Author Topic: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter  (Read 3472 times)

Offline imchills

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On October 15, 2012, the first day of early voting in the presidential election, a young black woman named Diewanna Robinson went to the local board of elections office in the country town of Douglas, Georgia, to vote. It was her first time, and after signing a few forms, Robinson found herself in front of a voting machine that she didn’t know how to use.
She looked around for help and saw a towering middle-aged woman who was showing others how to vote. The woman came over and showed her how to use the machine.

That seemingly innocent exchange, now almost four and a half years old, was the crux of a criminal trial earlier this week in the one-time tobacco-producing capital of Georgia.

The woman who helped Robinson all those years ago was Olivia Pearson, a local civil rights activist and longtime city commissioner. And now, because of what she did, the 55-year-old grandmother is facing criminal charges that could put her in prison for five years.

The local district attorney’s office, led by a Republican, decided to bring charges, and the prosecutor, a 30-year-old white man named Ian Sansot, said what Pearson did broke the law and was a sinister effort to violate the sanctity of the electoral process.
Pearson and her attorneys, and the black community in Douglas, say this case is not about the law. They say it’s part of an obvious and well-orchestrated attempt to intimidate black voters, a campaign with a long history in Georgia — and throughout the South — to suppress the minority vote.

“This is supposed to cause fear in those who would dare stand up for themselves,” said Nefertara Clark, Pearson’s attorney. The prosecutors, she said, “would like to take us backward.”

Nationally, Republicans have frequently and loudly raised the specter of voter fraud. Just this year, President Donald Trump made repeated and false allegations about illegal voters in the November election.

Voters’ rights advocates counter that claims of voter fraud are wildly overstated, and, indeed, most studies show that tampering with the vote is very rare in the US. Civil rights workers say that as the country has become steadily less white, Republicans have brandished unfounded claims of voter fraud as an excuse to pass laws and throw up other obstacles that make it harder for minority voters to cast their ballots.

Georgia is ground zero for this struggle. The GOP controls both legislative houses and all eight statewide elected offices, including the governorship. Georgia encourages ordinary citizens to lodge voter-fraud complaints through a dedicated website. Nationwide, Republican-led state legislatures have followed Georgia’s lead by advancing dozens of bills tightening rules and requirements for voting and voter registration.

Yet actual prosecutions for voter fraud remain rare: Just 10 of the 154 investigations closed since 2014 in Georgia have been referred to a prosecutor; most are closed without a ruling or dismissed.
But that was of little solace to Pearson.

She would need to defend herself in court.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/joelanderson/this-is-what-happened-when-a-georgia-grandmother-went-on?utm_term=.gcKNrNLGD#.ji2Q8QVkn

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2019, 08:34:05 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2019, 08:41:33 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 08:46:03 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 09:02:44 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2019, 09:05:43 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2019, 09:09:14 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2019, 09:15:47 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2019, 09:23:31 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2019, 09:59:30 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2019, 10:00:47 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2019, 10:10:09 am »

Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2021, 05:12:15 am »
Monday, 21st June  Twenty One
All eyes are on the West Virginia senator amid a struggle as old as American democracy
by Taylor Branch







Senator Joe Manchin carries a fateful burden.

By quirk of gridlock, he is literally the swing vote between two warring visions for the vote itself.

If he gives his decisive 50th vote in the Senate to pass S. 1 — the For the People Act — millions are sure to revolt against perceived tyranny from Democrats expanding the franchise with national standards.

If he votes no, millions are sure to revolt against perceived tyranny from republicans restricting the franchise with new state laws.

Poisonous division will intensify either way, at least for a time.

Senator Manchin correctly believes that extreme partisanship is a danger signal for American democracy.

By the Founders’ design, our “experiment” in republican self-government rests on public trust in votes, which President Lyndon Johnson once called “the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice.”

Yet confidence in republican institutions has frayed for decades by every objective measure, and vote-based American democracy is disparaged or helpless in many countries ruled by autocrats, armies and coups.

Wherever democracy weakens, appeals to violence break loose.

The pending crisis is frightful but hardly unprecedented.

In fact, hyperpartisanship has been a constant threat when Americans contend over who can vote.

Conflict is nearly inevitable because our Constitution does not define the electorate.

Nor does it give anyone an explicit right to vote.

Voting rights now cherished routinely were once battlegrounds, and U.S. history offers warnings along with lessons for repair.

Manchin’s home state was born from prolonged rancor over voting rules written into the Virginia state constitution of 1776.

Virginians who lived in its western counties protested representation that heavily favored property holders and slaveholders east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The malapportionment was so severe that ex-presidents James Madison and James Monroe, plus the revered Chief Justice John Marshall, supported reform at a special convention in 1829.

Delegates were chosen under the current constitutional formula, however, and they rejected “this maggot of innovation.”

