Spring1998 Home   Newsletters

Summer 1998

Fall 1998

President's Message (Jean Aoki)
State Council / Board Actions May 15-16 1998
Honolulu's Loss - Seattle's Gain (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Guidelines for Maintaining League Nonpartisan Policy
League Local News - Hawaii County (Susan Dursin, Helene Hale & Marian Wilkins)
League Local News - Honolulu (Grace Furukawa)
League Local News - Kauai League (Susan Wilson)
Elections and Campaign Finance Reform Bills
Making Democracy Work - Campaign Finance Reform HICLEAN (Toni Worst)
Hawaii's Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP)
Voter Services
Education Committee Projects 1998-99
Action on Motor Voter!
Important Dates
Web Page
Rhoda Miller Peace Memorial
On National Issues...
Small Schools and Schools-Within-Schools (insert)

Action on Motor Voter!

Anti-Motor Voter/Anti-Voting Rights Act Amendments to Campaign Finance Legislation

On June 4, the House Rules Committee gave a blanket point of order waiver to all non-germane amendments to campaign finance legislation, including five (5) anti-motor voter/ voting rights amendments. The amendments may be offered to more than one campaign finance reform bill and include:

*Doolittle Amendment to prohibit bilingual voting materials and assistance. (Would amend the Voting Rights Act.)

*Doolittle Amendment to require proof of citizenship for voting. This badly drafted amendment appears to allow states to require proof of citizenship anywhere in the voting process from voter registration to the polling place. (Would amend the NVRA.)

*Peterson Amendment to establish an unworkable federal pilot program to allow election officials to "verify" the citizenship of voters in, "at a minimum," California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois using INS and Social Security data. (Would amend the Social Security Act and the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is virtually the same as the last version of the Horn bill, H.R. 1428, except that states could require the full Social Security number/s of registered voters or applicants.)

*Goodlatte Amendment to repeal mail-in registration requirement; require proof of citizenship and Social Security numbers to register to vote with exemption for military; allow states to purge voters from the roles for non-voting; and allow states to require photo ID at the polls. (would amend the NVRA and is the same as H.R. 2076.)

*Wicker Amendment to allow states to require photo ID at the polls. (Would amend the NVRA.)

Debate on campaign finance reform in the House began before the recess and continues now that the House has returned. Other legislation is also scheduled. Debate and votes on a variety of campaign finance reform bills could continue next week. In addition to the underlying bill, eleven campaign finance reform substitutes may be offered. Once a substitute is under consideration, amendments may be offered to it, including the anti-voting rights amendment above. The campaign finance reform bill that receives the most votes over a majority will pass. The debate on campaign finance reform is not time limited. Current speculation suggest it could continue for a few weeks or a few months. There is some pressure to finish, however, before the July 4th recess.

"Proof of citizenship to register or to vote" amendments would discourage voter participation, discriminate against low income citizens and citizens with disabilities and encourage discrimination against ethnic and racial minorities. The Doolittle amendment to prohibit bilingual voting assistance and materials would undermine the voting rights of ethnic minorities. The Wicker amendment would allow states to discriminate against those who do not have photo ID, especially low-income citizens. Currently, states may require ID at the polls so long as the requirement is nondiscriminatory and consistent with the Voting Rights Act.

For background information, see the League's web site at www.lwv.org, and watch for coverage on C-SPAN.

Spring1998 Home   Newsletters Fall 1998