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The Process is Political: Voting on Changing Voting Laws

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Voting Rules on the November Ballot: While new voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas continuing to generate headlines and questions from the Justice Department, voters in other states will weigh in directly on changing rules at their polls. On November 8, voters in Mississippi will be voting on whether to amend the state constitution to require photo id at the polls. And after a petition drive by opponents to a new Maine law that would eliminates same-day registration and voting, voters will consider repealing that law. That vote is seen by some in Maine as a proxy referendum on Gov. Paul LePage, the Republican elected with Tea Party support in 2010. Meanwhile, in Washington, voters will consider dropping a requirement in the state constitution that voters live in the state for at least 60 days before voting in presidential elections. The change would make the residential requirement just 30 days, which is in line with the rules for voting in other races in Washington. (Washington Times)

Dem Donors Snub Super PACs: Super PACs are the new campaign money vehicles that can raise unlimited money -- as long as they don't coordinate directly with candidate committees. Romney and Perry have one. So does Obama. But Politico reports Democrats are running into an unexpected hurdle as they try to go toe-to-toe with the GOP in Super PAC spendings: big Democratic donors aren't giving. Fundraisers have been met with questions, and sometimes hostility, reports Politico, and "few wrote checks or pledged specific contributions" after a recent fundraising pitch for big donors in Boston. Some attribute it to the catch-up that Democrats are having play to compete with outside groups backing Republicans. “This is new for Democrats,” says Bill Burton, the former White House aide who is running the Super PAC supporting Obama, Priorities USA. But other unnamed Democrats told Politico the hesitance also comes from general unhappiness "with either the fundraising pitch, the positioning of the Democratic Party or some combination thereof." (Politico)

Edwards Fights Campaign Finance Charges: Lawyers for former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards will be in federal court today to argue that the criminal charges he's facing would create chaos for campaigns because it would obscure what counts as a campaign contribution and what doesn't. That's an argument backed by watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed a brief in the case earlier this month over the objections of prosecutors. Meanwhile, Edwards allies are alleging that the case all comes down to politics. The Republican U.S. Attorney who indicted Edwards has since resigned his post to run for Congress in North Carolina. “It’s just the sheer timing of the event,” Gary Pearce, a former Edwards campaign consultant, told Politico. The charges of campaign finance allegations against Edwards stem from transfers of campaign resource transfers to support Rielle Hunter, Edwards' mistress, and their daughter. (New York Times)

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