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This week in Statehouse Motion: Good Grief Version

You Are Not Elected, Charlie Brown: Another Week, Another Series of Bills to Suppress Voters from GOP Legislators.

Campaign action

At this point last week I wrote about a new law against anti-democratic collective elections that has just been introduced in the EU Georgia House that would

Prohibit early voting on Sunday (with the goal of “Souls to the Polls” organized by many black churches),
Create a new photo ID for postal ballot papers
Shrink the window for voters requesting a postal vote and limit the amount of time that district officials can send them out
Limit the number of secure ballot boxes and limit the days and times they can be used to the days and times when an early vote takes place (what kind of defeat the point, what … well, the point).
… and more!

In order not to be outdone on the frontline of voter suppression, Republicans in the Georgia Senate (all but three GOP members supported it) dropped their own ballot bill this week.

SB 241 would

Encourage voters to have an approved apology for absentee voting (Georgia has offered no-apology absentee voting since 2005).
Create a new photo ID for postal ballot / postal ballot papers
Empowering a county “legislative delegation” to remove local electoral officials from their posts
Prohibition of using mobile voting options (with the exception of "emergencies").

The GOP controlled Iowa Legislators passed a new law that would do this

Reduce the number of early election days in the state from 29 to 20 and
Steal Iowan's vote for an hour by increasing the voting deadline from 9 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The measure also prohibits electoral officials from sending postal voting requests to voters who do not make a specific request.

in the ArizonaBills move forward that would

Kill the state's permanent early voting list (despite the fact that if a voter skips four consecutive elections – including primary elections, so that's actually two elections for independents) – they may have asked to be given a postal ballot at each election removed from the list).
Shorten the voting period by email by requiring districts to send ballots 22 days before an election (instead of the current 27 days).

Also, a GOP state senator introduced a constitutional amendment requiring lawmakers to convene a special session on the Monday following a presidential election to "review or investigate" the results.

The amendment also gives sole power to appoint presidential elections to the state parliament.

in the MissouriThe GOP-controlled legislature continues efforts to replace the 2016 Photo ID Act, which the Missouri Supreme Court gutted last year, with a brand new one.

Play it again, Charlie Brown: Let's face it: being a Republican legislature Oregon must be pretty tough.

After all, in both the State House (37 D / 23 R) and the Senate (18 D / 12 R) you are stuck in superiority, which means the two of you cannot effectively advance your conservative agenda and fall far short of the votes needed to block the Democrats' bills.

What should I do?

Well, you might be looking for ways to find common ground with Democrats on some of your issues, or
You could work to sell Oregon voters off your legislative agenda and priorities, and win more elections.

Unfortunately, the preferred method of Oregon Republicans' struggle against Democratic power has clearly become to take their ball and go home, so to speak.

Traditionally, legislative strikes / boycotts have been used sparingly by lawmakers to raise objections and draw attention to something particularly horrific (happy 10th anniversary of the Wisconsin strike, by the by!).

In Oregon, however, Republicans regularly resort to this extreme level.

In fact, their strike this week marks the fourth time in three years that they have refused to do their job instead of having a meaningful debate with their Democratic counterparts.

In recent years, the Senate has refused to give the chamber a quorum (two-thirds of the members) to block pioneering environmental laws.
Senate Republicans stayed home this week because they're mad at Democratic Governor Kate Brown.

Shortly after the Democrats tried to hammer the session Thursday, the Senate GOP caucus sent Brown a letter with a list of demands, including opening schools, changing vaccine delivery, and the "urgency" of the economic recovery State.

… Regardless of the fact that their demands concern all executive measures that fall extremely outside the jurisdiction of the legislature.

At this point in time, there is no word on when the Republicans will end their passed out tantrum and actually get the people of Salem out of business.

Someday you will find her, Charlie Brown: … an endeavor that the widespread use of facial recognition technology would make easier.

Bad news for Chuck when trying to find someone using facial recognition Virginia: Both the State House and Senate unanimously passed a measure banning the use of the technology by local law enforcement agencies.

The legislation came as a result of a local newspaper investigation into the use of the controversial Clearview AI facial recognition technology by the Norfolk Police Department.

In late 2019 and early 2020, the NPD used Clearview in about 20 investigations, resulting in nine arrests without the Norfolk Mayor and most of the city council knowing or approving.

Unfortunately, the new law won't apply to state police who claim they don't use facial recognition technology and have no plans to do so.

It's the girl in the red truck, Charlie Brown: … and the blue truck and the green car and every other mode of transport women are using to get to their state capitals this year.

In 2020, a record number of women were elected to the legislature.

Women currently make up around 30% of lawmakers nationwide, up from 25% in 2018.

But even better than raw numbers is the fact that women wield real power – the authority to set agendas and use their leverage to make laws and pass bills.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are currently 87 women in leadership positions nationwide – Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Speaker per Tempore, Senate President per Tempore, or majority or minority leader.

Approximately 2,259 women are serving in state legislatures this year.

1,509 are Democrats,
729 are Republicans,
seven belong to a third party, and
14 are technically impartial because they serve in Nebraska's unicameral, allegedly non-partisan legislature.

Nevada is a leader in women's representation, with more than half of its lawmakers – 60.3% – being women.

West Virginia, with 12% lawmakers, arrives dead last.

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