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Voting & Elections 01.12.2024

Axios: Lawmaker says free bus rides on Election Day are "not fair"

Julia Vaughn, Common Cause Indiana executive director, doesn't think the legislation would have a significant impact on elections or voter turnout, but said it sends a bad message in a state that already struggles with low voter turnout. "We need to make voting more accessible and convenient to people," she said.

The Oregonian: Former OLCC board chair lands pot job

Kate Titus, executive director of Common Cause Oregon, a grassroots, nonpartisan organization that works to strengthen and advance democracy, said Révoal's leap into the industry that he up until recently regulated raises questions. "Democracies die when we erode ethics norms," she said. "It's not just a matter of following the letter of the law. It's about keeping clear, bright lines between working for the public interest and working for one's own private interest."

Omaha World Herald: Nebraska Legislature examines new rules to limit filibusters

Gavin Geis, executive director for Common Cause Nebraska, said the current rules serve as a safeguard that ensures a balanced approach to redistricting, a process that has received heavy scrutiny across the country for over-politicization. "The removal of party registration as a factor in selecting committee members may lead to a lack of diversity in thought and perspective, resulting in skewed representation that doesn't accurately (represent) the political landscape of our state," Geis said.

Daily Beast: NAACP Says Racist Redistricting Aims to Silence Black Voters in North Carolina

The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Common Cause North Carolina—an organization to protect voting rights, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, filed the lawsuit accusing North Carolina’s state Senate, House, and board of elections of discriminatory gerrymandering. “In 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly redrew its state legislative and congressional plans to severely diminish the voting power of North Carolina’s Black voters,” the lawsuit stated. “The General Assembly achieved this by intentionally dismantling existing and longstanding Black opportunity districts and diluting Black voting power.” The lawsuit claims Black voters were purposefully targeted throughout the state, violating the Voting Rights Act and 14th and 15th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Yahoo! News/The Hill: Lobbying World

Virginia Kase Solomón will be the next president and CEO of Common Cause. Currently CEO of the League of Women Voters, she will start her new role in February and will be the first Hispanic person to lead the democratic watchdog. She succeeds Karen Hobert Flynn, who died this spring after three decades with the organization.

Associated PressPBS: North Carolina’s election maps for 2024 are racially biased, advocates say in lawsuit

North Carolina voting-rights advocates sued Tuesday to overturn all of the redistricting plans drawn by Republicans and being used starting with the 2024 elections, saying legislative leaders unlawfully weakened the electoral influence of Black voters. The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, Common Cause and eight Black residents filed a lawsuit in federal court. They accuse GOP legislative leaders of intentionally moving this fall boundary lines for General Assembly and congressional districts in part so that many Black voters will be prevented from having the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates. Instead, the plaintiffs contend, Black voting blocs are submerged into districts with white majorities that don't normally vote for Black candidates. For decades, Black residents have overwhelmingly favored Democratic candidates. "The General Assembly targeted predominantly Black voting precincts with surgical precision throughout the state in drawing and enacting the 2023 Plans, at the expense of traditional redistricting criteria, to achieve preferred district lines that diminish Black voters' ability to elect candidates of their choice at all levels of government," the lawsuit's authors wrote. Tuesday's lawsuit marks at least the third and most comprehensive litigation filed by voters since the Republican-dominated General Assembly enacted new maps in October for its own districts and for North Carolina's congressional delegation that are designed to boost GOP clout for years to come.

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