Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.

 

Recent Articles

Republicans Who Slap Voters in the Face May Be in for a Nasty Surprise

John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP Opponents of the Wisconsin legislature's lame-duck actions rally in Madison. democracy_rules.jpg R epublicans in Michigan and Wisconsin who have moved aggressively to steamroll voters and strip power from incoming Democratic officials appear confident that they will pay no political price, and many analysts seem to concur . After all, state legislators won’t face re-election for another two to four years, and electoral maps gerrymandered to heavily favor Republicans won’t be redrawn until after 2020. That’s a long time in politics, and it would be easy to assume that protesters now crowding the state capitals in Lansing and Madison will by then have moved on. But that assumption overlooks two powerful lessons from the recent midterms: One, that gerrymandering can backfire , particularly when the political winds shift dramatically. And two, that voters are increasingly fed up with assaults on democracy. The more Republicans take aim at voting...

Read It and Weep: Georgia Lawsuit Paints Stark Portrait of Voter Suppression

AP Photo/David Goldman Voters wait in line on Election Day in Atlanta, Georgia. democracy_rules.jpg E mory University freshman Phoebe Einzig-Roth took three IDs to her Atlanta polling place on Election Day, determined not to let anything block her from voting for the very first time. Einzig-Roth had accompanied her parents to the polls as a little girl, and had “always dreamed of the day” when she could vote herself, she later recalled. But when she handed her driver’s license to a poll worker, Einzig-Roth—who was born in New York and grew up in Boston—was told that “she might not be a citizen of the United States,” and was directed to a supervising official. That official ultimately handed her a provisional ballot, but gave her no receipt, and no instructions on how to ensure that it would be counted. Einzig-Roth’s confusion turned to anger when she later tried to verify her eligibility, and was rebuffed for the lack of a receipt. “THIS is what voter suppression looks like in Georgia...

It’s Time to Fix American Elections -- Again

AP Photo/John Minchillo Voters use electronic polling machines as they cast their votes at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio. democracy_rules.jpg I n Georgia, untold numbers of voters who had registered and checked their voting locations well before Election Day were turned away , told they couldn’t be found on the rolls or had come to the wrong polling place. Many were denied provisional ballots, which were in short supply, and which some poll workers were handing out selectively . In Florida, Governor Rick Scott called from the porch of the governors’ mansion for a criminal investigation into supposed fraud in Senate vote counting—despite running as the GOP nominee in that very election. Scott ultimately recused himself from certifying his own election results, under pressure from a lawsuit, but not before leveling wild and damaging claims. He’s one of three politicians seeking statewide office this year who helped oversee their own races. In Michigan, North...

Can the Progressive Coalition Beat Trump?

Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via AP Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, center, celebrates with her supporters after her Congressional Fifth District primary victory in Minneapolis. democracy_rules.jpg P resident Donald Trump has gotten extraordinary political mileage out of stoking the fears and prejudices of the predominantly white male voters who form the core of his supporters. Now the question is whether the progressive coalition at the heart of the Democratic base—including African Americans, immigrants, young voters, and women—can turn out in sufficient numbers on Election Day to reassert that most Americans value inclusion over hate, facts over lies, equity over greed, and government accountability over corruption. Too often, when talk turns to this “Rainbow Coalition,” a term first coined Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and later taken up by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, progressive strategists wring their hands over the supposed pitfalls of “identity politics...

Democracy Is on the Ballot

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
(AP Photo/John Minchillo) Voters enter the Hamilton County Board of Elections on the first day of early voting on October 10, 2018, in Cincinnati. D emocracy itself is on the ballot this fall, as voters consider not just candidates, but an unprecedented number of ballot initiatives that seek to protect voting rights and rein in special interests, gerrymandering, and big money. Voters also face mounting challenges to direct democracy by state legislators who have chosen to ignore or overrule popularly approved ballot measures, and who have moved in some cases to weaken or block the initiative process altogether. At least 33 states mulled 190 different proposals to change the ballot measure rules this year, including bills that would boost the number of signatures needed to get an initiative on the ballot, for example, or increase the percentage of votes needed for enactment. This push-and-pull reflects something of a vicious cycle in states where voters see their legislators as out of...

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