We live in an information age, but misinformation is an all-too-prevalent part of modern elections, as partisans seek to depress turnout in targeted communities. Election saboteurs typically distribute literature publicizing erroneous voting hours and/or polling places. Some also use computer-generated "robocalls," and email chains to contact hundreds of voters simultaneously with deceptive messages; others distribute misinformation geared toward intimidating targeted voter groups and keeping them away from the polls. Learn More ›
Each Election Day produces new evidence that the foundation of our democracy -- the right to vote in free and fair elections -- remains beset with problems: ballot bullies intimidating voters, unnecessary administrative hurdles hampering voter participation, partisan redistricting, the undemocratic Electoral College. All of these problems weaken the power of elections in holding our elected officials accountable to the will of the voters.
Attempts at restricting voting rights have been most egregious in political battleground states, but even in Massachusetts voter suppression groups have intimidated voters and distributed misinformation. Worse yet, we lag behind much of the country in encouraging broader voter participation through our our election administration laws and procedures.
Thanks to an aggressive Common Cause campaign, the MA redistricting process in 2010, unlike many other states, was fair, open, and transparent, but work remains to lock in these gains for the future with an independent redistricting commission. In 2014, we also secured comprehenseive Election Modernization, establishing early voting, pre-registration for minors, online voter registration, and audits of electronic election equipment. We are still striving for more though, including permanent voter registration, Election Day registration itself, and no-excuse absentee ballots, while we have to remain vigiliant in ensuring that new policies are implemented in a way that actually helps more voters participate.
Voting brings us together as Americans and is our most important tool for ensuring accountable government. Join Common Cause as we work to improve every level of the voting process.