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tv   Civil Rights Legal Experts Testify on Voting Rights Election...  CSPAN  October 18, 2019 2:01am-2:51am EDT

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localities with histories of voting discrimination. >> good morning. the subcommittee on elections and the committee of house administration will come to order. i would like to think members of the committee as well as our witnesses and those in the audience for being here today. i today. i ask unanimous consent that all members of five educative days
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to revise and extend their remarks and that any written statement be made part of the record. hearing no objection so ordered. we are here today to examine a state of voting rights and election and administration in america. the right for to vote is sacred. we take our responsibility to protect access to the ballot seriously. the subcommittee, our committee as a whole, is charged with overseeing the administration of federal elections. this country has a long history of failing to ensure equal and unencumbered access to the ballot for all citizens. while states and localities have a significant role in carrying out elections, congress cannot abdicate these critical response abilities to ensure every eligible american can access the ballot box. cast to the ballot free from disconnection and suppression and has a steadfast space in our democratic process that there ballot will be counted as cast. since the beginning of the 100 16th congress the subcommittee
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has been holding hearings across the country convening forums to hear from voting election advocates, experts, community leaders, litigators and voters but the state of voting rights and the election administration in their communities. we have listen closely closely and collect testimony and evidence regarding the wide range of methods of voter suppression and dissemination being deployed across the nation. throughout our our hearings in texas, atlanta georgia standing rock sioux, north dakota, halifax, halifax, north carolina, cleveland, ohio, birmingham, alabama the subcommittee has heard testimony on barriers new and old. we have heard testimony about how polling place closures consolidations and movements cause confusion for voters and lead to long lines in late wait
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times that are unacceptable for the integrity of our democracy. how are sections and cutbacks to early voting is a franchise voters, especially those with limited transportation, options or in flexible work hours. strict strict voter id requirements they can be overly burdensome on the poor and minority voters and create a modern-day pole fest. discriminatory practices can disproportionately impact otherwise eligible minority voters. denying the rights incarcerated individuals fundamentally undermines our legacy continues to deny citizens their constitutional rights. how native american communities have faced more than 200 years of determination, disenfranchisement and voter suppression which continues to this day and is exacerbated when tribes are not consulted when they craft voting laws. lack of adequate access to properly translate materials,
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language assistance to some practices protected voters and how litigation section two of voting right ask remains a critical tool protecting the spirit franchise that is not an adequate remedy to enforce such a fundamental right. today's hearing will expand upon these issues providing us with a national scope and stories from states the subcommittees have yet to visit. we will hear from experts advocates, litigators and leaders that worked for years to ensure every american can exercise his or her right to vote. your testimony will help guide this committee as we seek to understand what needs be done to safeguard our elections and guarantee access to the ballot box. nearly six years after the supreme court decided shelby county beholder we are doing this work is because voters oppression and dissemination still exist. it is our duty as elected members of congress to uphold and defend the constitution and protect the rights of the voter. chief justice roberts himself
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said voting dissemination still exists and no one doubt that. it is critical congress continually examine the state of voting and build a true and contemporaneous record of ongoing dissemination and barriers to vote. that is why we're here here today in america is great because the ability to repair her polls. it is the time to set the right example as a democracy and encourage people to vote rather than continuing to erect barriers that seek to suppress the vote in the voices of our communities. there is much work to be done. i will now yield to the remember for your opening statement. >> thank you, madam chair. the committee has the extremely important task to conduct oversight of federal elections.
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throughout the committee's existence for public incentive gets have worked across the aisle to crates in the election policies that widely impact this nation, including legislation to a laminate laminate the poll tax, legislation to great either access to members of the military voting overseas and help america vote act of 2002: piece of legislation that took substantial steps to remedy the problem during the 2000 presidential election. the. the subcommittee was great for the primary purpose to be the extension of passive medication to any of the committee's oversight keep abilities of federal elections and how they are administered. chairman has been leading the subcommittee with the intention to invest it for the right issues in order to create a new formula that will reauthorize section five of the voting rights act. i've been proud to travel to a few of the stops this election subcommittee has participated in throughout the nation and it's been an educational experience each and every time. it's a great opportunity for everyone to see how we hear on the side of the dais can work together to get things done.
