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Elections de mi-mandat : le droit de vote mis en question


Le sujet est remis sur la table à chaque élection, mais la situation ne semble pas s’améliorer. Les prochaines élections de mi-mandat ne font pas exception. Depuis 2010, près de la moitié des États des États-Unis (22 états) ont voté des mesures qui limitent plus ou moins le droit de vote. Dans la majorité des cas (19 sur 22), ces mesures ont été votées par des États contrôlés par des républicains le plus souvent liés à ces questions de documents d’identité (il n’existe pas de carte d’identité aux États-Unis ou à des citoyens ayant été condamnés pour certains délits. Certains cas comme la Géorgie ou la Floride ont été largement médiatisés.

La Floride est sans doute le plus emblématique dans la mesure où près de 1,5 million de résidents – plus de 9 % du corps électoral – ne peuvent pas voter au motif qu’ils ont commis un crime ou un délit, même s’ils ont purgé leur peine. Cette proportion s’élève à 17 % des votants africains-américains.

On se souvient de l’épisode qui a ridiculisé les États-Unis à l’occasion des élections de 2000 où le vote de la Floride avait retardé le résultat national pour se décider par une décision de la Cour Suprême en faveur de George W Bush au détriment de John Kerry. Cette situation pourrait être rectifiée grâce à l’Amendement 4. Si une majorité le vote, cet amendement restaurerait par défaut le droit de vote pour ce groupe de personnes, à l’exception de certains crimes. Aux États-Unis, on estime à 6 millions le nombre de citoyens qui ne peuvent pas voter parce qu’ils sont en prison ou en liberté conditionnelle.

L’Amendement qui, semble-t-il a de fortes chances de passer (des sondages réalisés par l’University of North Florida donnait 71 % de oui dépassant le seuil des 60 % pour que l’Amendement soit adopté), constituerait l’extension des droits civiques la plus importante depuis la loi Voting Rights Act of 1965. Elle sera de nature à modifier substantiellement les scrutins à venir en Floride. Aux élections de 2016, Donald Trump n’avait qu’un peu plus de 100 000 voix d’avance sur Hillary Clinton. Avec l’Amendement 4, il est très probable qu’Hillary Clinton l’aurait emporté.

Ci-dessous la liste des États recensés par le Brennan Center for Justice de l’école de droit à l’université de New York (NYU) dans lesquels des dispositions ont été adoptées et dont l’application vise assez clairement certains groupes de la population.

1. Arizona

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Limitations on mail-in ballot collection.

Background: In 2016, a Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill limiting collection of mail-in ballots and making it a felony to knowingly collect and turn in another voter’s completed ballot, even with that voter’s permission (the law has exceptions for direct family members, caregivers, and postal-service employees). Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed the bill, which went into effect in the summer of 2016.

Other restrictions in play: In 2004, voters approved a referendum requiring documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote. In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated this measure as it applied to the federal voter registration form. And in 2018, as part of the settlement of a lawsuit, the state agreed to register applicants to vote in federal elections, without documentary proof of citizenship, regardless of whether the state or federal form was used.

2. North Dakota

New law (partially) in place in 2018: The state’s governor signed a bill on April 25, 2017 that would restore a strict voter ID requirement in the state. That law was challenged in federal court, and it will be altered in part for the 2018 election. Specifically, the federal district court required the state to accept certain tribal identification not included in the law as voting ID.

Click here to see the types of ID required under North Dakota’s law.

Background: Passed in 2017 by a Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by a GOP governor.

In 2016, a federal court partially blocked a previous ID law that accepted a narrow range of identification documents and did not provide any meaningful voting opportunities for voters without the accepted ID. The new law slightly expands options to use for ID, but eliminates the process the court imposed, which allowed voters without IDs to cast a ballot that counts on Election Day, and instead included a more burdensome process.

3. South Dakota

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Made it harder to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions.

Background: Passed in 2012 by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed by a GOP governor.

4. Nebraska

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Reduced early voting period.

Background: In 2013, state lawmakers reduced the early voting period from a minimum of 35 days to no more than 30 days. Nebraska’s unicameral legislature is technically nonpartisan, but generally is controlled by Republicans. The measure was signed by a GOP governor.

5. Kansas

Update since 2016: In 2018, a federal district court struck down the state’s documentary proof of citizenship law. That decision is on appeal.

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Documentary proof of citizenship required to register using the state registration form. But, by court order, certain individuals who registered without showing documentary proof must be permitted to vote.

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Photo ID required to vote.

Click here to see the types of ID required under Kansas’s law.

Background: The documentary proof of citizenship requirement has been the subject of multiple lawsuits. A 2014 federal court ruling had found the requirement unenforceable on the federal mail-in voter registration form. But in January 2016, the Election Assistance Commission’s Executive Director announced that documentary proof of citizenship would be added to the national voter registration form instructions for Kansas, as well as Alabama and Georgia. A federal appeals court blocked the registration requirement for the national from on September 9, 2016. That action is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit.

A Republican-controlled legislature passed both the photo ID and documentary proof of citizenship requirements in 2011, and they were signed by a GOP governor.

