The people-powered push for ballot access
Access to the polling place will continue to be an issue leading up to the 2012 election. More and more states are pushing to make voting more difficult, but at the same time, some everyday people are taking matters into their own hands to either stop a restrictive law, or expand access to the polls.
Minnesota legislators in 2011 proved unsuccessful in getting a voter ID requirement passed, thanks to the governor’s veto. This year, legislators will be looking to get a voter ID constitutional amendment on the ballot in November, and such a maneuver would not require the governor’s approval. Pushback against the potential amendment at the first public hearing on the matter was so strong that the vote was delayed. Though the amendment will still likely make it to the ballot for voter approval, this remains an encouraging sign that opposition is strong.
Voter ID is not the only issue potentially keeping voters away from the ballot box. A disparity in early voting might also be discouraging many American Indians in South Dakota from voting early. Shannon County, South Dakota is roughly contiguous with the Oglala Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, but is allowing only six days of early voting; the rest of the state has 46 days. As a result, several members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe have filed a lawsuit to get more early voting days in the county.
What other people powered voting access stories have you seen this week? Leave us a comment and we’ll share the others next week.