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thank you, mdm. chair for your diligence and thank you for your willingness to talk about these issues not just here in washington dc. voting rights act enacted in 1965 for the purpose of renewing racial determinations has been a bipartisan effort. it was most recently authorized under public and president and congress and in 2013 the supreme court determine section four of the [inaudible] to [inaudible] chief justice roberts at the voting right after my five employed extra dairy measures to address extraordinary problem. the court did not weigh in on whether there still is the next ordinary problem the supreme court did hold that what made sense at one time may have lost its relevance but noted that nearly 50 years later things have changed dramatically and the ra primary gives the jurisdiction to the house judy at the house immigration committee as a navigation to review how elections are administered and recommends any issue should be elevated to a
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federal level which is what we all hope to do here today. the subcommittee is held and i alluded to his helped seven field hearings and one listening session across the country in an effort to reveal widespread voter dissemination though the subcommittee has yet to find a single citizen who wanted to vote but was unable to cast a vote we still have a duty to the american people to protect and defend everyone's right to vote. as i said since coming into my role as ranking member of house admin committee and the loan number on our side of the aisle, the cassette to our election system is partisanship in the administrative of elections. if there's clear evidence of widespread voter dissemination progress and should steps to remedy that bipartisan manner. must commit to diligently review the facts and the numbers carefully as well as hear all relevant stakeholders. we should know that trends in
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the voter turnout trends. it's essential essential for congress to make informed decisions and understanding our role as a system while not overpowering them. the voting is a fun mental right for every single american citizen. to protect that right is responsibly that i and everyone i serve with on my side of the aisle take very seriously. today i'm here to listen and learn more from our witnesses about voting rights and election in administration and i look forward to hearing from all of you who have agreed to share their testimony with all of you and mdm. chair, i.e. a back. >> i think my friend the remember for participating in understanding that our goal is to get to the truth. i appreciate that and thank you. now i will i will introduce our panel but as i prepare to do that let me give you housekeeping. each of you will
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be revised for five minutes and i will remind our witnesses that their entire written statements will be made part of the record and that the record will remain open for five days for additional materials to be submitted. the system which you have in front of it which will tell you how many you have remaining. you will have five minutes. yellow medium one minute left, red means please wrap up your statement. our first panel you will hear from christian clark, welcome. as president and executive director and they seek to promote fair housing and community development, economic justice, justice, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice reform, judicial diversity and more. he previously served as the new york state attorney general's office and has spent several years at the naacp legal defense and educational fund and worked as the last apartment of justice at the u.s. to permit of justice for the civil rights division. welcome. the director of aclu voting
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rights project and - i'm sorry, it's been a top tapered director of the aclu voting rights project and supervisors this is because it was written on. supervise the aclu voting rights litigation and advocacy work nationwide. active cases in over a dozen spaces throughout the country and is also an adjunct professor of law at nyu school of law. prior to joining the aclu there will deal with assisting counsel at the naacp legal defense fund and an associate freed frank harris shriver and gibson llp and judicial law clerk. thank you. welcome. dwell ross. serves a single counsel at naacp
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educational fund and in that capacity mr. ross use of litigation public education and other advocacy strategies to ensure that black people have equal access to the pluto process into educational opportunities. among his ongoing cases mr. ross' lead counsel in greater birmingham administrators and ongoing voting rights act lawsuit that challenges alabama's recently discovered tory voter id law. he was a member of the trial team that has co-authored the appellate briefs in dc and the successful challenge to the texas unconstitutional photo id law. mr. ross is also an adult professor at the anniversary of pennsylvania law school where he teaches a seminar course on the voting rights act. welcome, all. we have been joined by the chair of the committee and the whole committee. would you like to make -- >> thank you.
