Voting Rights

David Dermer / Associated Press

Tuesday, Sept. 25 is National Voter Registration Day. Some groups are working hard to encourage voters to register and cast ballots in the midterm election this November.

In a sign that America's two centuries-old democracy is under strain, nearly 2 in 5 American voters do not believe elections are fair, according to a new NPR/Marist poll. Nearly half of respondents lack faith that votes will be counted accurately in the upcoming midterm elections.

Nearly three dozen states require voters to show identification at the polls. And almost half of those states want photo IDs. But there are millions of eligible voters who don't have them. A 2012 survey estimated that 7 percent of American adults lack a government-issued photo ID.

Judges in North Carolina on Tuesday said that despite declaring the state's electoral map to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered for partisan reasons, there wasn't enough time for the map to be redrawn before midterm elections in November.

"We further find that imposing a new schedule for North Carolina's congressional elections would, at this late juncture, unduly interfere with the State's electoral machinery and likely confuse voters and depress turnout," Judges James Wynn Jr., William Osteen Jr. and W. Earl Britt wrote in their order Tuesday.

At a panel on voting issues in Beachwood Wednesday night, the two major party candidates for secretary of state discussed several election issues that are rarely debated. 

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent, and State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Hudson, agreed without hesitation that there needs to be a higher threshold for getting constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is taking extra steps to clarify the state's process for clearing voter rolls, outlining some new initiatives aimed at helping voters stay up-to-date.

Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Ohio’s top Democratic elected official is fighting the state’s process when it comes to scratching voters off the rolls. The new bill is in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling approving Ohio’s voter roll cleanup process.

Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday struck down a Minnesota law that bars voters from wearing political apparel inside polling places.

Though two justices dissented on procedural grounds, all the justices agreed that the Minnesota law, combined with the way it was enforced, was simply too broad.

"An island of calm"

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has cleared the way for states to take a tougher approach to maintaining their voter rolls, but will they?

In Hamilton County – and in large urban counties all over Ohio – Republicans and Democrats have been arguing about the practice of purging voter rolls ever since Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted became Ohio's chief election officer in 2011.

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