6. Texas

New restriction in place since 2016 election:  Photo ID required if a voter has one, but an alternative will be available for those who present a non-photo ID from a preset list and execute an affidavit claiming to have certain, enumerated reasonable impediments to obtaining photo ID. Reasonable impediment alternative is more restrictive than the alternative in place in 2016.

Click here to see the types of ID required under Texas’s law.

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID required if a voter has one, but an alternative will be available for those who have a reasonable impediment to obtaining ID.

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Curbed voter registration drives.

Background: In 2012, a federal court blocked the 2011 photo ID law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The state then implemented the requirement after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted Section 5 in 2013, and a photo ID was required to vote for the first time in a federal election in 2014.

In July 2016, the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the strict photo ID law discriminates against minority voters, and therefore cannot be enforced against those who lack ID. In August 2016, a federal court approved an agreement that will allow voters with an obstacle to obtaining photo ID to cast a regular ballot in November 2016 after showing one of a much larger number of IDs and signing a declaration. In June 2017, in response to the litigation, Texas enacted a new voter ID law that is currently in place.

A Republican-controlled legislature passed the restriction on voter registration drives and the strict photo ID law in 2011, and both were signed by a GOP governor.

7. Iowa

New law (partially) in place in 2018: Iowa’s governor signed a broad-based law that will require voter ID (starting after the 2018 election), restrict voter registration efforts, and impose new burdens on Election Day registration and early and absentee voting. Although not as restrictive as a North Carolina law that passed in 2013 (and was blocked by a federal court), Iowa’s law similarly restricts voting in a number of different ways.

In August 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court blocked parts of the law that made it more difficult to apply for an absentee ballot and also enjoined the state from advertising that voters will be asked for ID, without making clear that such ID is not required in 2018.

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Made it harder to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions.

Original effective date: 2011

Background: In 2011, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) reversed a prior executive action that had made it easier to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions. In effect, the state now permanently disenfranchises most citizens with past felony convictions.

8. Missouri

New law (partially) in place in 2018: Missouri passed a new law that requires photo ID in order to vote, but permits voters to vote a regular ballot by presenting non-photo ID and signing an affidavit indicating that they do not possess photo ID. The voter ID requirement was challenged in federal court and was altered in part in October 2018: the court prohibited the state from requiring otherwise-qualified voters that lacked photo ID to execute the affidavit required by statute in order to vote.

Background: Passed by ballot initiative in 2016

9. Arkansas

New law in place in 2018: Requires that voters show one of a limited set of IDs.

Click here to see the types of ID required under Arkansas’s law.

Background: Passed in 2017 by a GOP-controlled state legislature.

* The Arkansas legislature also passed another law this year that would amend the state’s constitution to require voter ID. But it must be approved by voters in the form of a ballot initiative before taking effect.

10. Illinois

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Curbed voter registration drives.

Original effective date: 2011

Background: Passed in 2011 by a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by a Democratic governor, the measure changed the allotted time for returning voter registration forms. The previous law allowed seven days to return the forms. The amended law requires completed registration materials to be returned by first-class mail within two business days, or by personal delivery within seven days. This rule is not nearly as harmful as others, like one in Texas, because the reduction does not apply to groups only using the national mail-in voter registration form.

11. Indiana

New restriction enacted in 2017: In 2017, the state enacted a law to implement a flawed voter purge process. The law provides for use of the error-prone Crosscheck Program to remove voters without the notice and waiting period required by the National Voter Registration Act.  Civil rights groups sued the Secretary of State over the law in August 2017, and a court entered a preliminary injunction against the state in June 2018, meaning the law is currently not in effect.

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Allows additional party-nominated election officers to demand voters provide proof of identification.*

Background: Passed in 2013 by a Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by a GOP governor.

* This law subjects voters to an additional and duplicative voter identification requirement that did not exist before the law was enacted. If, however, precinct election officials always enforce the voter ID requirement in a uniform manner, this law may not have a restrictive effect.

12. Tennessee

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID required to vote.

Click here to see the types of ID required under Tennessee’s law.

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012 : Reduced early voting period and proof of citizenship required to register.

Background: In 2011, a Republican-controlled legislature passed the three voting restrictions, which were signed by a GOP governor. Tennessee’s proof of citizenship requirement applies only to individuals flagged by state officials as potential non-citizens based on a database check. In 2013, lawmakers made the photo ID law, which was in place for the 2012 election, even more restrictive by limiting acceptable IDs to those issued by the state or federal government.

13. Mississippi

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID required to vote.

Click here to see the types of ID required under Mississippi’s law.

Background: Passed in 2011 by a voter referendum, the ID law initially required preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. But the measure was allowed to go into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted that provision in 2013.

14.  Alabama

New restriction(s) in place in the first time in 2016: Photo ID required to vote.

Click here to see the types of ID required under Alabama’s law.

Background: Passed in 2011 by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed by a GOP governor, the photo ID law initially required pre-clearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. But the measure was allowed to go into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted that provision in 2013.

