Author: rlou

The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee recently concluded a series of meetings on election oversight. Election workers are hoping for reforms that will afford them more time to prepare before election day. These include pushing back the deadline to register to vote and allowing for mail-in ballots to be processed early.  However, Committee Chair Seth Grove is also considering proposals to subject more voters to photo ID requirements and to implement a system to compare signatures on mail-in ballots with those on registration records. 

Louisiana state senators have advanced a bill that would change the process by which voting machines are evaluated and acquired. The bill is designed to make the process more transparent, increase legislative oversight, and expand the number of voting systems that may be considered. Some critics of Louisiana’s current system argue that the bill does not go far enough. Citing unsubstantiated theories that voting machines in the 2020 election were used to carry out fraud, some are calling to replace the machines with paper

The Mississippi House passed 21 voting rights restorations bills, 19 of which were rejected by the Mississippi Senate. Mississippi’s legislature has a practice of considering whether to restore voting rights to citizens with felony convictions on a case-by-case basis.  According to an analysis conducted in 2018, 61% of the Missippians who have been legally disenfranchised are African American, although African Americans make up only 36% of state citizens who are of voting age. Visit Pine Belt News to learn more.Image Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki (CC BY

The House of Representatives passed a bill along party lines to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state of the United States. The Senate’s filibuster currently makes the bill’s passage of both chambers impossible without Republican support and five members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have not yet signalled that they will vote for the bill.  Opponents of the bill argue that making the nation’s capital a state should require a constitutional amendment.  Under the bill, the federal capital would still exist, but the state

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are encouraging the Democrats to redirect their energies from the "For the People" Act, a sweeping election reform bill, to the more narrowly focused John Lewis Voting Rights Act.  It is believed that the latter bill may have a better chance of winning support in the Senate.  Additionally, some argue that the more targeted bill is of greater urgency, as congressional districts are due to be redrawn this summer. The smaller bill would restore to the redistricting process