With only one western representative voting for the status quo result, sectional disputes festered until they split Virginia some 30 years later.

Harpers Ferry changed hands eight times during the Civil War.

On April 18, 1861 — six days after the attack on Fort Sumter — wildcat secessionists attacked the same U.S. armory that John Brown recently had occupied in his famously failed attempt to spark an anti-slavery rebellion.

U.S. Army troops, having captured Brown for the gallows, burned the armory this time to keep weapons from the expected pro-slavery rebellion in Virginia.

Most western Virginians stayed loyal to the Union, defying their Confederate government. “The Kanawha Valley is wholly traitorous,” charged the Confederate general and former Virginia governor Henry Wise.

Citizens there initiated plebiscites and conventions counter to Confederate ones, petitioning Congress to admit a territory first called Kanawha.

They persevered until West Virginia became the 35th state on June 20, 1863.

This unique origin gave Harpers Ferry a permanent new address just as the invading Confederate armies overran it again headed toward Gettysburg.

Democrat Joe Manchin is unusual, befitting his home in West Virginia.

He chooses not to have a residence on dry land near Washington for Senate sessions, and lives instead with his wife Gayle on a houseboat named Almost Heaven anchored in the Potomac River.

He represents a blue-collar region turned overwhelmingly republican, spanning Appalachian privation, natural beauty, the fading lure of coal, and a few dissenters claiming they belong to Virginia.

Abraham Lincoln applied patriotic wisdom to the constitutional tangles long ago.

“It is said that the admission of West Virginia is secession, and tolerated only because it is our secession,” he acknowledged.

“Well, if we call it by that name, there is still difference enough between secession against the Constitution and secession in favor of the Constitution.”

Lincoln recognized two hard facts.

First, partisan strife over freedom cannot be wished away.

Second, patriotic hope and strength take direction from the Constitution’s first three words:


“We the People.”


After the Naturalization Act of 1790, which had confined naturalized citizenship to immigrants “being a free white person,” the Andrew Jackson era battered down property and education qualifications to establish universal white male suffrage.

In 1866, republicans passed the 14th Amendment for black citizenship without a single Democratic vote in the House or Senate.

Democratic legislatures in ex-confederate states promptly killed chances for ratification — unanimously in Florida, 95-1 in the South Carolina House — whereupon Congress sent U.S. soldiers to resurrect the “due process” Amendment we celebrate today.

republicans and Democrats remained at loggerheads over the vote.

When Section 2 of the 14th Amendment failed to secure the franchise for men who had been enslaved, republicans passed the 15th Amendment with zero Democratic votes.

Largely to enforce it, Republicans established the U.S. Justice Department shortly after ratification in 1870.

Women struggled another half-century for voting rights, until Congress overcame a filibuster by Southern Democrats to secure the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Four years later, the Indian Citizenship Act made Native Americans eligible for voting rights that took another four decades to realize in every state.

Republicans still invoked Lincoln in crisis.

More than 80% of Republicans voted yes in Congress to defeat a titanic filibuster and abolish racial segregation by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


In 1965, eight days after John Lewis led a voting rights march in Selma, President Johnson bluntly told a joint session of Congress that Americans had allowed white supremacists to trample and tranquilize the 15th Amendment.

“I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy,” he declared.

“No law we now have on the books can ensure the right to vote when local officials are determined to deny it.”

Two months after the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, Congress overcame yet another filibuster by Southern Democrats to pass the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which quietly changed the face of the United States by opening legal immigration and naturalized citizenship to the whole world.

Race-based restrictions, Johnson promised, “will never again shadow the gate to the American nation with the twin barriers of prejudice and privilege.”

Lyndon Johnson hastened an extraordinary switch.

His Democrats became the party of civil rights while republicans courted resistance, and both parties have downplayed the racial signals that sharply reversed their historical identities after 1965.


























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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2021, 09:33:49 am »
Tuesday, 22nd June  Twenty One
Kyrsten Sinema accidentally reveals the huge hole in her filibuster defense
by Greg Sargent






If and when republicans refuse to allow any debate of the Democrats’ voting rights legislation on Tuesday, there will be a hidden silver lining: It will finally force the Senate to engage in the grand argument over the filibuster that many of its denizens have ducked for so long.

As one of the last Democratic holdouts against filibuster reform, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, democrat from Arizona is making big news with an op-ed in The Post laying out her rationale.

Some of its central pronouncements have already been debunked: Despite her claims otherwise, the filibuster does not facilitate moderation or bipartisan cooperation.

But there’s an even more fundamental flaw in Sinema’s argument: Defending democracy and the filibuster simultaneously, in the terms that Sinema herself employs, is simply incoherent to its core.

Sinema’s own treatment of these questions inadvertently serves to reveal that a choice must inevitably be made between the two — and that Sinema is choosing the filibuster over defending democracy.

