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Legislative Ethics

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The Guardian: Ohio voted to protect abortion rights. Republicans are scheming to undo it

“There is a disconnect between what voters want and what the legislature wants,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio. “It just highlights how gerrymandered the state legislature is.”

The Capital Times: The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ugly politics, explained

“The danger (with rhetoric surrounding impeaching Protasiewicz) is that you undermine significant confidence in the court,” said Jay Heck, executive director of the good government group Common Cause Wisconsin. “But one of the problems we have now is that’s not just a function of this past election, that is a function of things that have been occurring going back to 1997. “This is long-term. This is 25 years in the making.”

Voting & Elections 11.13.2023

Raleigh News & Observer: The first elections with voter ID in NC are done. What was the impact?

“We know it does create another impediment for people trying to get to the polls,” said Ann Webb, policy director at Common Cause North Carolina, a group that has sued to stop gerrymandering and new restrictions on voting. Webb said the voter ID requirement is part an effort by Republican lawmakers to narrow access to voting. “We like to say, ‘In 2023 there will be voter ID. In 2024, there will be more,’” Webb said.

Albuquerque Journal (Op-Ed): Ethics issues likely affected Albuquerque city elections

Restoring public trust in government and elected officials has been the major thrust of Common Cause since its founding in the 1970s, when Watergate and Vietnam led to widespread disbelief that presidents and top officials were telling the truth. Fast forward 50 years, and public trust has declined even further — despite the efforts of many reformers to tighten ethical standards, require transparent campaign reporting, and safeguard elections.

Voting & Elections 11.8.2023

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: New Texas law puts Tarrant County Republican primary in ‘jeopardy,’ GOP leader says

Katya Ehresman, the voting rights program manager for Common Cause Texas, stressed that more voting isn’t a problem. Having more polling places in counties that are growing should always be a goal, she said. The real issue that should be addressed is the chronic underfunding of election system, she said. “The biggest issue is election administration and making sure that we can do that well funded and equitably, and that’s not something that Senate Bill 924 created an issue with,” Ehresman said. “That’s something that the state legislature has continued to avoid addressing.”

Voting & Elections 11.6.2023

Salon: Ohio Republicans use taxpayer funds to boost "absolutely false" anti-abortion claims ahead of vote

"I get very worried. How do you have a democracy that is functional with so much misinformation?" Catherine Turcer, the executive director of government accountability group Common Cause Ohio, which endorsed Issue 1, told Salon. "Because we need good information to make decisions, and the misinformation doesn't just cloud the decision-making process, it doesn't just leave people with true misunderstandings. It can also completely turn off people so that they decide to opt out." Turcer said canvassers reported that constituents have expressed confusion about the moniker "Issue 1" in the Nov. 7 election, with many mistaking it for the ballot initiative of the same name in Ohio's Aug. 8 special election.  The League of Women Voters Ohio and Common Cause Ohio have worked to combat the misinformation given the high stakes surrounding abortion and reproductive care in the state. Turcer is hopeful that Ohioans will be able to "suss out the misinformation and the power grab" come Tuesday as they did in voting down August's Issue 1.  "One of the things that I think is gonna make a real difference is who shows up at the polls during early votes, who shows up at the polls on Election Day," Turcer told Salon. "I think at the end of the day, Issue 1 will be determined by who shows up to vote."

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