Ari Berman Profile picture
Author: Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America Writer: @motherjones Speaking:
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17 Sep
Wow, federal judge rules Trump & Louis DeJoy were "involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” & will issue injunction reversing changes leading to mail delays under DeJoy…
"At the heart of DeJoy’s & the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement," federal judge writes in ruling reversing USPS changes. "An intentional effort to disrupt & challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections"…
Huge federal court ruling yesterday confirms what we knew all along: Trump & DeJoy attempted to sabotage USPS to undermine free & fair elections. Now USPS must reverse mail delays before election…
Read 4 tweets
21 Aug
USPS ordered to remove 671 mail sorting machines under DeJoy:

59 in Florida
58 in Texas
34 in Ohio
30 in Pennsylvania
26 in Michigan
15 in North Carolina
12 in Virginia
12 in Wisconsin
11 in Georgia

He just said removed machines won’t be reinstalled. This is major crisis
Sen Gary Peters (D-MI): “Will you be bringing back any mail sorting machines that have been removed?"

DeJoy: “There’s no intention to do that. They’re not needed”
Thank you to @_cingraham & @jacobbogage for providing very helpful data on mail sorting machine removals

In 2018 USPS decommissioned 3 percent of Delivery Bar Code Sorters. In 2019 it was 5 percent. This year it's 13 percent…
Read 10 tweets
18 Aug
DeJoy ordered USPS to remove 671 mail sorting machines by end of September, including 24 in Ohio, 11 in Detroit, 11 in Florida, 9 in Wisconsin, 8 in Philadelphia and 5 in Arizona. Will removed mail equipment be restored? DeJoy doesn't say in letter & we need answers
Also USPS workers have been told to leave mail behind rather than take extra time to deliver. That could lead to major mail ballot delays.

And what about making states pay first-class rates for ballots?

DeJoy's letter raises more questions than answers
Questions members of Congress should ask DeJoy:

-will 671 mail sorting machines removed or slated to be removed be restored?

-will USPS charge states first-class rates for ballots?

-will USPS be allowed to deliver all mail they receive in day?

-will overtime be approved?
Read 4 tweets
30 Jul
FACTS about voting:

1. Trump doesn't have the power to delay the election

2. Only .00006% cases of mail ballot fraud out of total ballots cast over past 20 years

3. 16 top Trump officials voted by mail

4. Trump waging unprecedented campaign to undermine free & fair elections
I did a series of videos with @crookedmedia this week debunking Trump’s lies about mail voting that I highly recommend you watch & share

16 top Trump officials voted by mail

If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you

Vote by mail doesn’t lead to large-scale voter fraud

People like voting by mail

It increases voter turnout

Pass it on & tell a friend

Read 4 tweets
25 Jun
7 years ago today Supreme Court conservative majority led by John Roberts gutted Voting Rights Act, unleashing wave of new voter suppression in states like GA, TX & NC

Bill passed by House to restore VRA has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk for over 200 days
States that previously had to approve voting changes under Voting Rights Act have closed 1,688 polling places since SCOTUS gutted law:

-750 in Texas

-320 in Arizona

-214 in Georgia

-126 in Louisiana

-96 in Mississippi

-72 in Alabama…
From 2016 to 2018, 17 million Americans - 8 % of electorate - were removed from voter rolls found @BrennanCenter

Areas with long history of discrimination previously subject to Voting Rights Act purged voters at rate 40% higher than rest of country…
Read 6 tweets
23 Jun
As Kentucky votes today, Mitch McConnell is blocking legislation to:

-restore Voting Rights Act

-adopt nationwide automatic registration & early voting

-expand vote by mail & give $3.6 billion election aid to states

-stop election interference…
In December 2019, House passed bill to restore & modernize Voting Rights Act after SCOTUS decision in 2013 gutting law unleashed wave of new voter suppression in states like GA & TX

It's been sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk for 200 days
In March 2019 House passed "For the People Act," most significant democracy reform bill in a generation. Includes automatic registration, early voting, end to purging, Election Day holiday.

