Voting rights and voter suppression, especially voter ID, continue to make headlines in many states. Below is a sample of the latest. For more information, click here  and also check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box , a Right Wing Watch: In Focus  report by PFAW Foundation.
Evidence continues  to mount  against what should properly be called the Voter Suppression Act  for its disenfranchising impacts, including its reduction of early voting hours and its harsh new restrictions on community groups seeking to help register voters. HB 1355  was originally sponsored by Representative Dennis Baxley, who has ties to  ALEC .
The voter ID constitutional amendment (HF 2738 ) sponsored by ALEC  State Chairwoman Mary Kiffmeyer  has been approved by the state legislature and will now go to the voters in November. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says  that it will “turn our state's entire election system upside down.” Mike Dean , Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota, “expects groups opposed to photo ID to challenge the amendment in court on the discrepancy between the ballot question and the actual changes to the Constitution.”
Cole County Circuit Court Judge Pat Joyce struck down  the proposed voter ID constitutional amendment (SJR 2 ) on the grounds that the ballot summary is “insufficient and unfair.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialized , “In a perverted, poetic justice kind of way, it's pitch perfect that in their alleged attempt to stop voter fraud, Missouri Republicans committed, well, fraud.” Prospects for an appeal are unclear, but the legislature is already working on contingency plans. They might try to bring the same bill back up with a new amendment  (HCR 53 ), or they might get around the court by passing HJR 89 . Representative Shane Schoeller, an ALEC  member , is behind both, as well as efforts (HB 2109 ) to pass proof of citizenship for voter registration.
Voter ID looked set to pass before voting rights advocates put the brakes on  LB 239 , sponsored by Senator Charlie Janssen, ALEC  member . But that doesn’t mean their work is over. Nebraskans for Civil Reform and Nebraska Appleseed have called for an investigation into polling place closures in Douglas County. Omaha World-Herald:  “But is that cost savings worth making it harder for some people to exercise their right to vote? Is it worth eroding the American voting franchise, discouraging voters from going to the polls, not only because of the extra distance but also because of longer lines?” A lawsuit may be  looming .
SB 289 , which would require voters to present valid photo identification, and SB 318 , which would alter residency requirements and make other voter registration changes that could have a profound impact, especially among the student population, have both passed the Senate and are due soon in the House, as early as April 10. SB 318’s lead sponsor, Senator Sharon Carson, is an ALEC  member  who also supports SB 289. Tabled in committee was a bill (HB 1301 ) concerning oaths for vote challengers and the voters they challenge.
The voter ID battle began last session when the state legislature passed HB 351 , legislation requiring photo ID, whose 3 primary sponsors all have ties to  ALEC . But the House failed to override  Governor Perdue’s veto. Now voting rights advocates  are concerned that HB 351 will be pulled out of the “veto garage.” 
In July 2011, Governor John Kasich signed a sweeping “election reform proposal” (HB 194 ) into law. Voting rights supporters were able to move forward with a referendum for repeal, which is set for the November ballot. Now the forces behind HB 194, sponsored by former Representative and ALEC  member  Robert Mecklenborg, want to head off what they worry will be an embarrassing defeat at the ballot box. Senator William Coley, also an ALEC  member , has sponsored his own version of repeal through SB 295 . It has passed the Senate and is expected in a House hearing on April 17. We’ll have to see what they try to replace it with, likely much of the same language.
Last month , Representative Daryl Metcalfe’s (an ALEC  member ) HB 934  passed the Pennsylvania Senate. It got through concurrence by a House vote of 104-88 . Governor Corbett signed it  as soon as it got to his desk. Though photo ID is now law in Pennsylvania, the legal debate  continues, and voting rights supporters continue efforts to demonstrate the impacts, including what it means  for students  and what  it  really  costs  to have “free” ID.
With the state still embroiled in its battle  over voter ID, the ACLU  and League of Women Voters  have moved to intervene, as has the Department of Justice , which rejected the law last year. HB 3003  was originally sponsored by Representative Alan Clemmons, an ALEC  member .
Evidence continues to mount  against voter ID  and now the issue is before the state Supreme Court . Act 23  (aka AB 7 ) was originally sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Stone  and several others with ties to  ALEC .