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this committee is charged with overseeing the administration of federal elections and in recognition of that response ability we established the subcommittee on elections. the subcommittee has been led by its outstanding chairwoman and has held eight hearings that the country giving voice to many not generally heard in washington dc and convening this hearing today. there are too many americans who view themselves as shut out of our representative system and others can participate because of election and administration procedures that fail to consider how americans live and work in the 21st century and some of these barriers to participation make it harder for certain populations including communities of color and other underrepresented and this is especially the case after the supreme court gutted corporate visions of a voting rights act
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in shelby counsel versus holder. additionally we know now that foreign agents specifically the russians attempted to interfere in american elections from 2016 and as we interact discuss the full committee hearing no single group has been targeted more with this information in african-americans. that is the voter suppression tactics. we do know that for years the house has failed to adequately protect the right to vote in the house allowed to ministry loss to be an active documentary and laws so discriminatory they targeted african-americans and this is from a court case with surgical precision. the work of the subcommittee on elections is critical to achieving the principle that every american has the right to vote in the right free from dissemination and from and ministry the barriers so cumbersome they suppress the vote. we know it is
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time for congress to act to ensure equal access to the ballot for every american and i look forward to the test money today and once again i want to thank the chairman and the others on the election subcommittee who worked so hard to gather information throughout the united states for their outstanding work that serves our country so well. with that, i yield back. >> thank you for your support if we. we cannot have babies hearings work without you so we appreciate it. ms. clark, you are now organized for five minutes. >> chairwoman fudge, ranking member david, members of the subcommittee on elections, my name is kristen clark and i service the president and executive director of the lawyers committee for summer rights under law. they give for the opportunity to testify today on issues that are confidential to the state fate of american democracy. the lawyers committee for civil rights under law has been at the forefront of our nation's battle
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for equal rights and created in 1963 at the request of pres. kennedy to enlist the private bar in the fight to combat racial discrimination. our work to safeguard voting rights and to fight for his passion has been central to this mission. the lawyers committee has been a leader in the core voting rights cases over the last several decades and stands at the forefront of current efforts to ensure that our laws safeguard, not restrict, access to to the franchise. the lawyers committee also leads the longest running nonpartisan voter protection program. in shelby county beholder chief justice roberts observed that quote that things have changed dramatically in the south and since passage of the voting rights act and that's blatantly discovered tory evasion the federal degrees are rare. our experience and the record shows that this percolation was not true in 2013 and remains unto today and they are
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proliferated moreover the shelby decision opened the gates to dissemination and voter suppression and no doubt nation is currently in a period of retrenchment concerning access to the franchise. since shelby the lawyers committee has been involved in 41 cases relating to discovered tory billing practices or policies that have had an adverse effect on the rights of african americans and other minority voters. these instances are summarized in light written testimony. twenty-four of these actions were filed since january of 2017 and sadly doj have held no such case in this time frame. all we have achieved substantial success in about three quarters of these 24 cases this is the tip of the iceberg of potential putting rights violations that could be challenged by doj where they actively enforce the law in
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a restored section five. without the prophylactic protections of section five and given that parts of our country are becoming more racially diverse we have seen voter suppression efforts intensify. examples of the ways in which officials are working to undermine minority voting rights are outlined in my testimony and clued barriers to voter registration. draconian draconian requirements imposed on groups that are working to register people to vote perched programs restrictive mandatory photo id laws, polling place closures, polling place moved to hospital locations ineffective languages assistance for lap voters, lines of polling sites due to staffing or machine issues, mass rejection of absentee ballots and faulty technology that risks votes not properly counted and systems
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subject to hacking. cuts on early voting opportuni opportunity, vote delusion and racially gerrymandered maps. case-by-case litigation is not enough to counter the magnitude of the start. writing for the defense in shelby justice ginsburg observed that they pass the congress voting rights act because requiring private individuals and civil-rights groups to litigate every right to voting right was ineffective and extremely expensive. battling the hydra, multi headed monster in greek mythology. these cases are costly and time intensive long and protected and for every case that we file americans have monster years pass for resolution to protect their right to vote. this is not sustainable. even when courts strike that discriminatory law officials often resort to a friend practice dusting communities into a game of lack eight mall.
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there is no example in this then georgia where officials resurrect is committed tory practices repeatedly in the post shelby era, local and state officials act with impunity and suppressing the rights of minority voters. along with officials officials we've sued georgia three times to stop its exact match practice in voter registration. record makes clear congress must restore the full protections and i heard this committee and asparagus to carefully study the record and the fieldwork and to fulfill the promise of our constitution and protections needed and needed african americans, latinos and other people of color had equal voice in our democracy. thank you. >> thank you.
