Does Dianna Duran #StandWithRand?

Over the weekend the New York Times reported that Senator Rand Paul has spoken out against efforts to restrict access to the voting booth saying, “Everybody has gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” and “I think it’s wrong for the Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it is offending people.”

Senator Paul is widely regarded as a leader in the Republican party, a major contender for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination and is now the most prominent member of his party to take a stand against the highly divisive and partisan attempts to restrict access to the ballot box.

So the question here in New Mexico is, does Dianna Duran #StandWithRand?

As Secretary of State, Duran has repeatedly fought for the passage of voter ID bills and is responsible for sending a deceptive mailing to 180,000 registered voters which may have lead people to believe they were no longer eligible to vote.

“While I’ve worked to expand early voting opportunities and modernize the voting process to make it easier for people to vote, Dianna Duran has worked to make it harder to vote, including her support of restrictive photo ID bills and sending a deceptive mailing to 180,000 registered voters which may have lead them to believe they were no longer eligible to vote. I challenge her to listen to a leader from her own party and take a stand against these laws that stop people from exercising this fundamental right.”

See the full article at the New York Times. Click Here.

We Will Do Better

maggieMaggie Toulouse Oliver, the Democratic Candidate for New Mexico Secretary of State, grew up in New Mexico, attended Albuquerque public schools and received her Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. She has served as Bernalillo County Clerk since 2007, where improving the integrity of the election process and delivering top customer service have been the highest priorities. This year, President Obama’s Election Commission lauded the work Toulouse Oliver has done in Bernalillo County including vote centers and innovations like the ‘My Vote Center’ app as some of the best practices in the nation. Maggie has also been a leading voice to promote the Voter Expansion Project, an initiative aimed at ensuring that every eligible citizen is registered to vote, all registered voters have access to the ballot box and every vote is accurately counted. As our next Secretary of State, Maggie will build on this progress and work to make voting easier and more accessible for every New Mexican. Maggie lives in Albuquerque with her husband Allan and two sons.

DPNM State Chair Sam Bregman: Secretary Of State Duran Leads Voter Suppression Efforts Against New Mexicans

New Mexico Democratic Party State Chair at the Pan Am Center on Saturday
DPNM State Chair Sam Bregman

Secretary of State Duran had barely assumed office before unleashing Republicans favorite scare tactic that is used to suppress groups they fear and dislike-voting fraud. The scenario is always the same: throngs of non-citizens appear on Election Day to cast ballots, thus changing the results of said election to favor ‘Democrats.’ Wild claims and charges were made by the Secretary of State, eventually proving invalid and worthless. This unqualified official was then forced to back down and look for new ways to suppress turnout and discourage Democratic voters.

Next up was finding a job for out-of-work former state senator and chief political hack, Rod Adair. Qualifications? While serving in the State Senate, Mr. Adair warned against ‘Sharia Law and radical Muslim aggression’ repeating over and over again that “we must prevent the introduction of Sharia Law within the United States.” Then, upon retiring from the State Senate: “…..I can have a greater impact trying to help create a Republican majority, rather than trying to be a part of it.” Enough said.

Ms. Duran’s agenda and priorities are clear—create roadblocks wherever possible to suppress Democratic voters and politicize the Office of Secretary of State with ultra-partisan Republicans. Representative Nate Cote (D-Las Cruces) introduced a bill to help fix the voting nightmare that engulfed Chaparral on Election Day 2012, which had long lines, leaving the last person in line to vote at 10:45 PM. Not surprisingly, Secretary of State Duran opposed Rep. Cote’s bill. More excuses and explanations when all that is required is for Ms. Duran to just do the job voters elected her to do.

Next year Democrats will elect a Secretary of State that will encourage and empower all New Mexicans to exercise one of their most cherished responsibilities as citizens—the power to vote and make change.

DPNM is building the future for all New Mexicans, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, in 2014.

Dorothy Cooper: Standing up for her right to vote

Republicans are moving to suppress voting rights around the country, including here in New Mexico. Dorothy Cooper from Chattanooga, TN knows the importance of voting. She’s been voting in elections for over seventy years, and she doesn’t intend to miss the next one.

