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Christian Smith-Socaris on January 15, 2009 - 3:57pm
Early Voting Shows Big Gain Nationally, Hits Majority in Ten States
The final numbers for early voting have been posted by the United States Elections Project at George Mason University and they are big: 30% of votes nationwide were cast early and a majority of voters cast their votes either by mail or in person before Election Day in ten states. The total increase is 50% over the number cast in the 2004 presidential election. And even more striking, Coloradans cast 79% of their votes early, the vast majority through mail-in ballots. These numbers make clear that the electoral landscape is changing in many states, and the endorsement by so many voters will likely fuel further adoption of early voting this session and beyond.
US Supreme Court Case on Judicial Campaign Contributions Draws Over Two Dozen State Supreme Court Justices as Amici
Caperton v. Massey is a case challenging the actions of a West Virginia state supreme court chief justice who cast the deciding vote to overturn a $50 million judgment now before the US Supreme Court. That decision happened to benefit a company whose owner previously gave the chief justice a $3 million campaign contribution. The case has prompted 27 state supreme court chief justices and justices, from states with judicial elections, to submit a brief that expresses alarm at the spiralling cost of judicial elections, as well as their unanimous position that recusal would have been the appropriate action when a justice has received so large a donation. Additional briefs supporting the petitioners come from the American Bar Association, Wal-Mart and Pepsico, the Brennan Center for Justice and the Justice at Stake Campaign.
Project Vote and ACORN Press Indiana on NVRA Compliance
Project Vote and ACORN have sent a pre-litigation notice to Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita requesting that he bring the state into compliance with the federal National Voter Registration Act provisions that require the state to provide voter registration services at public assistance agencies. The notice is in response to evidence that hundreds of thousands of state residents have been denied the opportunity to register. That this action was required when most other states have worked with advocates to bring themselves into full compliance is not surprising as Sec. of State Rokita is no friend of voters and has been a prominent proponent of strict voter ID requirements and other regressive elections policies.