The core of Sinema’s argument is that “we will lose much more than we gain” from ending the filibuster.


Sinema opposes doing this even for the narrow purpose of passing the sweeping voting rights reforms that already passed the House:




"To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass the For the People Act (voting-rights legislation I support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?"





That truly is frightful.

Imagine a world in which legislative majorities could pass voting restrictions over the objections of minorities!

Oh, wait, we already live in that world.

In state after state after state, voting restrictions of all kinds are being passed into law by Republican-controlled legislative majorities, over the objections of minorities.

Crucially, this is happening almost exclusively on partisan lines.

Those include exactly the restrictions that Sinema alludes to: stricter voter ID laws and efforts to curb vote by mail, as well as other anti-majoritarian tactics such as extreme gerrymanders.

In short, the rules of political competition are already being rewritten by one party all over the country, with an eye toward entrenching partisan advantage and minority rule.

Sinema, of course, is lamenting the possibility that if we did away with the filibuster, a republican-controlled Congress might more easily pass such measures on a national level, whereas right now, this is happening everywhere on the state level.

But this actually throws the underlying incoherence of Sinema’s argument into even sharper relief.

Sinema admits that these types of voting restrictions are threats to democracy, but without forthrightly acknowledging that they are already being passed everywhere by state legislative majorities along party lines.

That’s because seriously grappling with that reigning reality would render Sinema’s stance publicly untenable.
Sinema says she supports the For the People Act, which means she generally supports using federal legislation to check such abuses.

Yet Sinema simultaneously downplays the very existence of those abuses.

Now contrast this with Senator Jon Tester democrat from Montana, who told NPR that he’s open to ending the filibuster to pass new federal electoral standards precisely because republican-controlled state legislatures are rolling back voting access and entrenching anti-democratic practices everywhere.

If Sinema were to forthrightly acknowledge those abuses, it would show that the filibuster enables a starkly unbalanced situation: While legislative majorities pass dramatic anti-democratic measures everywhere on the state level, this can only be checked on the federal level by a legislative supermajority.

Sinema could deal with this imbalance forthrightly if she chose.

She could try to argue that even though the filibuster will allow those state legislatures to run rampant for the foreseeable future, the damage done to democracy by ending the filibuster, even if it’s just to place a check on those tactics, would nonetheless outpace the damage done to it by the tactics themselves.

But Sinema doesn’t even attempt that argument.

Sinema claims that “we have more to lose than gain” from ending the filibuster, but without admitting to what we actually would gain from ending it in this context — a check on democratic backsliding and the slow but steady entrenchment of minority rule.

That this democratic deterioration is upon us is not solely a partisan view.

It’s the opinion of hundreds of leading democracy scholars and political scientists, both of whom recently signed statements of principles warning that we are at risk of exactly that.

In the end, the real reason Sinema can’t admit to what we would gain from ending the filibuster, and what we might lose by keeping it, is this: It would be tantamount to admitting that her position risks consigning us to that very fate.

On top of all this, Sinema won’t even entertain ending the filibuster to pass more modest checks.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has offered a good-faith effort to compromise with Republicans that includes a mild form of voter ID, expanded voting access and curbs on partisan gerrymanders.

Yet Sinema and Manchin will apparently allow it to be filibustered, too.

It’s too bad Sinema will not forthrightly engage with the actual trade-offs at play in this debate.

That she is playing this slippery game while piously claiming to be a great defender of democracy only makes it all the more galling.

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Re: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2021, 07:30:58 pm »
Tuesday, 22nd June  Twenty One
Senate gop Blocks Voting Rights Bill!
by JORDAIN CARNEY



Senate republicans on Tuesday blocked a sweeping bill to overhaul federal elections, ratcheting up already inflamed tensions over voting rights.



Senators voted 50-50 in the evenly divided Senate on advancing the For the People Act, splitting along party lines and failing to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a gop filibuster.




"I am disappointed that republicans in the Senate did not meet the moment and deliver on the will of the People today, instead choosing to block the For The People Act from even coming to the floor for debate.

These policies—modernizing our elections, rooting out corruption, protecting the freedom to vote—are supported by a majority of Americans, regardless of who they voted for.

The sentiment I am hearing from folks back in Kansas is one of urgency, frustration, and, at times fear.

People are tired of feeling like billionaires get more of a say than they do in our elections, tired of feeling that Washington isn't working for them, and tired of partisan gerrymandering threatening to erase their vote.

Their voices are clear: we cannot keep putting this off.


I have fought back the influence of dark money in politics and protect every eligible voter's ability to cast their ballot since before I was elected to Congress, and I have no intention of stopping now.

I will continue to fight until the power is back where it belongs: in the hands of the People."
 

~ Representative Sharice Davids