t include college or school IDs.

Estimates on how many Georgia voters will be unable to cast ballots because of the Voter ID laws range from 10 percent to “significant,” according to studies.

“It’s more than we are comfortable with,” Dick said.

Georgia organizations providing updated information on the state ID cards and voter suppression include the ACLU of Georgia, Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda.

The 2012 Election Protection Project is organized by the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice working jointly with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and spearheaded by Georgia Appleseed Board Liaison Judy O’Brien.

Dicks said he loves the beauty of the south but the people are often slow to change.

“What makes it (the south) different is that it is a very traditional place,” Dicks said. “The pace here has always been relatively slow, very traditional and very measured.”

Some old-time Southerners are not in a rush to stop Voter Suppression because they believe “there ‘ain’t nothing wrong’ with it” and have a “let’s not fix it – way of doing things,” Dicks said.

“From a historic standpoint no other part of the country came under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – or were under the scrutiny of the U.S. Justice Department – or so directly affected by the courts – as much as the southeast because it had been a 100-year intergenerational struggle from 1865 to 1965,” he said.

However, some who believe in a new and modern south are taking action.

“You have people weighing in, people going to meetings, people getting involved,” Dicks said.

After 9-11 “some activists temporarily were quiet and rallied behind the President – then came strong anti-war feeling while supporting the troops and promoting peace,” he said.

Progressives started rallying after the 2000 Bush v. Gore Presidential Race debacle and then again after the 2004 Kerry/Edwards Presidential Race, Dicks said.

Progressives and people in the middle “slowly started waking up and really paying attention,” Dicks said. Progressives have “started getting more serious” about fighting Republican and right-wing control of American rights and lives.

——-

Related info:

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The 2012 Elections will go down as one of the biggest examples of voter suppression since the civil rights days, according to several reports.
However we can fight Voter Suppression by all vote early or go to the polls to cast our ballots.

States Deny Millions Of Ex-Felons Voting Rights by 10/08/2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/felon-voting-rights_n_1924535.html
ACLU Georgia Voting Rights info
http://www.acluga.org/issues/voting-rights

Brennan Center for Justice report on 2012 Voting Law Changes By Wendy R. Weiser and Lawrence Norden, 10/03/11

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/voting_law_changes_in_2012

State governments across the country enacted an array of new laws that could make it significantly harder for as many as 5 million eligible Americans to vote. Some states require voters to show government-issued photo identification, often of a type that as many as one in ten voters do not have. Other states have cut back on early voting, a hugely popular innovation used by millions of Americans. Still others made it much more difficult for citizens to register to vote, a prerequisite for voting.

  • Restrictive voter identification policies – especially those that require state-issued photo ID cards – threaten to exclude millions of eligible voters
  • As many as 10% of eligible voters do not have, and will not get, the documents required by strict voter ID laws. For some groups, the percentage is much higher
  • ID requirements fall hardest on people who have traditionally faced barriers at the polls.

More info on a study into how Voter Suppression will have a backlash on minority voters in November 2012:

Study: ID laws could trip up young minority voters by Sonya Ross (Associated Press) Wed., Sept. 12, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/study-id-laws-could-trip-young-minority-voters-065003258–election.html

As many as 700,000 minority voters under age 30 may be unable to cast a ballot in November 2012 because of photo ID laws in certain states, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis

The lower turnout could affect several House races as well as the tight presidential contest.

The study was conducted by Cathy Cohen, a University of Chicago expert on young and minority voters, and by Jon Rogowski of Washington University.

The analysis by Cohen and Rogowski was released in Sept. 2012 by the Chicago-based Black Youth Project, a nonpartisan effort launched in 2004 to examine the political participation of African-Americans aged 15 to 25.

Other study findings include:

Changes in Florida’s voting laws could leave more than 100,000 young minority voters unable to vote — far more than the 537-vote margin of victory for George W. Bush in the contested 2000 presidential election.