This year the Tennessee legislature passed a law requiring voters to show an ID that they’ve never had to show before, the same sort of vote suppression law that Susana Martinez and Deanna Duran are supporting in Santa Fe. And since 2011, over two dozen GOP controlled states have been playing politics with democracy, passing strict new voter ID laws. These laws could make it harder for over 20 million eligible U.S. citizens to exercise their right to vote.

Dorothy was able to obtain her new voter ID, but only after producing five types of identification.Stay informed about new election laws—visit GottaVote.org to make sure you have all the information you need to cast your ballot.

Watch and share today’s video.

Protecting the Vote

In Texas, you can vote with a gun license but not with a student ID.

It’s not just students who are finding themselves at risk of being disenfranchised as we approach the 2012 elections. In the past year, the GOP has launched a nationwide, politically motivated effort to restrict our most fundamental civil right: casting a ballot. Today, the Democratic National Committee Voting Rights Institute is releasing a report on this unprecedented assault on voting—and what Democrats are doing to protect the vote for all Americans.

The Voting Rights Institute’s report, A Reversal in Progress: Restricting Voting Rights for Electoral Gain, finds that, across the board, these new Republican-passed laws make it harder to vote, particularly for voters who supported President Obama and Democratic candidates in 2008. By restricting different stages of the voting process, each of these measures is designed to shave off eligible voters from the 2012 electorate—purely to benefit Republican candidates.

The report highlights how Democrats across the country—from the grassroots level to Congress—are taking a stand to protect the right to vote, shifting momentum back toward an electoral system that is open, accessible, and fair for all eligible Americans.

From Democratic activists gathering signatures to overturn repeals of Election Day Registration, to Democratic governors vetoing photo ID laws, to lawyers volunteering at the polls, Democrats at all levels are continuing the important work of protecting the vote, from now through Election Day 2012.

Visit the Democratic National Committee’s new website to read the full report and learn how you can get involved in Democrats’ voter protection work. The first step in fighting back? Get the word out by sharing the site with your friends and family.

New York Times: “The Myth of Voter Fraud”

This year, Republican legislatures and governors have have advanced legislation in at least 35 states that could make it harder for millions of people—particularly the young, the poor, the elderly, and minorities—to cast a ballot in the 2012 election. It’s been, in short, what the New York Times calls “a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote.”

Publicly, Republicans will tell you that these measures will prevent voter fraud and save money. But the problem, the New York Times notes in an editorial today, is that voter fraud in this country is almost nonexistent. That’s the real fraud:

“None of these explanations are true. There is almost no voting fraud in America. And none of the lawmakers who claim there is have ever been able to document any but the most isolated cases. The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes. …

“Other states are beginning to require documentary proof of citizenship to vote, or are finding other ways to make it harder to register. Some are cutting back on programs allowing early voting, or imposing new restrictions on absentee ballots, alarmed that early voting was popular among black voters supporting Barack Obama in 2008. In all cases, they are abusing the trust placed in them by twisting democracy’s machinery to partisan ends.”

Read more of the editorial at the New York Times.

Millions of Legal Voters Face New Barriers Report Warns

A wave of recent election laws sponsored by the Republican Party will make it more difficult for more than 5 million qualified voters to cast ballots in 2012, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.  The center surveyed voting laws across the country and found that states had recently erected new barriers including voter identification requirements, cutbacks to early voting and enacted other legislation that targeted voting rights. Most of the GOP-led legislation, including new laws proposed by Governor Susana Martinez and Secretary of State Dianna Duran in New Mexico target low income and minority voters.

“It is too early to exactly quantify how the changes will impact voter turnout, but we know they will be a hindrance to many voters at a time when the United States continues to turn out less than two thirds of its eligible citizens in presidential elections and less than half in midterm elections,” the center said.

The new restrictions came at a record pace this year, the center said. During the first nine months of 2011, Republican led state legislatures enacted 19 new voting laws while governors imposed two executive orders. Another 42 bills relating to voting were pending, while 68 were defeated.

Thus far, Democratic majorities in the New Mexico State Legislature have blocked the voter suppression legislation proposed by Martinez and Duran, but Duran has attempted to audit over ten percent of New Mexico voters, wasting tax dollars and turning up nothing to back up her phony claims of fraud.

There’s more on the GOP’s assault on voting rights at the New York Times.

Read the full Brennan Law Center Report, available in PDF Format.