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>> chairwoman fudge, remember davis and members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to testify. my name is dave and i'm the director of the ucla voting rights act. my testimony today will focus on restrictions of voting based on false or exaggerated assertions about noncitizens registering to vote. time and again such claims have evaporated under minimal scrutiny and take kansas. in 2011 kansas press the lot requiring voter education applicants to summit a citizenship document like a birth certificate or a passport. it sounds innocuous but the effects were devastating. over three years more than 30,000 voter 30000 voter registration applicants were denied in about 12% of all applications during that time. one was our client who did not possess a copy of her birth certificate and cannot afford one. another was our client who was born on a decommissioned air force base in illinois and spent two years searching for his birth certificates. two others were clients had stricter and show their first certificates at the dmv which then failed to forward them with
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their voter registration. all four were the sympathized in the 2014 midterms. we challenge the law in a trial can the secretary of state chris claimed that there were four than 18000 noncitizens registered to vote in kansas. the own expert expert witness at the trial needed that of the 30,000 people whose are decision allegations allegations were blocked under the law more than 99% were actually united states citizens and the court found the number of noncitizens on the list was in fact statistically indistinguishable from zero. it took 44 separate lawsuits to block this law which we did in 2018 but in his field to defend this they engaged in a disturbing pattern of evasion and lawlessness. he was section for concealing relevant documents and kansas taxpayers paid a thousand dollar fine for that in the court found he willfully disobeyed a pulmonary injection and kansas taxpayers
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at $26000 for that. court found a note on there's a similar story in texas and generate texas atty. general ken paxton tweeted in capital letters voter fraud alerts. claiming a most 100,000 registers were noncitizens but that was false. within one week it came out the many of these voters were naturalized citizens who had already confirmed their citizenship. here's connie alone this related to about 60% of 30000 voters and as to the remaining 12,000 and it of of 150 names chosen at random yielded no noncitizens. civil-rights organizations including the aclu and the texas civil rights project sued to stop texas from purging these voters. the court found texas
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quote created a mess which quote them provide the power of the government despite fear and terminate the lease powerful among us. the case was settled with texas taxpayers on the hook for $450,000 for attorney fees. texas secretary of state departed from office in disgrace. similar stories of inaccurate purges in florida, iowa and iowa and virginia detailed in my written testimony. demonstration now seems intent on repeating these mistakes. in case i argued in the civil court earlier this year the court blocked the ministrations efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. finding the medications probably stated purpose of voting rights act endorsement was quote contrived. indeed the first person to suggest adding citizenship questions to the census was a recently deceased thomas hoffert known as the michelangelo of gerrymandering who conceived of it as the first step in a gerrymandering game
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that would be in his words, quote, quote, advantageous to republicans and non-hispanic whites. in other words the administration actual purpose was not to protect voting rights but the opposite in to dilute the political influence of the communities of color. despite the courts ruling the menstruation is still planning to produce citizenship data to facilitate gerrymandering and the they are now asking states for driver's license records to include citizenship and leaving aside the illicit imagery purpose there are serious questions about the accuracy of such data as imitated by the experiences in texas, kansas and other states described in my written testimony. in sum, widespread claims about widespread and medicine have been used to justify resections that have prevented tens of thousands of americans from voting. i've often proved to because they exaggerated or downright false and have undermined the public confidence in our elections. that is the
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opposite of election integrity. thank you for you for to answering your questions you might have. >> thank you. you are are right nice for five minutes. >> thank you .-period good morning .-period my name is thomas and his senior counsel at the naacp or lds .-period thank you for their paternity to justify about putting rights in the united states today .-period since the founding 9040 by thurgood marshall dave advance r black americans and others . of the s efforts have done more difficult since 2003 or since 2013 with the us up in court and i decided shall be county versus holder . attorneys argued in the support and defense of the voting rights act and as you know section five required jurisdictions with histories of determination to seek preclearance from the university or federal courts. before before them committing change related to voting . the state had the burden of proving that a voice
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was not dissuaded right . however they held the congress is not sufficiently justified the coverage formula when it reauthorized the voting rights act in 2006. by ending preclearance the support of states with a consistent record of voting dissemination without scrutiny . results have been for the double and devastating. within hours of of the decision texas revised its previously blocked photo id law within days alabama announced it would not enforce and create force law and within months the art declined to elections to filter allegedly to vacancies denied representation to 800,000 voters of color in new york city . of course of the s and others have continued to use the u.s. constitution in section two of the veterans act with the nationwide to challenge just commiserate voting changes. section two in the the constitution placed the burden on voters to prove they are just mandatory . in 2014 of the f1 case in which payette county
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georgia tried to change its method of election from single member districts to at-large voting after a black commissioner died and they needed to hold special elections. section 22 was able to block that change . in 2018 of the f convinced -- i'm sorry, 11 server to block. >> the black voters had a petition to the gardendale city council and was part voters had no representation . on the eve of the 2018 elections of the f for present black culture and texas place with long history of determination with the county tried its cuts on early voting campaign . in florida voting rights for people with felonies restored by a ballot referendum that was later earlier this year
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florida legislator responded by essentially imposing projects requiring voters who have otherwise served their sentence to pay all fines and fees before they could register to vote. last week of of the f aclu presented evidence that a hearing to stop this change before the 2019 election and in a pending challenge the lef has devastated that dissemination is not a thing of the past and prominent state senator who supported the id law for four years stated his purpose was to undermine the black power structure in alabama and other supporters haven't caught on tape calling black voters aborigines imparting their efforts to crack the black vote . black voters were four times more likely to have their provisional ballots rejected because they lacked photo id . all these changes would've been suggested to section five and lds has continued to use section two of the voting rights act to challenge at-large elections .
