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  • 1. Manthan topic: fairness at play Introducing electoral reforms to reduce the influence of money and muscle power in politics
  • 2. Advances in Election Administration Pro-Voter Reforms Registration Reforms: Online Voter Registration Same Day/Election Day Voter Registration Statewide Portability Voting Reforms: No Excuse Absentee Ballots Early Voting, including non-traditional days and hours New Restrictions Emerge  Photo ID Indiana (2005) Georgia (2006) Missouri (2006; successfully challenged in state court) Idaho (2010)  Proof of Citizenship to Register Arizona (2004; litigation ongoing) Georgia (2009; not in effect)  Restrictions on Third Party Voter Registration Florida (2005) Electoral reform is change in electoral systems to improve how public desire are express in election results
  • 3. 1. Strict Photo ID bills: Current unexpired, showing expiration date Issued by the state or India government Driver’s license or non-driver’s ID issued by DMV .Student ID sometimes allowed .ID from other state sometimes allowed .India naturalization documents sometimes allowed .Tribal ID sometimes allowed .Exemptions, safety net for voters without qualifying ID 2. Proof of Citizenship to Register: Documentary proof Driver’s license or non-driver’s ID if it indicates proof of citizenship was supplied to get the ID Indian birth certificate Indian passport Indian naturalization documents Some tribal IDs, etc. 3. Ending Election Day/Same Day Registration 4. Shortening Early Voting and Changing Absentee Rules 5. Restrictions on Third Party Voter Registration Groups The Whole Package
  • 4. What ID bills could include  ID issued by other states  Student ID  Employee ID  Tribal ID  Generally recognizable photo ID  Non-photo ID (utility bill, government document, paycheck, etc.)  Exemptions  Non-photo ID safety net Impacted Groups 1. Compared to 11% average without current government-issued photo ID 2. Urban dwellers 3. voters with disabilities 4. out of state students 5. movers Photo ID: Myth vs. Fact 1. Myth: Everyone has a photo ID, it’s no big deal. 2. Fact: A 2006 national survey by the Brennan Center found that11% of voting age citizens don’t have current government-issued photo ID
  • 5. Myth vs. Fact • Myth: It’s the same as having to show an ID to buy alcohol, cash a check, or board a plane. • Fact: Voting is a fundamental right that shouldn’t be burdened. [And you don’t need photo ID to fly somewhere] • Myth: Everyone can get a free photo ID anyway. • Fact: There are practical barriers, as well as underlying financial costs involved in getting an ID. Impact: Practical Hurdles : Access to Citizenship Documents with Registration Application – copying, mailing, etc. Ending EDR/SDR: Repealed in ME* and OH* Pending repeal/veto efforts Vetoed in MT Efforts in NH and NC Access: Reduces opportunities Relied on by some voters more than others Confusion: Changing systems people are used to Variance in voter education efforts
  • 6. Restrictions on Third Party Voter Registration New restrictions passed in FL and TX FL Registration and reporting requirements 48 hour turnaround time TX Deputy and training requirement New rules regarding who can register voters and how they can be paid Impact  Third party registration reaches potential voters that don’t intersect with registration opportunities as much as others  Low-income voters  Minority groups  Students Impacted Groups Minority Groups Young People Students and Non-Students Mobile Voters Low-Income Voters Disabled Voters Elderly Voters
  • 7. 1.The topic of electoral reforms has been taken up by numerous government committees in the recent past, including but not limited to: • Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms (1990) • Vohra Committee Report (1993) • Indrajit Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections (1998) • Law Commission Report on Reform of the Electoral Laws (1999) • National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2001) • Election Commission of India – Proposed Electoral Reforms (2004) • Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2008) Remedial steps •Criminalisation of Politics: •Most recent Committee reports on electoral reforms have almost universally acknowledged the criminalisation of our political system at both national and state levels and across party lines Financing of Elections: It is widely believed that in many cases successfully contesting an election costs a significant amount of money that is often much greater than the prescribed limits. 1. Official limits on campaign expenditure 2. Disclosure audit of assets and liabilities of candidates 3. Curbing the cost of campaigning 4. State Funding of Elections
  • 8. Fighting Back Exciting Citizen Efforts – ME and OH Ongoing legislative battles and coalition work Get ID projects Voter education projects Fighting Back – Nonprofit Style: Advocacy: More legislative fights to come Local decisions and implementation matter Empower clients for advocacy work Collect personal impact stories Legislative fights Litigation  Client/Constituent Education  New changes to rules  But also basic voter information  Registration deadline, absentee voting information, early voting opportunities, ID requirements, etc.  How  Email blast  Voter Info Center – waiting room, at community day/events  Billing inserts  As part of education efforts on issues of relevance for your organization
  • 9. Provide registration opportunities Remind movers to update registration information Remind clients to check for new polling place Even non-movers may confront changes due to redistricting or precinct consolidation Get ID projects Get to the polls projects
  • 10. Influence of money
  • 11. 1. Irregularities in polling 2. Rigging through muscle power and intimidation 3. Proliferation of candidates 4. Measures for Election Commission 5. Restrictions on Government sponsored advertisements 6. Restriction on the number of seats which one may contest 7. Amendment of law to provide for filing of election petition even against defeated candidates on the ground of corrupt practice 8. Restrictions on opinion polls 9. Prohibition of Campaign during the Last 48 Hours 10. Ban on transfer of officers likely to serve elections 11. False declaration in connection with elections to be an offence 12. Punishment for electoral offences to be enhanced 13. Restoring the cycle of biennial retirement in the Rajya Sabha/Legislative Councils 14. Misuse of religion for electoral gain by political parties 15. Totalizer for counting of votes 16. Victimization of officers drafted for election duties Conduct and better management of elections
  • 12. References : 1. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE GOVERNMENT 2. STATES MOVE TO RESTRICT VOTING:Ben Hovland, Senior Counsel Thursday, February 23, 2012