Every week, State of Elections brings you the latest news in state election law.
– Another week, another challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Shelby County in Alabama is seeking an injunction against Attorney General Holder to prevent him from enforcing Section 5 of the VRA. Section 5 requires that certain states and municipalities “preclear” changes to their voting laws with the Attorney General. Last week, Merced County in California initiated a similar challenge to the Act.
– In Kansas, voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to protect the voting rights of the mentally ill. Currently, the state constitution allows legislators to deny voting rights to the mentally ill, though the legislature has not attempted to pass any laws limiting those rights. This amendment would eliminate the possibility of such restrictions entirely. The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot next statewide election, on November 2nd.
– Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post has written this editorial linking Arizona’s “Clean Election” reforms with that state’s new controversial immigration law.
– In New York, Assemblyman Michael Gianaris has introduced a bill that would create a non-partisan redistricting commission in that state.