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Voting & Elections 01.11.2024

Star-Ledger/NY.Com (Op-Ed): It’s time for Newark to include young people in school board elections

With just over 3% participation, Newark’s school board elections could use an infusion of fresh, young energy. Give these students the chance to be heard, and you might be surprised by how much they can do. We encourage the Newark City Council to favorably pass their ordinance to lower the voting age for school board elections, and we can’t wait to see what these students accomplish when they’re given the chance.

Voting & Elections 01.1.2024

Washington Times: Share of unelected legislators target of reform movement

Nearly half of the state lawmakers from Montgomery County and a quarter statewide were not elected before they were first seated, according to Common Cause Maryland, a watchdog group that advocates for voting rights and fair elections. Common Cause and some lawmakers aim to change the process during the three-month General Assembly session that opens on Jan. 10. A survey released in October by Common Cause Maryland found that 85% of the state’s residents favor a switch to a special elections system. “The General Assembly can’t continue to allow a handful of individuals to speak on behalf of thousands of voters,” said Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland. “Letting another legislative session pass with no action continues to diminish the voice of the voters.”

Voting & Elections 12.26.2023

New York Times: How to Boost Voter Turnout With Just One Signature

“It makes for more efficient elections and is less confusing to voters, too,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, a nonpartisan good government group.

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.

Voting & Elections 12.6.2023

Inclusive Democracy Act Would End Felony Disenfranchisement 

Today, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Inclusive Democracy Act of 2023, a bill to end felony disenfranchisement. This groundbreaking legislation seeks to eliminate the discriminatory practice of felony disenfranchisement for federal elections, ensuring that all Americans, regardless of a criminal conviction, have the fundamental right to vote. 

Baltimore Sun (Editorial): Finding a better way to fill Maryland’s state legislative vacancies

Common Cause Maryland and others see a troubling pattern. You make friends with party insiders and your path to the State House is far easier. You get the appointment and then special interest money steered your way keeps you in the job. Other vacancies from state attorney general to comptroller to U.S. Senate seats get a special election (under a 2016 state constitutional amendment ratified by voters).

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