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Voting & Elections 11.7.2022

Washington Post: Election officials fear counting delays will help fuel claims of fraud

“I expect to see what we saw in 2020,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for Common Cause, a nonpartisan voter education and advocacy group. “Election officials will be counting votes, some results will come in late and bad actors will be trying to play political games to undermine people’s confidence in the outcome.”

Voting & Elections 11.4.2022

Gray TV/KMOV (St. Louis): National security agencies concerned about increased threats and violence ahead of midterms

“The attack on Mr. Pelosi is deeply disturbing and part of a larger trend,” said Suzanne Almeida, director of state operations for Common Cause. he attack happened as a rise in threats against lawmakers investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police has doubled since the last midterm cycle, according to the Associated Press. The government watchdog group Common Cause says it is more concerned about this and not other election issues like voter intimidation because most states have systems in place to make sure voters can safely vote. “The Election Protection Coalition in most states has a plan to respond, will have volunteers at targeted polling locations, will be watching online for violent rhetoric, dis and misinformation,” Almeida said.

Voting & Elections 11.3.2022

NPR (AUDIO): How documentary-style films turn conspiracy theories into a call to action

"What we're seeing now is a trend towards policing other people's voting behavior," said Emma Steiner, a disinformation analyst at the nonpartisan group Common Cause. "It's basically an endless template for taking a picture of someone or a video and saying, 'Oh, actually what they're doing here is criminal and you can trust me on this, and we need to find out who this person is and report them to the authorities.'" ... Common Cause's Steiner said "2,000 Mules" serves a different purpose. It gives people who've already bought into the fiction of election fraud a satisfying story – and a way to participate. "People feel like, I can do my part by watching this movie, keeping an eye out for these ballot mules and attempting to ensure that these people are not voting where I'm voting," she said.

Voting & Elections 11.2.2022

Newsweek: How MAGA Election Watchers Are Scaring Away Voters

Suzanne Almeida, the director of state operations at nonpartisan watchdog Common Cause, agreed. "It's obviously something we're concerned about. Everyone has the right to vote free from intimidation [...] but this isn't a national wave of people who are armed at ballot boxes," Almeida told Newsweek. "As we are talking about it, if we are thinking there are armed people at drop boxes everywhere, it's going to make it less likely for voters to vote," she said. That is "doing the job of the folks who want to be intimidating for them." ... Almeida said if the ballot drop box a voter wants to use doesn't feel safe, they should head to a different one. She said it is likely too close to Election Day to post a ballot in the mail, but that in many states, people can turn it in at elections offices. "In several states, there's also a process where you can surrender your vote by mail or absentee ballot and then vote in person on Election Day, if that feels safer," she said.

Voting & Elections 11.1.2022

New York Times: Letters, Tweets, TV: How Midterm Disinformation Has Washed Over Pennsylvania

Jill Greene, the state representative for Common Cause, the national good-government organization, said that the many unfounded and untruthful claims posed a challenge for voters. “They don’t really know what to believe,” she said.

Voting & Elections 11.1.2022

Washington Post: GOP push to monitor voting in Texas’s Harris County spurs outcry

Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of the nonpartisan voter education and advocacy group Common Cause Texas, said that while so far there have not been many complaints to his group’s hotline, he is concerned that poll observers could overstep in this year’s tense atmosphere. During a training last week, Gutierrez said volunteers reported seeing people without the required identification circulating at polling locations close to voters. One Black voter complained to the hotline that when he showed up to vote at a polling location at a southwest Dallas community college, a White man outside told him he had to first surrender his cellphone and smartwatch, Gutierrez said. He said the voter complied, cast his ballot and recovered his items, only to discover the man who seized them “was not a worker at that poll site. They were just trying to be intimidating.”

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