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for example, in 2014 federal 14 federal court ruled that louisiana had intentionally disseminated when it maintained at-large elections in louisiana . unfortunately, voting rights act litigation even when successful is slow it could cost dollars on average it cost to have in five years for the voting rights act to be completed . for example, in 2016 in texas the fifth circuit court of appeals found texas photo id law violated section two during the three years of litigation with hundreds of elected officials were voted in office and for the 500,000 voters who lacked id that when came too late . lds try to work to address the discount rate changes before they happen but often we have been stymied by the cost and time it takes to litigate these matters . given the myriad of issues congress must act first to build the
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investment act or amendment act progress should restore preclearance . progress should make it easier for plaintiffs to block this ministry voting before an election. as you prepare for the 2020 elections we need to fix our democracy and should not be up for debate . it's google chrome does make voting easier, not harder . it's time for bipartisan unity and to act. >> thank you. i thank you for your test maybe it will not begin questioning each member of the panel that we will have five minutes . i will try to hold them to that if we can. we have a couple more panels. i . i would now yield to chairwoman. >> thank you . when chief justice roberts wrote the shelby decision striking down the voting rights act he said and this is a quote, voting dissemination still exists and no one doubts that . clearly the record is ample that
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dissemination continues to occur across the united states and a compelling case has been made why we need to revitalize the voting rights act . i appreciate the testimony you given today along those lines . it's a critical solution . having said that some states never were covered under preclearance on that day old out so i'm wanting in addition to the voting rights act which we are committed to are there other changes or laws that the congress should enact to alleviate the continued effects of racial dissemination? >> thank you for that question. i will observe there are states like tennessee and kentucky that
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barely escape coverage under section five where we are seeing extensive voters oppression efforts today. one stark example arises out of tennessee where groups need extra ordinary efforts to reach almost 90000 records of people. they had to come in burdensome and costly requirements including criminal penalties and groups that are working to register people to vote. no doubt this is a textbook example of voters oppression and the kind of tactic that would be blocked if we had a section five review process that applied to the state of tennessee. as chairperson budget indicated we should follow the truth . it is my firm belief congress should respond to the records that you amass indicating where the problems lie and apply a remedy that is responsive to those issues. >> chairman i thank you for that
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question. there are elements of h.r. 1 that i think would be positive in terms of protecting voting rights and want to focus on one that provides for election date registration. twenty states have election date registration including the rating member home state of illinois in your home state of california. the states that that have election date registries and tend to have five or ten percentage points higher than the states that don't and it's the single reform that there is has the oddest consensus among medical scientists that facilitate participation particularly among our people mobile who moved recently in average americans historically disadvantaged groups. we've heard about purges
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erroneous removals from the roles and election day vegetation can be a valuable safety net and making sure that any voters who are get to participate on election day. >> thank you for that. i know my time is up but it also helps if the russians hijack the registration rules it's actually protection against that kind of cyber mischief that was same-day registration we would prevent them from ruining our election. final comment. >> thank you. in addition to the other provisions of h.r. 1 lds supports early voting in federal elections are busy it offers the opportunity to cut down on the election and administration issues that we have seen like
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long lines and voters have a great three or four hours to vote and voters have multiple days and ample opportunity to do so in those issues will be cut down. i want to briefly comment on a state that not covered by section five which is arkansas which is the aclu and lds and others have involved in litigation there to challenge photo id law which was successful initially only for the state to turn around the passage new photo id law shortly thereafter of the f is currently in court but now challenging the way in which the court of appeals of arkansas and the arkansas supreme court are elected and the function is that the court of appeals in particular is elected in such a way that keeps black voters from having an opportunity to elect. >> thank you. my time has expired. >> thank you. >> thanks for our witnesses. i appreciate the opportunity and your testimony.
