(CNN) – At the commemoration of the historic Selma to Montgomery civil rights march, Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday expressed guilt for not joining the Alabama demonstration nearly half a century ago.
The vice president also used the opportunity to lament the dozens of voting restrictions proposed by states in the last couple of years and argued against a challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that's now being heard in the Supreme Court.
Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday he couldn't believe he was reliving a civil rights battle, pointing to the Supreme Court's division over a provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
"I never thought we'd have to refight so many fights," Biden said at a reception for Black History Month at the Naval Observatory in Washington.
Columbiana, Alabama (CNN) – Shelby County is booming. The Birmingham suburb is lined with strip malls, subdivisions, and small factories, in what was once sleepy farmland. The population has grown fivefold since 1970 to about 200,000. Change in this bedroom community is afoot, at least on the surface.
But the federal government thinks an underlying threat of discrimination remains throughout Alabama and other parts of the country in perhaps the most hard-fought franchise in the Constitution: The right to vote.FULL STORY
(CNN) - In an era when shadowy hackers can snatch secret government files and humble big businesses with seeming ease, it's an unavoidable question as Election Day approaches: When we go to the polls, could our very votes be at risk?
According to voting-security experts, the answer can be boiled down to a bit of campaign-speak: There are reasons for concern and there is work to be done but, by and large, we're better off now than we were four years ago.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The Justice Department Friday announced that it is dispatching more than 780 federal observers and monitors to 23 states to watch for potential problems which would violate voting rights protected by federal law.
The Justice Department said it was sending observers to 51 jurisdictions in those states to help enforce federal voting rights laws which protect ballot access.
(CNN) – Police in Arlington County, Virginia said Thursday they will start a criminal investigation of "election offense allegations" involving the son of Democratic Rep. Jim Moran.
The congressman's son, Patrick, resigned from his position Wednesday as a paid staff member on his father's re-election campaign after secretly-recorded video showed him giving detailed advice on how to commit voter fraud.
Washington (CNN) – Partisan legal showdowns in battleground states over a spate of new voting laws could turn the 2012 elections into a repeat of the 2000 presidential vote recount saga, political experts say.
"Whenever you change the rules by enacting new laws, it triggers a round of litigation. I don't think we'll see an end to this anytime soon," said Dan Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor. "It could come down to the states counting of absentee ballots. ... We could see a replay of the 2000 election, where we don't have a winner for weeks."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Democratic party officials say activists will be knocking on doors Saturday with the hope of registering scores of voters ahead of November's midterm elections.
Officials at Organizing for America, the grassroots structure of the 2008 Obama for President campaign that was folded into the Democratic National Committee, say their "Day of Action" includes volunteers holding door to door canvasses, setting up voter registration tables, and hosting phone banks to encourage people to commit to vote in November.
"In 2008, voter registration and turnout was key to our victory, with more than 15 million new voters entering the political process," said OFA Deputy Director Jeremy Bird, in a statement. "Now, in 2010, voter registration will be key to ensuring that Democratic candidates are successful and that President Obama has as many congressional allies as possible next year."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Armed with anecdotal evidence from thousands of calls placed to voter hotlines last year, a group of voting rights advocates will lobby Congress Thursday for changes to the federal laws relating to the nation's election administration systems.
"So much of the process right now is set up with barriers for the voter that is more focused on going through so many hoops to actually exercise the franchise," John Bonifaz, the Legal Director of Voter Action told CNN.
A national coalition of voting rights groups including Voter Action, the NAACP National Voter Fund and the Advancement Project, will present a report Thursday to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady, chairman of the House Administration Committee, that makes the case for a number of electoral reforms. The hearing is titled: "Engaging the Electorate-Strategies for Expanding Access to Democracy."
The report is based on a review of roughly 17,000 calls placed by voters in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia to two voter hotlines – one marketed by the NAACP National Voter Fund primarily to African-American audiences and another marketed primarily by CNN and its affiliated networks.
"The focus should be – as we try to highlight in this report – how do we enable the voter to exercise the franchise in an unencumbered way?" Bonifaz said.
Advocates will push Congress to make three fundamental changes to how elections are conducted.
(CNN) - Long lines were common in several battleground states on Election Day, but students at Pennsylvania's Lincoln University may have set a new standard for patience.
Hundreds of voters who registered at the last minute turned out to cast ballots at the college outside Philadelphia, forcing precinct officers to verify their eligibility with Chester County's election office, said Agnes O'Toole, assistant director of the county's Department of Voter Services.
The result was a nearly 11-hour wait in a chilly drizzle for voters like Jacintha Johnson, a senior at the historically African-American school. Johnson told CNN that she got in line at 7:30 a.m. and voted at 6 p.m.
"Practically the entire school was out there," she said. "It started to rain. Students were complaining about being hungry. The school provided some snacks, finally, at about 10 o'clock in the morning. Now, the line is pretty much the same."
O'Toole said registration drives delivered forms for about 700 of the nearly 2,800-plus voters registered at that precinct on the October 6 deadline for this year's elections - "So when the poll books were printed, they were not in the poll books."
Calls to O'Toole's office verified most of those in line were registered voters. Others were issued provisional ballots, she said. But the process slowed down the line.