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Election Reform

MI: Lawsuit Over Voter-Purge Ends; State to Stop Voter Purge Programs

Supreme Court 2009-2010: Pro-Corporate, But Continued Trend Towards Deferral to State Authority

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ended its term with a bang with a ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago that state gun control regulations can be struck down by federal courts based on the Second Amendment. While the number and scale of blockbuster decisions was not so high this session, the singular impact of the Citizens United case earlier in the term unleashing unregulated corporate money on elections, combined with the dangerous implications of the Rent-A-Center, West v. Jackson arbitration decision, emphasizes the pro-corporate bias the Supreme Court has increasingly exercised in recent years.

National Popular Vote Approved in Chambers in New York and Massachusetts

On June 7, the New York Senate passed S2286A, the National Popular Vote (NPV) bill, with over two-thirds of both political parties supporting the bill in a 52-7 roll call.  Although it has received bipartisan support ever since it was first introduced in 2006, the overwhelmingly bipartisan support it received during Monday's vote was unprecedented.  Twenty-two of the Chamber's 30 Republicans voted for the bill, not far off from the 79% overall support in New York for a national popular vote for President.  

States and the Census: Expanding Outreach, Maximizing Federal Funding and Assuring Equal Representation

This Dispatch will outline strategies that include crafting outreach and education initiatives that integrate city and state government agencies with grassroots organizations and local media to ensure 'Hard-to-Count' residents are included in the Census; enacting state legislation that mandates prisoners are counted in their home districts rather than in that of their prisons, and proactively considering principles for redistricting legislative districts that move beyond uniquely partisan concerns to addressing the needs of district residents.  This Dispatch will also aim to provide some of these best practices and highlight resources, all with a view toward preparing states to engage effectively with the 2010 and — looking forward — 2020 Census.

State Policymakers Need to Respond to Growing Clout of Latino Voters Nationwide

A recent report from the advocacy group America’s Voice highlighted the growing power of Latino voters in the upcoming 2010 elections.  Latino voters played a critical role in 2008 to propel President Obama to victory in several key swing states that previously trended Republican, including Virginia.  Latino voter registration and turnout rates have exploded over the past few years: roughly 10 million voted in the 2008 Presidential election alone, a 2.5 million increase from 2004 and 4 million person increase since 2000.  Latino voter registration grew by over 54% between 2000 and 2008, and turnout grew 64% over the same time period.