McConnell called it "power grab" for Dems, admitting GOP loses when more people vote
Read 6 tweets
19 Jun
Kentucky cutting number of polling places for Tuesday’s primary from 3700 to 200

There will be one polling place for 616,000 registered voters in Louisville’s Jefferson County, where half state’s black voters live

This is going to be a disaster…
Mitch McConnell is blocking legislation passed by House Dems to:

-restore Voting Rights Act

-implement nationwide automatic voter registration, early voting & end to voter purging

-expand vote by mail & give $3.6 billion in much needed election aid to states
To learn more about full scope of GOP voter suppression & how to fight back, read Give Us the Ballot…
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Georgia closed 214 polling places after Supreme Court gutted Voting Rights Act

There were 80 fewer polling places for June primary in metro Atlanta, where majority of black voters live

Mitch McConnell is blocking legislation passed by House Dems to restore the VRA
“Things have changed dramatically” in the South, John Roberts wrote when he gutted Voting Rights Act in 2013

Black voters who waited in line for 5 hours today would beg to differ
For all those interested in voting rights, today is a good day to read Give Us the Ballot & learn more about how GOP has systematically tried to roll back Voting Rights Act & suppress black voters since 1965…
Read 4 tweets
14 Apr
In middle of pandemic GOP trying to remove tens of 1000s of Democrats & voters of color from voter rolls at time when it will be very difficult to re-register

This is escalation of two decades-long suppression campaign. My new cover story @MotherJones…
Wisconsin GOP trying to purge 232,000 voters, 7% of electorate

Georgia canceled 300,000 registrations, 4% of electorate

“The clear intention is to strip people of their right to vote” says @staceyabrams…
From 2016 to 2018, 17 million Americans - 8 % of electorate - were removed from voting rolls found @BrennanCenter

Areas with long history of discrimination previously subject to Voting Rights Act purged voters at rate 40% higher than rest of country
Read 7 tweets
13 Apr
Wow, despite massive GOP voter suppression, progressive judge Jill Karofsky is projected to defeat Trump-endorsed Justice Dan Kelly in Wisconsin Supreme Court race. Huge upset & defeat for attempts to undermine voting rights
If Dems had flipped 6,000 votes & won Wisconsin Supreme Court seat last year they'd now have progressive majority on court. Now they can't flip until 2023

@EricHolder told me that election was "a wake up call" & Dems needed to focus more on local races…
GOP still has 4-3 majority on state Supreme Court & could authorize purge of 232,000 voters before Nov. The fight for voting rights in Wisconsin is far from over (I'll have much more to say about this tomorrow)
Read 5 tweets
7 Apr
SCOOP: @SenWarren has new plan to protect elections from coronavirus. It includes:

-mail a ballot to every registered voter

-30 days early voting

-end voter purging

-$4 billion aid to states

Next recovery bill must include these reforms she says…
Rampant voter suppression by Wisconsin Republicans exhibit A for why Dems must insist next recovery bill include universal vote by mail

“Republicans are using the crisis to accelerate an undemocratic power grab & disenfranchise millions” @SenWarren says…
Full details of @SenWarren's plan to prevent millions from being disenfranchised in Nov:

Nationwide vote by mail
30 days early voting
No voter roll purges
End voter ID requirements
$4b aid to states
Hazard pay for poll workers
More funding for USPS…
Read 5 tweets
2 Apr
What’s happening in Wisconsin absolute travesty

State won’t delay April 7 election & GOP legislature refusing to mail ballots to every voter in order to protect right-wing state Supreme Court seat

This is voter suppression on steroids…
Top election official in Milwaukee tells me city forced to cut number of polling places from 180 to 5 because of covid. “There’s nothing fair about this election” he says

By refusing to mail ballots to every registered voter WI GOP deliberately trying to suppress black votes
Federal court just declined to move WI primary but relaxed stringent absentee ballot rules:

-Voters have until Friday to request absentee ballot

-Ballots mailed by April 13 will count

-You don't need witness signature if you can't obtain one…
Read 10 tweets
17 Mar
Election mess in Ohio & other states shows why every state should adopt vote by mail asap & send a ballot to every registered voter. Voters shouldn't have to choose between their health & their vote

My new video for @MotherJones

In addition to vote by mail - and rules to ensure votes counted - we also need expanded early voting, online registration, curbside voting & polling places for historically disenfranchised communities. Good suggestions from @BrennanCenter & @civilrightsorg…
Good ideas from @marceelias on how to ensure mail ballots counted:

1. Postage paid by govt
2. Ballots postmarked by Election Day must count
3. Restrictive signature matching laws must be reformed
4. Community orgs should be able to help w/ ballots…
Read 4 tweets
4 Mar
Texas closed 750 polling places after SCOTUS gutted Voting Rights Act, more than any other state

