Posted by Shadi Matar on May 31, 2016 at 9:58 AM

AAI compiles a weekly roundup of election news tracking key races across the country as well as legislation that will impact voting rights ahead of the 2016 elections. For AAI’s coverage of presidential candidates and races, make sure to check out our profiles over at #YallaVote’s Election Central. And for more state specific information, head over to our election map and click on your state. You can read previous editions of our 2016 Election News Roundup right here at its headquarters.

Candidates Speak In The Golden State

Presidential candidates Sec. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump were in California this week hosting campaign events across the state in preparation for the June 7th primary. Clinton made stops at the UC Riverside, Buena Park, and Oakland and focussed the majority of her speeches on Trump and accused him of being a “divider, not a uniter.” Sanders held rallies in Anaheim, Riverside, and Ventura focussing on his plans for tuition-free public colleges and universities. Arab American, Zeena al Omari attended the Anaheim event and said Sanders “messages are very open minded.” Trump also held an event in Anaheim and focussed the majority of his speech on immigration reform and policing the U.S. - Mexico border. The California primary is June 7 where both Clinton and Sanders are virtually tied in many polls. Read more about California here 


Voting Rights Caucus Formed To Counter Texas Voter ID Law

As a federal court hears a challenge to Texas’s strict voter identification laws, Representatives have formed the Voting Rights Caucus in order to urge Congress to update the Voting Rights Act. The caucus, which has nearly 60 members, is hoping to bring attention to the issue in Texas, which is considered to have one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country.  Supporters of the law argue having one of the seven forms of ID requires very little difficulty to obtain and the law only affects a small number of people. Many opponents of the law assert it is directly disenfranchising poor and ethnic communities who do not have access to obtaining these IDs. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to block Texas from enforcing its new voter ID law before the November election. Read more about Texas here


City of Cleveland Announces Rules for RNC 2016

Cleveland City officials announced a wide range of rules for the upcoming Republican National Convention on July 18. The RNC is expected to draw 50,000 people to Cleveland and the city has been preparing for the influx of visitors. Many of the rules announced this week focus on regulating protest activity and maintaining security throughout the convention. The city is trying to balance the security of convention goers and the rights of protesters. The American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue the city over, what they say were, unnecessary delays in issuing protest permits which is making it harder for organizers to coordinate rallies. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced protest routes and a speakers platform which will be installed in Public Square for people to use. Read more about Ohio here


Felon Voter Registration Lawsuit Moves Forward in Virginia Supreme Court

Over the past month, we have written about Governor Terry McAuliffe issuing an executive order to restore the voting rights of convicted felons – and Virginia Republicans planning to sue to stop it. The lawsuit went forward this week in a complaint to the Supreme Court of Virginia. Since April 22nd, nearly 5,000 previously convicted felons who have completed their prison time, probation or parole have registered to vote. For top Republican leaders in the state house and senate, time is of the essence to repeal these new registrations before November, citing partisan political motivations by the Democratic Governor. The Virginia Supreme Court’s decision will not only impact the general election later this year, but will have long lasting implications for the state’s constitution. Read more about Virginia here


Baltimore’s Primary Election Results Finally Recertified

Baltimore’s primary last month continues to make headline after headline,but not in a good way. The city’s elections board certified April’s primary results on Wednesday after a state review found 80 provisional ballots had not been counted earlier this month. In total, the state found that 1,650 ballots had been mishandled. While the outcome of the races remained the same, any candidate who wants a recount has three days to file. Those who want to submit a complaint in court have seven days. Concerns about the race are numerous: “Eight data files went missing for about a day after the election, some polling precincts opened late, and 34 released felons — eligible to vote under a new law — received a letter from the Board of Elections before the primary telling them erroneously they might not be able to vote.” One group, Voters Organized for the Integrity of City Elections may pursue legal action. If a judge finds the primary was in violation of election laws, Baltimore may need to hold another primary election. Read more about Maryland here


New Jersey’s June 7th Primary Matters

New Jersey’s primary election has historically taken place in early June, having little influence on Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees. This year is different. With 126 delegates up for grabs, New Jersey’s primary on June 7th matters – and could mean Secretary Hillary Clinton clinches the nomination. It’s also significant for Trump, who just secured the delegates needed to make him the likely GOP nominee, because it will further solidify his position. As New Jersey’s primary becomes increasingly more important, residents have taken notice;voter registration numbers have increased in a number of the state’s counties compared to other presidential election years. As more registered voters participate in New Jersey’s primary this year, their ballots will pack a more powerful punch. Read more about New Jersey here