If Pennsylvania’s photo ID law is upheld by the state Supreme Court, 37,000 to 44,000 young voters of color may stay home, or be unable to vote.

In Georgia, photo ID requirements could prevent a “significant number” of the 275,000 black and Latino residents of the redrawn 12th Congressional District from voting.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):

http://www.aclu.org
http://www.facebook.com/aclu.nationwide
https://twitter.com/aclu
 
ACLU Liberty Watch 2012 link to ForThe100Percent page

ACLU Liberty Watch 2012 is the voice for the Constitution in the 2012 Presidential Election:

http://www.aclulibertywatch.org
http://www.facebook.com/ACLULibertyWatch
https://twitter.com/#!/ACLULW
 

Take the 100% pledge:

http://www.forthe100percent.org
http://www.forthe100percent.org/share
 

The ACLU of Georgia 2012 Annual Bill of Rights Dinner & Silent Auction is (Celebrating 50 years ) Monday, November 5th

The 2012 National Civil Liberties Award Recipient Mr. Lewis Black, a is an American stand-up comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor

http://www.acluga.org/files/1213/4919/0712/Lewis_Black_bio.pdf
http://www.acluga.org/get-involved/attend-an-event/annual-bill-of-rights-dinner

 Carlton Fields Receives 2012 Pro Bono Award from ACLU of Georgia

By Kate Barth Oct. 8, 2012

http://midtown.patch.com/announcements/carlton-fields-receives-pro-bono-award-from-aclu-of-georgia
To Reserve Your Seat Now click here
 

2012 Presidential Election battleground states are Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia:

http://www.aclu.org/affiliates
http://www.acluga.org
http://www.aclufl.org
http://www.acluofnorthcarolina.org
http://www.acluva.org
 

NAACP:

http://www.naacp.org
http://www.naacp.org/news
http://naacp.3cdn.net/67065c25be9ae43367_mlbrsy48b.pdf
http://www.naacp.org/press/entry/vice-president-joe-biden-addresses-voter-suppression-at-103rd-naacp-an
http://www.theroot.com/buzz/naacp-launches-voter-registration-initiative
 

Brennan Center for Justice:

http://www.brennancenter.org

Pennsylvania voters scored a clear victory as Voter ID Law Returned to Lower Court

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/pennsylvania_voter_id_law_returned_to_lower_court
 

Voting Law Changes in 2012 By Wendy R. Weiser and Lawrence Norden

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/voting_law_changes_in_2012

Tracking Voter Suppression in the 2012 Elections:

Since 2011, there has been a surge in suppressive voting laws, with 24 laws and executive actions passing in 17 states. These laws could make it harder for millions of voters — particularly minorities, immigrants, the elderly, and the young — to cast ballots in the 2012 elections:

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/tracking_voter_suppression_in_the_2012_elections
 
Click here for audio of the teleconference call
 
Brennan Center for Justice report on Ballot Security and Voter Suppression: (8-29-12)
 
http://www.brennancenter.org/…/ballot_security_and_voter_suppression
 
Summary of proposed voting cutback bills and the legislation passed since the start of 2011
 
http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/2012_summary_of_voting_law_changes
 
 
Download the Report (PDF)
 
Read Voting Law Changes Summary including update on 9-7-12
 
Download the 2011 Appendix, compilation of vote-suppressing legislation proposed in 2011
 
Download the Overview, four-page summary with key findings.
 
Read the Executive Summary
View the Report
 

Stop Voter Suppression efforts:

http://www.pdacommunity.org/issues/stop-voter-suppression
http://www.aclu.org/voter-suppression-america
http://www.naacp.org/blog/entry/the-fight-against-voter-suppression-in-pennsylvania
http://lcc.aflcio.org/conferences/teleconferences/electionandvoterprotection/votersuppressionandvoteridlaws.pdf
 

Felon Disenfranchisement:

Convicted felons have a lifelong voting ban in Kentucky, Virginia, Iowa and Florida (most punitive law).