Alabama also passed a law in 2011 requiring voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship when registering to vote. That requirement had been on hold, but in January 2016, the Election Assistance Commission’s Executive Director announced that documentary proof of citizenship would be added to the national voter registration form instructions for Alabama. A federal appeals court blocked the registration requirement on September 9, 2016. It is subject to ongoing litigation.

15. Ohio

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Cut early voting and changed absentee and provisional ballot rules.

Background: In 2014, lawmakers cut six days of early voting — eliminating “Golden Week,” during which voters could register and cast a ballot all in one trip — and changed absentee and provisional ballot rules. Both restrictions are subject to ongoing litigation.

In 2014, Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) also issued a directive reducing early voting on weekday evenings and weekends. In 2015, state officials and voting rights advocates settled a separate ongoing lawsuit over the early voting hours, which restored one day of Sunday voting and added early voting hours on weekday evenings. The settlement is in place through 2018.

A Republican-controlled state legislature passed the series of voting restrictions, which were signed by a GOP governor.

16. West Virginia

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Reduced early voting period from 17 to 10 days.

Original effective date: 2011

Background: Passed in 2011 by a Democratic-controlled state legislature and signed by a Democratic governor.

17. Virginia

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID required to vote and limits on third-party voter registration.

Click here to see the types of ID required under Virginia’s law.

Background: The restriction on third-party voter registration requires groups receiving 25 or more registration forms to register with the state and reduces the amount of time from 15 to 10 days to deliver the applications. The state Senate was evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans when the photo ID law was enacted, but the GOP lieutenant governor cast the tie-breaking vote on the photo ID law. The state House was controlled by Republicans. Both measures were signed by a GOP governor in 2013.

In 2015, a Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill to amend the photo ID law to add student IDs issued by private schools to the list of acceptable IDs (the law currently allows public school IDs). The bill was signed by a Democratic governor and takes effect in 2016.

18. North Carolina

New law (partially) in place in 2018: In 2018, the state enacted a law that requires uniform hours at early voting sites. The law has had the effect of reducing the number of early voting locations available to voters. The law also cuts the last Saturday of early voting before the election, but that change will not take place until after the 2018 election.

The law was passed by a GOP-controlled legislature, which overrode a gubernatorial veto.

19. South Carolina

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID required if a voter has one, but an alternative is available for those who have a reasonable impediment to obtaining ID.

Click here to see the types of ID required under South Carolina’s law.

Background: The law was passed in 2011 by a Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by a GOP governor, but it was put on hold by a federal court until after the 2012 election. During the course of that litigation, the state interpreted the law in a way that makes it less restrictive than other ID requirements. A voter with a reasonable impediment or obstacle to obtaining one of the accepted photo IDs can sign an affidavit at the polls and then vote a provisional ballot.

20. Florida

Restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2012: Cut early voting, curbed voter registration drives, and made it harder to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions.

Original effective date: 2011

Background: In 2011, Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a series of laws, signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R), making it harder to vote. First, lawmakers reduced the early voting period, which contributed to long lines in the 2012 election. The legislature responded in 2013 by restoring some of the early voting days, but there are still fewer early balloting opportunities today than before the 2011 cutbacks. Second, Florida passed new restrictions on voter registration drives. With the help of the Brennan Center, the most onerous aspects of this law were enjoined by a federal court in August 2012. Finally, Gov. Scott reversed a prior executive action that had made it easier to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions. In effect, the state now permanently disenfranchises most citizens with past felony convictions.

21.  New Hampshire

New law in place in 2018: In 2017, the state enacted a law that would make it more difficult for students and others to register to vote. In 2018, the state enacted another law that would make it more difficult for students and others to vote, but it takes effect in 2019.

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID requested to vote. The law requires voters without acceptable ID to get photographed at the polls, and the photograph will be affixed to an affidavit.

Click here to see the types of ID requested under New Hampshire’s law.

Background: Passed in 2012, a Republican-controlled legislature overrode a veto from Gov. John Lynch (D) to enact the voter ID law. The state previously required no form of ID to vote. Prior to September 2015, the law included an affidavit alternative.

22.  Rhode Island

New restriction(s) in place for the first time in 2016: Photo ID requested to vote. There is an affidavit alternative for voters without a photo ID.

Click here to see the types of ID requested under Rhode Island’s law.

Background: Passed through a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by an independent governor in 2011, the measure is significantly less restrictive than other ID laws because it accepts a broad range of IDs with a voter’s name and photograph. A previous version of the law allowed non-photo IDs.

18 octobre 2018 - Posted by | Général

Un commentaire »

  1. Sadly, in my opinion, many of these are attempts to follow the Constitution. Citizens in good standing have the right to vote. The desire among Democrats, Socialists and Progressives is that anyone who is in the country should have a vote.
    Is it wrong to require a government issued ID to vote? If so, why is it an absolute requirement to open a bank account, donate blood, fly on an airplane, get a marriage license and so many more places it is required? Why should it be so easy to game the system without any recourse?

    Commentaire par fs247stewart | 18 octobre 2018 | Réponse


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