RUTLEDGE: Three cheers for voter suppression. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Secretary of State Mark Martin both issued statements applauding yesterday's decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court that will allow the Voter ID law to be enforced this month, with early voting in the primaries slated to begin May 7. Circuit Judge Alice Gray had last week declared the law unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction against its enforcement in the primaries. The Supreme Court granted a stay that reversed the injunction. It has not ruled on the underlying question of whether the law is unconstitutional, as Gray found. That decision will come later this year. In the mean time, the Court ruled that the policy can proceed. Voters will have to present a valid photo ID in order to cast their ballots this month. Martin, who asked the Court for the stay, issued the following statement: We are pleased with the Supreme Court's decision. Election officials across the state are … [Read more...] about Leslie Rutledge and Mark Martin applaud Supreme Court’s stay allowing Voter ID to be enforced during primary elections
MARTIN: Voter suppression plot can proceed. The Arkansas Supreme Court today granted a request for a stay from Secretary of State Mark Martin in the Voter ID case, which means the policy will be active in the upcoming primary this month. Early voting begins on May 7. Voters will be required to show valid photo identification before casting a ballot. The request for the stay from Martin, made on Monday, came in response to preliminary injunction blocking the law issued last week by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray. Gray found that the law was unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court today granted a stay, allowing the law to proceed while it prepares to hear the state's appeal. The Court, which voted 6-1 to grant the stay, did not not provide any explanation in its brief order. Chief Justice Dan Kemp dissented. Gray's ruling came in response to a public interest lawsuit with Barry Haas as plaintiff and Jeff Priebe as his attorney. The Arkansas Supreme Court held in a 2014 case … [Read more...] about Arkansas Supreme Court grants stay request from Secretary of State Mark Martin, Voter ID will be in effect during primaries
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said today that efforts to hack into U.S. election systems were broader than indicated by material leaked to The Intercept, allegedly by a person now facing a federal charge for sharing classified data. The leaked material indicated suspected Russian efforts to hack a voting software company and efforts directed at local election officials to get into voter registration information. No one has yet said these were successful efforts or that there was election impact. Warner said the effort was even broader. Reported USA Today: "I don't believe they got into changing actual voting outcomes," Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said in an interview. "But the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far." He said he was pushing intelligence agencies to declassify the names of those states hit to help put electoral systems on notice before the midterm voting in 2018. I asked Chris Powell, a spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Martin, Arkansas's top … [Read more...] about No hacking detected in Arkansas, Mark Martin’s office says.
MARTIN: With deadlines looming, requests expedited ruling on challenge to Voter ID law. Secretary of State Mark Martin filed a motion late yesterday with the state Supreme Court requesting that Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray be forced to make a ruling on a challenge to the Voter ID law "well in advance of April 6, 2018." A public interest lawsuit with Barry Haas as plaintiff and Jeff Priebe ashis attorney asks Gray to enjoin use of the state's new voter ID law in the primary elections set for May 22. The Arkansas Supreme Court held in a 2014 case (also argued by Priebe) that a previous version of the law was unconstitutional. The 2017 legislature altered the language in the law but the new lawsuit argues that it remains unconstitutional (the membership of the Supreme Court itself has changed quite a bit since the 2014 ruling). On April 6, the Secretary of State must deliver ballots to military voters out of jurisdiction and overseas citizens voting by absentee ballot. … [Read more...] about Secretary of State Mark Martin asks state Supreme Court to compel judge to expedite ruling in Voter ID case
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Fifty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the civil rights leader's family and admirers were marking the anniversary of his death with marches, speeches and quiet reflection Wednesday.The commemorations stretched from his hometown of Atlanta to Memphis, where he died, and points beyond.Hundreds of people bundled in hats and coats gathered early in Memphis for a march led by the same sanitation workers union whose low pay King had come to protest when he was shot. Others were assembling in Atlanta, where King's daughter the Rev. Bernice A. King was set to moderate an awards ceremony in his honor.The Memphis events are scheduled to feature King's contemporaries, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, along with celebrities such as the rapper Common. In the evening, the Atlanta events culminate with a bell-ringing and wreath-laying at his crypt to mark the moment when he was gunned down on the … [Read more...] about Speeches, marches mark Martin Luther King anniversary