Except Maine and Vermont, every state prohibits felons from voting while in prison

In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence.

In some states the process of re-registering to vote often is difficult and rules vary – for example:

Ex-felons must wait for a certain period of time after the completion of their sentence before rights can be restored.

Ex-felons must apply to have voting rights restored

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_disenfranchisement
http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/voter-disfranchisement
http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/felon-voting-rights.aspx
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/opinion/disenfranchised-felons.html
http://www.aclu.org/map-state-felony-disfranchisement-laws
http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=286
http://www.nonprofitvote.org/voting-as-an-ex-offender.html

Examples of minority voter information:

Study: ID laws could trip up young minority voters by Sonya Ross (Associated Press) Wed., Sept. 12, 2012

Some 700,000 minority voters under age 30 may be unable to cast a ballot in November 2012 because of photo ID laws in certain states

http://news.yahoo.com/study-id-laws-could-trip-young-minority-voters-065003258–election.html

Nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process – includes “866 Our Vote” hotlines:

http://www.866ourvote.org
http://www.866ourvote.org/newsroom

1-866-OUR-VOTE (administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law)

1-888-Ve-Y-Vota (administered by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund)

Voter ID laws: Voter integrity or voter suppression? by Hispanic Link News Service/Election 2012 Sept. 19, 2012 on VOXXI is an independent voice for Hispanic America

http://www.voxxi.com/voter-id-laws-integrity-suppression
http://www.voxxi.com/author/hispanic-link-news-service

The National Coalition of Black Civic Participation:

http://ncbcp.org

Black Youth Vote! – The Next Generation of Black Leadership:

http://ncbcp.org/programs/byv

Black Youth Project in Chicago – Knowledge, Voice, Action:

http://www.blackyouthproject.com
https://www.facebook.com/blackyouthproject
https://www.facebook.com/blackyouthproject
http://www.youtube.com/user/BlackYouthProject
http://www.blackyouthproject.com/feed
Activists use education to overcome new voting laws

USA Today story by Deborah Barfield Berry, Gannett Washington Bureau (USA Today) Sept. 20, 2012

Voter ID laws provoking black women, who had highest turnout in 2008, to turn out voters

AP story in The Washington Post by Suzanne Gamboa (AP) Sept. 5, 2012

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/voter-id-laws-provoking-black-women-who-had-highest-turnout-in-2008-to-turn-out-voters/2012/09/21/17efef72-03be-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html
 
Black Women’s Roundtable Shifts the Focus to the Issues and Voting Power of Black Women at the Republican and Democratic Conventions Sept. 5, 2012
 
Al Sharpton at the DNC: ‘If we party in Charlotte . . . the Republicans could be partying in November’ Sept. 5, 2012

Despite voter ID law, minority turnout up in Georgia by Shannon McCaffrey (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Mon., Sept. 3, 2012

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/despite-voter-id-law-minority-turnout-up-in-georgi/nR2bx

Voting Rights:

The Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act, adopted initially in 1965 and extended in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006 is generally considered the most successful piece of civil rights legislation ever adopted by the United States Congress

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_b.php
http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/voting-rights-act-0

Introduction To Federal Voting Rights Laws:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro.php

Before the Voting Rights Act:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_a.php

The Effect of the Voting Rights Act:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_c.php

Georgia Voting Rights:

Georgia Agrees to Comply with National Voter Registration Act, Settles Lawsuit Brought by Lawyers’ Committee brought on behalf of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, (April 19, 2012)

http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/newsroom/clips?id=0495
 
State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 2010 by Christopher Uggen and Sarah Shannon, University of Minnesota and Jeff Manza, New York University (July 2012)
 
http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/fd_State_Level_Estimates_of_Felon_Disen_2010.pdf

Felons convicted of crimes involving “moral turpitude” in Georgia do not get their voting rights restored – however critics say crimes that do not involve moral turpitude are ambiguous:

In Georgia, individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation.

Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of all supervised release.

