Democracy, Voter Rights, and Federal Power
Efforts to limit democratic participation, facilitate big money in politics, and override the federal government
Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific state laws affecting your voting rights and elections through these model bills. Do you?
How do these bills limit democratic participation?
These bills limit the democratic influence of average Americans in favor of corporations by:
John Nichols on ALEC & Democracy
|Watch John Nichols, writer for The Nation magazine, discuss ALEC and the corporate efforts to undermine democracy.|
READ the "Model Bills" HERE
|Click here for a zip file of Democracy, Voter Rights and Federal Power bills
Looking for the resolution voted on by ALEC politicians and corporations in favor of the Supreme Court's decision in the "Citizens United" case? It's here.
For a full list of individual bills from this section, click here
For descriptions of some of these bills, scroll down or click here.
ALEC Inspired Voter Suppression Measures Take Off
|After Barack Obama swept into office in November of 2008 with the energized support of youth and African Americans, suddenly "voter fraud" became a deep concern for many in the Republican party -- despite no evidence fraud occurred in any statistically significant way. When Republicans emerged from the November 2010 elections with new majorities in statehouses across the country, a total of [ 37 states saw strict voter ID laws introduced in 2011 and 2012. Many of those proposals contained elements of the ALEC "model" voter ID act, which imposes new burdens on the right to vote by requiring voters show state-issued ID cards that approximately 11 percent of voting-age American citizens do not possess. That number is even higher for students, African Americans, low-income, and older citizens. Though the ALEC "model" provides for free ID cards, the Brennan Center for Justice has found that the process of obtaining an ID presents significant difficulties, with voters lacking access to transportation, living dozens of miles from the nearest ID-issuing office (many of which have irregular and limited hours), and facing costs and headaches in obtaining supporting documentation like birth certificates. Additionally, the in-person voter fraud these laws might prevent happens at an infinitesimally small rate -- meaning that on balance, the purported benefits of the law (stopping voter fraud) do not outweigh the costs of disenfranchising as many as 21 million American citizens.
Photo voter ID bills were signed into law in eight states — Alabama, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — and passed by referendum in Mississippi. Additionally, Minnesota's legislature approved a ballot measure to amend the state constitution to require ID at the polls.
Though the number of states with strict voter ID laws quadrupled in 2011, there has been some pushback. Under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, several states with a history of racially motivated voting rights discrimination require federal pre-approval for changes to voting procedures and practices, and the U.S. Department of Justice has refused to approve voter ID laws passed by South Carolina and Texas. In Wisconsin, two state judges have found the law violates the state constitution's express protections for voting rights. A Pennsylvania court upheld that state's law but it is being appealed to the state's supreme court. Other challenges to the laws are pending.
This information is available for download as a one-page fact sheet here.
Learn MORE about the "Model Bills" ALEC Corporations Are Backing to Rewrite YOUR Rights
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