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New 50 State Report Finds Massive Failures in Redistricting Process

A coalition of national organizations advocating for a stronger democracy published a report today evaluating redistricting efforts across all 50 states, awarding just two states with an “A” grade while 20 states earned a “D” or an “F” for their failures in transparency, opportunities for public input, nonpartisanship, and empowerment of communities of color. 

Washington Post: Ohio’s GOP supermajority tests limits of democracy before abortion vote

“This was about playing games with an election, not about playing around with the language that goes directly into the Ohio Constitution,” said Catherine Turcer, the executive director of Common Cause Ohio and a member of the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition’s steering committee.

The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com: National Democrats ask Ohio Supreme Court to block new legislative redistricting maps

One group that has decided against litigation over this year’s redistricting process is Common Cause Ohio, a left-leaning good-government group. Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio’s executive director, said last week that her organization was considering filing a lawsuit against the Ohio Redistricting Commission, primarily to assert that the closed-door negotiations held by commission members violated state open-meetings law. But on Wednesday, Turcer said Common Cause Ohio decided that it would be better for them to spend their time and money on getting Ohio voters to approve a proposed constitutional amendment in 2024 that would overhaul the state’s redistricting process entirely. “This is a hard one to let go,” she said.

Boston Globe: Trump uses presidential run to attack the institutions he says are after him

“He used his words to hammer at democratic institutions in ways that undermine trust and confidence, and it’s dangerous,” said Stephen Spaulding, vice president of policy at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good government group. “That is part of his playbook, which is to soften the ground to then attack the legitimate outcome of an election.”

Voting & Elections 10.5.2023

Ohio Capital Journal: Even before office move is complete, Ohio Sec. of State LaRose appears to blur ethical lines

LaRose hasn’t responded to repeated questions from the Capital Journal about the move. But it would be improper for him to engage in campaign activities in the downtown Columbus building, said Mia Lewis of Common Cause Ohio, because it’s vital to keep the work of running a fair election walled off from that of trying to win one. “You have to keep the campaign and the government work separate,” she said. “Once those things start to blur, it becomes harder and harder for voters to trust their elected officials.” “This man is our secretary of state,” Lewis said. “He’s supposed to be in charge of elections in Ohio. And yet he seems to spend an incredible amount of his time putting his thumb on the scale of one issue or another — openly campaigning for one result or another.” She added, “Now he’s running for office himself and the fact that he doesn’t see that it is unseemly at the very least to be operating as secretary of state while in the same building you’re running your campaign for Senate at the same time. How are Ohioans supposed to trust you when you have so much trouble putting the voters first?”

Tallahassee Democrat/USA Today Florida Network: Judges to decide whether DeSantis intentionally hurt Black voters with North Florida map

"It is blatantly about race from Day 1," said Gregory Diskant, attorney for plaintiffs including the NAACP, Common Cause, Fair Districts Now and individual voters who want the congressional boundaries thrown out by the court. They charge that DeSantis violated the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and voting rights protections with the Republican-heavy map that has left no Black member of Congress from North Florida for the first time in 30 years. "Why did he care about this so much?" Diskant said, answering by claiming that "racial animus" was behind the governor's actions. "He did not want a Black performing district in North Florida," he added.

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