Ex-offenders should re-register to vote.

http://www.gapsc.com/Ethics/MoralTurpitude.asp
http://www.georgiadefenders.com/felony.htm
http://georgiasummit.org/action/voter_restoration.php
http://felonvoting.procon.org/sourcefiles/georgia-code-felon-voting-2012.pdf
http://www.nonprofitvote.org/voting-as-an-ex-offender.html#GA

ACLU of Georgia:

http://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights-georgia-voter-information
http://www.acluga.org/issues/voting-rights
http://www.facebook.com/pages/ACLU-of-Georgia/116855228000
https://twitter.com/acluofga
 

Georgia Felon Voting Rights (47 KB pdf)

Download GA ACLU Felon Voting Rights
http://www.acluga.org/download_file/view_inline/1499/252

Georgia Voting Rights Project Brochure 2012 (900 KB PDF)

http://www.acluga.org/download_file/view_inline/1518/252

Georgia 2010 Redistricting Guide (323 KB pdf)

http://www.acluga.org/download_file/view_inline/1498/252
 

Georgia State Conference of the NAACP:

http://www.naacpga.org
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Georgia-State-Conference-Naacp/156941391071984
http://www.naacp.org/news/entry/naacp-civic-engagement-campaign-announced-in-atlanta
https://sites.google.com/a/naacpga.org/georgia-state-conference-naacp/georgia-branches
 

Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda:

http://www.gcpagenda.org
 

Cost of Freedom Map: Georgia

http://www.costoffreedom.info/state/GA

Georgia Secretary of State voter ID information:

http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/voting_information.htm
http://www.sos.georgia.gov/gaphotoid/default.htm
 
 

Election Protection: “866 Our Vote” Georgia Info:

http://www.866ourvote.org/state/ga
 

The 2012 Election Protection Project of the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

The Mission of Georgia Appleseed is to increase justice in Georgia through law and policy reform:

http://www.gaappleseed.org
http://www.gaappleseed.org/initiatives/election
http://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaAppleseed
https://twitter.com/GAAppleseed
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaappleseed
http://pinterest.com/GaAppleseed
 

Progressive Democrats of America:

http://www.pdamerica.org
 

PDA Community:

http://www.pdacommunity.org
http://www.pdacommunity.org/issues/stop-voter-suppression

PDA Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/PDAmerica

PDA Twitter:

http://twitter.com/pdamerica

PDA Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pdamerica

PDA YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/PDAMERICA

PDA Endorsed Candidates:

Alan Grayson (FL-9)

Lesli Messinger (GA-1)

Dr. David Gill (IL-13)

Wayne Powell (VA-7)

Elizabeth Warren (MA)

Rob Zerban (WI-1)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-3)

Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-4)

Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-3)

Rep. John Conyers (MI-13)

Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-9)

Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5)

PDA Issues:

Voter Suppression
End Corporate Rule
Clean, Fair, Transparent Elections
Economic and Social Justice
End War and Occupation, Redirect Funding
Healthcare for All/Single Payer
Stop Global Warming/Environmental Issues
Election Protection Coalition Map:
http://www.866ourvote.org/state
Non-Profit Vote Definitions of Felon/Ex-Felon by State:
http://www.nonprofitvote.org/voting-as-an-ex-offender.html

“The Constitution is for the 100%” Poster from ACLU Liberty Watch 2012:

