Group challenges New York voter registration changes

Group challenges New York voter registration changes

Election Justice USA [advocacy website] on Monday is filing a suit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] claiming that the state has fraudulently changed the registration of thousands of voters which bars them from voting in the presidential primary. Election Justice spokesperson Shyla Nelson, founder of advocacy group One Voice, [advocacy website] said in a press release [text] that the practices of the Elections Board, the named defendants, have placed “an onerous and excessive burden on the voter to prove their eligibility” that the average New Yorker does not have the time and resources to handle. The named plaintiffs were selected from a pool of individuals who reported similar discrepancies in their party registration.

Voting rights remain a controversial legal issue in the US. A partnership of voting rights groups last week filed suit [JURIST report] against the US Election Assistance Commission [official website] stating their decision limiting the use of national voter registration in Alabama, Kansas and Georgia deprives eligible voters of the right to vote. Last month a judge for the US District Court of the Middle District of North Carolina declined to grant [JURIST report] a motion by the NAACP and other plaintiffs that would have kept the state from implementing a voter identification law in the upcoming March elections. In May the New Hampshire Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] a 2012 law requiring voters to be state residents, not just domiciled in the state. In March the US Supreme Court declined [JURIST report] to hear challenges to Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Also in March Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a new law [JURIST report] that made Oregon the first state in the nation to institute automatic voter registration. A federal appeals court rejected [JURIST report] a Kansas rule that required prospective voters to show proof-of-citizenship documents before registering using a federal voter registration form in November 2014.