Obstacles To Voting In 11 Swing States

NMCC News:
A new Common Cause report may prove handy on Election Day for voters unaware of new laws in states where their votes are even more important than elsewhere. 
The new report, Protecting the Vote in 2016: A Look at 11 Swing States examines state laws — from registration and voter ID laws to polling place challenges and post-election audits. It can serve as a guidebook for voters seeking to navigate the laws in order to exercise their right to vote.
The report doesn’t include New Mexico since it is not a swing state but, for once, New Mexico would not come out at the bottom of the list when it comes to making it easy to vote. 
“We’re doing pretty well,” says Viki Harrison, director of Common Cause New Mexico. Harrison says New Mexico has full online voter registration;  joined the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to provide for more accurate voter rolls; recently cleaned up the Election Code with amendments NM county clerks have been advocating for over the last few years; and does not require a photo ID to vote. However, she says “We do lag in one important area – in New Mexico, the cut off for registering to vote is 28 days before the election – something that must be changed.” 
The national report focuses on the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. It provides a comprehensive overview of voting practices – from how voters register to what they can expect at the polling place, to what states do to ensure ballots are accurately counted. The report examines and summarizes each state’s laws impacting voters and rates them as “excellent,” “good,” “satisfactory,” “needs improvement” and “unsatisfactory.”
Protecting the Vote 2016, lays bare the lengths some state legislatures have gone to erect barriers making it harder for some Americans to vote,” Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn said. “It is critically important that voters exercise their constitutional right, so take a few minutes to learn more, because the best way to fight back against politicians gaming the system to silence your voice is to make a plan to vote.”
The report reviews:
  • Voter ID: State requirements for voter identification at the precinct, noting whether the laws are fair or vote-suppressive.
  • Voter Registration: Options each state provides for voter registration, understanding that more opportunities increase the chances that those who have been politically marginalized can participate;
  • Voting Place Challenges: State laws governing challenges to voters at the polling place on Election Day, given that such efforts are often unsubstantiated, sometimes intimidating, and can lead to illegal behavior;
  • Provisional Ballots: State procedures for counting provisional ballots, because some practices leave some voters voiceless;
  • Paper Trails: Whether a state provides a paper record for each vote, verifiable by the voter, as glitches can occur with voting machines;
  • Post-Election Audits: State policies and practices for robust post-election audits to detect and if necessary correct outcome-changing miscounts;
  • Internet Ballot Transmission: State laws on the transmission of marked ballots over the internet, where because of the limits of current technology they can be intercepted and undetectably altered.

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