About TerenceDicks

A three-decade community activist for the Augusta, Georgia area, Rev. Terence A. Dicks is very concerned about civil rights, the needs of inner city and moderate and low-income children, fair civil legal representation for low-income and minorities, and many other issues. Terence has fought for civil representation for the low and moderate income involving cases like domestic violence and landlord disputes. In March 2015, Terence was sworn in for a second term to represent the Richmond County Democratic Party on the Richmond County Board of Elections. Rev. Terence Dicks is "widely-acknowledged for standing up for the rights of the powerless in his community and throughout Georgia," stated a press release on the GeorgiaAdvocates.org website when he was elected chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission in July 2005. In 1986, Mr. Dicks was co-coordinator of the Mr. James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta – the first time the town and its people earnestly expressed love and respect to the late great Godfather of Soul. About 5,000 people attended the event on the banks of the Savannah River including Mr. Robert Johnson (founder of Jet Magazine and much more), Mr. Greg Gumbel (who did story on BET), and Mr. Eldrin Bell (then asst. police chief of Atlanta). Along with Terence, the other co-coordinator was his lifelong friend and classmate Mr. Greg Peterson, an investigative journalist and outdoor environment reporter who started his career in Augusta and now lives in Ishpeming, MI in the Upper Peninsula near Lake Superior. The event broke the ice and led months later to the first concert Mr. Brown had ever performed in Augusta – ironically in the civic center that now bears his name (the renaming took another 20 years). Music Industry legends Casey Kasem and Dick Clark recorded radio PSAs to promote the free event. Mayor Charles DeVaney – a fan of Mr. Brown – prevented the celebration from being cancelled at the last minute by waiving the “mandatory” insurance requirements. Mr. Brown and Mr. DeVaney both died unexpectedly a month apart. We continue to love and honor the late great Mr. James Brown, who nearly single-handedly quelled Augusta's race riots and prevent further rioting in the 60, 70s. The "Hardest-Working Man in Show Business" Mr. James Brown made Terence Dicks the manager of his first-ever concert in Augusta, GA - about 6 months after the 1986 James Brown Appreciation Day. The concert was held on Saturday, December 27, 1986 at the civic center named in the godfather of Soul’s honor some 20 years later. Terence was the concert manager, producer and promoter. Tickets were only $15 ensuring all Augustans could afford to attend and the first 500 children under the age of 12 were admitted free in accordance with Mr. Brown’s wishes. Among those performing were Mr. Wilson Pickett, John Marshall, Buzz Clifford and Sequence 8. “Claiming A Street Named King” is an initiative Mr. Dicks started during tenure as chair of Georgia Clients Council. The project is about “taking back the street in by building businesses and homes on the crime-ridden abandoned boulevards that bear the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” However the project also has a wider scope. Dicks said the project would welcome claiming back streets named after other civil rights leaders and activists from all backgrounds. For example, the project would welcome groups or persons who want to revitalize streets named for late singer James Brown, the late Coretta Scott King, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Grace Lee Boggs, Cesar Chavez and others. “All of these community leaders have messages of hope and accomplishment,” said Dicks, who hopes to hear from the centers, foundations and projects of these community leaders. “People can identify with their day to day struggles,” he said. “Above all they cared about the community they came from,” Dicks said. “They all have made a historic difference.” Reclaiming the streets and heritage of these civic leaders can reinvigorate “economic development and economic empowerment” in each community that honors their work. Rev. Dicks hopes to help others “improve the condition of boulevards named after Martin Luther King, Jr. across Georgia” and the nation. Author Jonathon Tilove “wrote the book that inspired me” entitled "Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America's Main Street.” Mr. Dicks hopes those interested will message him thru WordPress/Twitter/Facebook. The project is supported by East Carolina University Professor Derek H. Alderman. “Dr. Alderman is a geographer who has helped us to work on a plan for the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards,” Dicks said. “There was a lot of hope around those streets and what he did for me is he reminded me of why we name those streets for Martin Luther King, Jr.," he said. "We are heading into the second or third generation who doesn’t know about Dr. King and his achievements." “The generation that starts it doesn’t have to be the generation who built it,” he said. “We have to keep Dr. King’s work alive – keep it relevant and cogent.” Terence is a longtime member (2004-present) of