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i'll start with you, mr. hope. do you agree that accurate voter rolls are good for part of our election and administration required by the nd ra? >> of course i do. part part of maintaining accurate rolls is making sure that voters are not purged inaccurately. >> what are the best practices for maintaining timely voter role hiding? >> about 19 states in recent years have adopted a form of automatic voter registration which ensures that when voters move, for example, the registrations are automatically updated for the state in its way for folks to facilitate participation and also make sure that there is not so-called dead word on the roles of voters who have moved but their registration information remains out of date. >> give me examples of states that have done that which you have supported so you are saying one state what they move it's automated and if i do that
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versus practices that exist in states like ohio where he did a hearing. >> i think it's much better when a voter update their information with the state whether with that dmv or social civil to automatically update their registration in accordance with that address change rather than relying on a archaic system ascending the boater a card and asking them to write their new information on it or treating the failure to return a piece of what looked like junk mail to people as evidence of the fact that they have moved or are no longer eligible. i believe i mentioned 19 states have adopted some form of automatic registration this includes oregon, alaska and i don't have the complete list but the national conference of legislatures maintains a very confidence of an up-to-date list of practices like that.
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>> what the aclu's interaction with the assistance commission in addressing the concerns that you raise in your testimony? >> in my role at the aclu my primary job is to oversee our litigation. i don't have myself correct -- >> you have not filed a lawsuit. >> i was but as a buy one interaction has been litigation over the eac and i say this in my written testimony over a unilateral but the dc circuit found unlawful moved by former executive director brian to have documentary proof to the federal voter registration. >> you're not aware of any aclu interaction to work with the acu to address we your concerns. >> i think the appropriate person in my office to talk to would be a member of a washington pledged the office and i'm happy to follow up. >> please do. i appreciate it. ms. clark, he mentioned long lines at polling places, faulty
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technology as types of current voter suppression. can we leverage 21st century to address these concerns connect. >> we absolutely can't. i think better machines that are not trackable to provide a paper trail audit system so we can ensure public confidence to voters when they cast their ballot that the ballot indeed is handled and the vote is being cast to the people they want is readily important. georgia is probably exhibit eight when he comes to the work that must be done to update their voting machines and voting technology. in a a lawsuit we brought with coalition for good governance we got a federal court to the very first time in our country's history overturn and reject the entire state system. georgia is working right now to put in place new machines, new technology and
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this will produce better outcomes for voters in the state of georgia going forward. >> mr. ross great to talk with you. i'm proud to represent what many consider to be the birthplace of the naacp and springfield illinois and we got great opportunities to highlight some of the artifacts from the 1908 race rights are to be uncovered and the archaeology is happening right now. with a four to working with the naacp in the future to get those on display. it's an important message to send to the land of lincoln. one of the areas under the committee's jurisdiction the most concerns me is the ability for those of disabilities to about. if you're expressing the election of rena what can we do to help facilitate better voting experiences for the disabled? >> i will say lds work is not primarily in the disability rights rena but we have done
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program which is focused on election day assistance and one thing we often see are issues like access to the polls for handicapped voters or issues with access for voters who may have the undereducated or have disabilities like blindness and things like that. i think one of the things congress can introduce is to offer more fundings for local jurisdiction for updated voting machines and for training with poll workers so they can attract these issues and allow for people who want to vote to be able to do so. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. you are not recognized for five minutes. >> ipc panel in their testimony. ms. clark, i will will start with you but your testimony i want to understand how many section two lawsuits is the current and administration files? >> zero for mac we in a couple
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of these hearings around the country and our colleague always does a good job since he's not here i will ask as his question how much does a section two lawsuits typically cost and what are the resources and if you could chime in here "after words" what are the resources that go into filing a section two lawsuits. >> thank you. they can run in the ballpark of hundreds of thousands of dollars. studies have shown voting rights cases are among the most complex cases heard by federal courts. often these cases required us of rights group like ours to retain experts to conduct extensive demographic analyses produce maps and so forth and this is not a sustainable way to deal with the crisis about her suppression and widespread rampant voter information we face in our country. these cases are not just costly
