Tag Archive: voter suppression

Voter Suppression in New Jersey

Today’s Supreme Court decision is historic. Lest you think voter suppression is a problem for the Deep South, and not a problem in New Jersey, think again.

A lot has been written about today’s Supreme Court decision effectively rescinding Congress’ power under Section 2 of the 15th Amendment. In a conference call this afternoon, Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP summarizes today’s decision as follows (audio):

Governor Christie may not be as blatant about voter suppression as his buddy Ted Cruz, but he’s an acolyte of the GOP line of restricting access to the ballot box. He vetoed an early voting bill, claiming that it would cost too much (even though he concocted another costly voter suppression scheme by holding the Senate vote 20 days prior to the regular election in his attempt to maintain his power in the State House.)

Governor Howard Dean minces no words in describing today’s Supreme Court Decision. And the re-election of Governor Christie will certainly exacerbate the right to vote here in New Jersey as he takes a sharp tack to the extreme right in his quest for the White House.



Senator Menenedez on Election Day

Even though Senator Menendez has a relatively easy route to victory, he’s taking nothing for granted. Today, he’s criss-crossing the state, starting in South Jersey. I caught up with him this morning at a labor rally in Willingboro.



GOP Malarkey

Lest you think Republican voter suppression is limited to swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, it’s going on right here at home, too.

This morning, Willingboro Democratic Committee Chair Lavonne Johnson described how GOP sympathizers are working to suppress the Democratic vote in Willingboro – a town that must realize a heavy voter turnout if Shelley Adler has any chance of upsetting Jon Runyan.



The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans

Cross-posted from deciminyan.org

One of the signature accomplishments of the still-young session of the New Jersey legislative session has been the passage of a bill to ensure equal rights for married couples. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and General Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver assigned the bill number as S-1 and A-1, respectively, to emphasize the significance of this historic measure.

Yet, one of the main objections from the Republicans during the debate was that very fact. They whined that with the higher-than-average unemployment rate under the Christie administration, the legislature should not have been “wasting” its time on marriage equality, but instead should have put “jobs” (their shorthand for tax breaks for millionaires) at the top of the agenda.

Contrast this action in the Garden State’s Democratically-controlled legislature to that of a Republican-controlled legislature across the river in Pennsylvania. What do you think is receiving priority treatment there? It’s a GOP-sponsored voter-suppression bill that has the support of their Tea Party fellow traveler Governor Tom Corbett. Despite the fact that there is absolutely no evidence of wholesale voter fraud, the GOP is working to deny the vote to those classes of people who don’t have proper photo ID (and typically vote Democratic). This legislation is being fast-tracked to be in place in time to influence the 2012 presidential election. So I guess, by GOP logic, voter suppression is more important than creating jobs in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania GOP will pass legislation that will inevitably embroil the state in expensive lawsuits while the New Jersey Democrats will continue to work to ensure equal rights.

I often disagree with politicians from both parties, but this example shows the fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. Ensuring rights vs. suppressing rights.



Update: According to Jane Roh, the Pennsylvania House is also taking up a bill to name an official state firearm. Another important job-creating issue.

GOP Voter Suppression (Again!)

There are few Republicans that I would consider voting for. But if I see a member of the GOP who I think would bring the party back to becoming a viable loyal opposition instead of a bunch of extremist corporatists, I would consider voting for that candidate.

Shelley Lovett was such a candidate in the recent election, a Republican running for Assembly from the Fourth Legislative District in Gloucester County. While she lost to political neophyte Gabriela Mosquera, Lovett was the kind of Republican we need in Trenton. When I met with Lovett back in October, she said “public education is the most important thing we can give our children” – heresy in the Christie religion.  Lovett was open to the idea of giving voters a say in the establishment of charter schools and had concerns about the use of standardized tests in teacher evaluation as proposed by Governor Christie’s “reforms.” Lovett’s Assembly running mate, Pat Fratticcoli, is also a member of that dying breed of moderate Republicans, and had either one been elected, I would not have been disappointed.

Casting A Ballot Proves Daunting For Former Felons

Cross-posted at Project Vote’s blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns



“…Too many people do not understand or exercise their voting rights, and as a result, entire segments of our population – and especially formerly incarcerated individuals – are being underrepresented at the polls on Election Day.” – New Jersey Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark)