US: Dems Join Libertarians in Ballot Access Fight

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/06/us/politics/in-face-of-voter-id-laws-democrats-push-to-expand-ballot-access.html?_r=0

 

This continues process of www.ERCPinellas.org that started national joint action…

 

It’s extremely important that as some states in the nation are moving to suppress voter turnout, California is moving forward to expand voter participation,” said Mike Feuer, a Democratic state assemblyman who sponsored the Election Day registration law. “I hope California is the catalyst for other states to encourage civic engagement and participation.”

The changes in California are hardly revolutionary. Election Day registration, which is already in effect in eight states, began in the early 1970s in states like Maine and Wisconsin. Online registration has now expanded to more than a dozen states since it was first established, in Arizona in 2002.

But conservative efforts to require people to show photo ID, a step they say is necessary to prevent voter fraud, seem to have galvanized some Democrats to try to expand ballot access — long an item on the party’s agenda, but one that had not been a top priority in recent years in many states.

In May, Connecticut became the first state in five years to approve Election Day registration. When he signed the bill into law, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement, “Despite the pervasive climate across the U.S. to restrict voting rights, Connecticut has moved in the opposite direction.”

Demos, a nonprofit organization that has worked to expand ballot access since the contested 2000 presidential election, has identified five additional states — Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and West Virginia — where they hope to pass Election Day registration laws next year.

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