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but long in protected if you take several years to bring to final resolution meaning that voters on the ground are literally experiencing and living the effects of having a disco ministry law of practice on the books each and every single day. i started off my career in the justice department enforcing the voting rights act. section five was a part of that work. it's a preemptive strike to dissemination and it means that officials in texas and georgia and all the places we've been talking about today would never have been allowed to put these discriminatory tactics on the books if we had section five in place. the work this committee is doing is critical to the state of american democracy and i hope it yields to a place where we can have section five restored in its prophylactic protections back on the books. >> mr. ross. >> to follow up on what
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ms. clark said, one of the things that has been found is voting rights cases take up the six-month judicial resources in terms of cases so it's not only money and time of the parties who are litigating it but the federal courts. one of the reports that i cite to my written testimony that lef created so as not only the cost for the plaintiffs but the costs for these jurisdictions to litigate section two and then use them. this is the cost the taxpayers to black and white voters of this to seminary changes interest actions being for lack of a better word hardheaded and not recognizing they have violated federal law. also it will take as i said in my testimony somewhere between three and five years for these litigations to be resolved and for states like alabama and texas and other places that an act is committed to or other barriers that affect hundreds of thousands of voters these people
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have to wait years and years for any relief to finally happen and it's important that we think about the cost of not having section five and administered a process less burdensome for tax voters beforehand. >> if you want to respond to that i will let you but i did want to ask you if the loss of proactive federal protections have made it more difficult to track changes to voting laws that could have a testamentary impact and how we categorize this in the future. >> thank you for those questions. section two cases are expensive and i detailed in written testimony to the judiciary committee earlier this year one case in a recliner which costs around $5 million dollars to litigate over a three-year time. that testimony described ten
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aclu section two cases which were ultimately successful in the sense we got a ruling in our favor or settlement for our clients. while those cases were pending a total of 350 local state and federal officials were elected under laws that were later determined to be just a mandatory trade lost a lot without the preclearance regime in place and i think about half a successful section two cases nationally since it shall be county were brought at the local level where changes to voting laws are much more difficult to keep track of and i think it is -underscore is precisely what we have lost. >> and q. >> thank you. let me wrap up. i'm from ohio, which you know, which should be a preclearance
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estate. for the last four or five elections the rules have changed every single election. either the number of days that are allowed for early votes what you need to bring to vote and i live in the county of more than one way people and we have one early voting site. one. the state would say that we want uniformity and we want all 88 counties to be exactly the same but we have counties that have 5000 people in counties that have over 1 million people. uniformity is not fair. i think ohio should be in that number. i also think that as we sit here as members we have to have a desire to do the right thing. in ohio for the first time we've been able to work with our secretary of state who, by the way, is a republican because he believes everyone should have the right to vote. instead of purging 230,000
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people which is what he thought his ride to do he decided he will crosscheck with the dmv to let the legal voters look at the list and the end of naacp oak at the list and within automatically 40000 had been removed. the number continues to grow. it can be done if we want to do the right thing. i would ask my colleagues that the next time we open up a congress and start to read the constitution must be clear that something we want to follow. when we disenfranchise people who have paid their debt to society we violated the constitution because every citizen in every american we don't take away your citizenship when we incarcerate you and especially when you have paid your debts. i want to thank you for the work you do and we need more people doing this work to raise awareness of what is happening in our communities and my colleagues do not believe that
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anything is wrong with our system and they believe it's okay to have strict voter id laws and i would suggest to them when they come up with examples like you know you have to have a certain id to get on the plane or get a movie those are not rights. voting is a right. we need to be encouraging people to vote and not try to discourage them. i thank you for your testimony today and appreciate your being here. thank you so much. our next panel we will call her next panel. thank you very, very much.


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