the Augusta Progressive Religious Coalition. The coalition includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Unitarian Universalists, pagans, and local Yoruba, who practice folk religion from West Africa. Among the many positive aspects of the coalition, Dicks developed a relationship with Omar Neal, who has been the Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama since Nov. 3, 2008. Mr. Omar Neal was the keynote speaker of the 2011 Martin Luther King Day celebration organized by the Augusta Progressive Religious Coalition on Mon., Jan, 24, 2011 at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta. After being an independent voter for two decades, Terence joined the Richmond County Democratic Party (RCDP) in 2002. He joined the Democratic Committee of Richmond County that “has jurisdiction over Democratic Party affairs in Richmond County” and a “purpose is to help select and elect Democratic Party Candidates to office” and whose platform includes “those of the Democratic Party of Georgia.” Terence has served as chair of the RCDP Political Action Committee (PAC) and performed duties that included community outreach. Mr. Dicks is member of the Richmond County State Committee (2011-2014) representing the 12th Congressional District. He served for six years (2002-2008) as state chair of the Georgia Clients Council plus served on the council board for eight years (2000-2008). For nearly a decade, Terence has been a board member (2002-present) of Georgia Legal Services Program and served (2005-2010) on the organization’s Georgia Committee on Civil Justice and is on the state bar president advisory committee. The mission of Georgia Legal Services Program is “to provide access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for low-income Georgians.” In 2007, Mr. Dicks founded the non-profit Georgia Center for Children and Education Inc. and serves as the volunteer executive director. The goal of the organization is encouraging parent involvement in education and to support community involvement in public schools. Originally the Center for Children and Education, the project was founded 1997 by Philadelphia, PA attorney Baruch Kintisch, a former staff attorney for Georgia Legal Services After exhaustive planning, Terence helped co-write and secure a $255,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in the spring of 2008 that is being administered by Paine College for the "New Tools, New Visions 2 Augusta" Project and he serves on the project steering committee. Rev. Dicks is a longtime member of the International Leadership Association (2001-present). Mr. Dicks serves as state of Georgia Coordinator (2008-present) for the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). He joined the national PDA in 2007. For over a decade (1998-2009), Terence served on the board of the Augusta Human Relations Commission including two-terms as chair, three terms as vice-chair. Terence served as a board member (1994-1996) and the second vice president of the Augusta Branch of the NAACP including chair of the fair housing committee. Terence graduated from Westside High School in 1980 during which time he was a member of the WJBF TV-6 Junior Achievement Company that involved filming, editing, producing and hosting 30-minute issue-oriented public service programs that aired on weekends with student-sold commercials. Terence did a summer internship in 1980 – just after graduating from high school – at the Medical College of Georgia Television Production and was taught by people who include the late TV Director Mr. Armond “Brother” Jackson , Jr. - a longtime TV production expert in Augusta including at WRDW TV-12 and WJBF TV-6. During high school and for about 7 years afterward, Terence was a radio announcer at several Augusta radio stations including disc jockey (when records were vinyl 45s), sports, features, talk show and more. The stations included WBIA and WCKJ. Terence worked in production at WAGT-TV with Mr. Frank Crotts including being a live switcher (punching proper buttons to keep shows going and inserting commercials). He also worked at several Augusta restaurants as a chef and bartender.
Video | This entry was posted in 2012 Elections, 2012 Presidential Election, 866 Our Vote, 866OurVote.org, ACLU of Pennsylvania, activist, Advancement Project, Andrea Miller, blog talk radio, Brennan Center for Justice, Chesterfield, Chris Fields, Chris Melody Fields, democracy, Democracy Program, Democracy Restoration Act, disenfranchised, disenfranchised for life, disenfranchisement, Edgardo Cortés, Election Protection, Electoral Reform, ex-felon, ex-felons, Fair Elections, fair elections, Fair Elections Now Act, fairness, felon, felon disenfranchisement, felon voting rights, justice, Kemba Smith, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, liberty, Linwood Christian, Myrna Perez, Progressive Democrats of America, protect the vote, Racism, Rev. Terence A. Dicks, Sara Mullen, Terence A. Dicks, Terence Dicks, Virginia Voting Rights Restoration Campaign, Voter ID, Voter ID laws, Voter IDs, Voter Suppression, voting, voting rights and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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