72% of closures came in 50 counties with fastest growth of blacks & Latinos

And last night Democrats & minority voters in Houston waited 6 hours to vote…
1,688 polling places closed since 2012 in states previously subject to Voting Rights Act. 750 closed in Texas, which had 6 hour lines last night

This is among best evidence I've seen for why Congress needs to restore VRA. House has passed bill but McConnell refuses to hold vote
Hervis Rogers waited 6 hours and 20 minute to vote last night in Houston

High turnout, lack of poll workers, old machines, long ballot contributed to long lines

But don’t forget Texas closed 750 polling places after SCOTUS gutted Voting Rights Act

📷via @edlavaCNN
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb
Iowa caucus incredibly undemocratic:

-No absentee voting or secret ballot

-1000s with disabilities can’t participate

-40,000 with past felony convictions barred from voting

-Rural counties get more delegates than urban ones

This is not good way to choose party nominee
It’s great to see pics of packed caucus rooms but just imagine how many more people would be able to participate if Iowa had better voting laws
And remember Iowa is 90% white, disenfranchises 1 in 10 African-Americans because of felon disenfranchise law, has only 2 black mayors & has never elected a black or Latino statewide elected official
Read 9 tweets
21 Jan
Senate Republicans who represent 15 million fewer people than Senate Dems can block impeachment of a president who committed crimes worse than Watergate, lost popular vote by 2.9 million votes & suffered largest midterm election defeat in US history
@imillhiser Unrepresentativeness of US Senate one of greatest threats to democracy in America. 34 senators from 17 smallest states representing only 7% of country can block Trump's removal from office…
Read 4 tweets
16 Jan
Impeachment very important but also pay attention to this: Trump has new stealth plan to preserve white electoral power by excluding millions of people of color from political representation. This is next front in GOP war on voting.

My new feature story…
After SCOTUS blocked census citizenship question Trump issued exec order that could let GOP states draw districts excluding 55% of Latinos, 45% of Asian Americans & 30% of African Americans from representation. This is racial gerrymandering on steroids
Political districts have long been drawn based on total population but Trump wants states to only count eligible voters, excluding kids & non-citizens from representation. This would be huge power shift to GOP areas, undoing decades of demographic change & minority representation
Read 6 tweets
17 Dec 19
Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes. Now state set to purge 234,000 voters

Stacey Abrams missed runoff in Georgia by 21,000 votes. GA purged 309,000 voters last night

GOP voter suppression could once again tip key states…
As @chrislhayes noted last night, "right now in two states, Georgia and Wisconsin, the states themselves are doing exactly what we worry that Russia might do"…
@chrislhayes Two important updates on Wisconsin voter purge:

WI appealing to court in Madison

League of Women Voters filed new case in federal court

Good chance crazy lower court decision gets blocked, at least temporarily. Nobody removed from voter rolls yet…
Read 6 tweets
6 Dec 19
Breaking: House just passed bill to restore & expand Voting Rights Act. This is big first step to strengthen country’s most important civil rights law that SCOTUS disastrously gutted…
In 2006 House reauthorized Voting Rights Act 390-33

Today only one House Republican (Brian Fitzpatrick) voted to restore the VRA

Very sad commentary on GOP
Voting Rights Advancement Act requires 11 states w/ recent history of voting discrimination to approve voting changes with federal government & all states to get approval for suppressive measures like voter ID laws & closing polling places
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov 19
The first question about voting rights in 32 debates in 2020 & 2016!
Buttigieg rightly notes the right to vote "affects all other issues." Why we need election day registration, early voting & end to gerrymandering

"We have politicians picking their voters, not the other way around."
Glad voting rights finally come up after 32 debates in 2020 & 2016. It should be one of the first things discussed at every debate. If we don’t have fair elections nothing else matters
Read 4 tweets
1 Nov 19
They haven’t gotten much attention but 2019 elections huge for voting rights:

KY could re-enfranchise 140,000 people

VA, KY, LA & MS could reverse GOP gerrymandering

VA could pass sweeping pro-voting reforms like automatic & Election Day registration…
Want to know how Republicans rig elections? In Kentucky 300,000 people can't vote in Tuesday's gov race b/c of past felony conviction, including over 1 in 4 African Americans. Matt Bevin reversed policy restoring rights to non-violent ex-offenders, disenfranchising 140k
Impeachment & 2020 rightly dominate news but don't forget how critical state races are for democracy. “Presidential election is of existential importance but these state races are more important than any state races have perhaps ever been" says @ericholder…
Read 4 tweets