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Voting & Elections 07.26.2022

Wisconsin Examiner (Op-Ed): Wisconsin must repudiate this Trump-ordered assault on voting and fair elections

Republicans appear to have cynically calculated that these “ballot security” measures to suppress the vote may be harmful to some of their own voters, but that it will block  more Wisconsinites who might vote for their political opponents.  Republicans have targeted voters who reside in urban areas like Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Green Bay. They have also homed in on college and university students by making it more difficult for that population to vote, even with a college-issued photo ID, than almost anywhere else in the nation. Most cruelly, Republicans have targeted Wisconsinites with disabilities, the elderly and the poor who must rely on public transportation and don’t have or cannot easily obtain the required photo ID needed to vote in Wisconsin. Republicans have not always behaved like this in Wisconsin. The question now is when, or even if, they will come to their senses and abandon this vicious assault on the very essence of our being as Americans, a promise that has made this state and this nation a beacon of  freedom and hope in the world: our 233-year-old commitment to free and fair elections.

Voting & Elections 07.11.2022

Associated Press: Massachusetts’ highest court upholds new mail-in voting law

“Today’s decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court means that voters will be able to rely on the provisions of the VOTES Act in the upcoming elections. This is a big win for voting rights in Massachusetts,” said Geoff Foster, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts.

Voting & Elections 06.22.2022

Associated Press: Gov. Baker signs bill ensuring mail-in ballots, early voting

“We are thrilled that Governor Baker signed the VOTES Act into law today,” Geoff Foster, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts, said in a written statement. “At a time when many states are making it harder to vote, this new law will modernize our elections and make our democracy more accessible and equitable.”

Voting & Elections 05.15.2022

Associated Press: In early primaries, voters favor polling places over mail

Common Cause Georgia deployed “self-help stations” around the state where voters could access a computer, printer and scanner to print out a mail ballot application before Friday’s deadline. “People are believing political propaganda and not understanding this is creating more hurdles to voting,” said Aunna Dennis, the group’s executive director.

Voting & Elections 03.28.2022

Roll Call: Biden budget seeks $10 billion over decade to improve elections, make ballots postage-free

Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, an independent citizens' lobbying group, said that much money would be “transformative” for states holding elections.  ... Albert said states often save the grant money they receive from the federal government for emergencies or for other unexpected reasons.  “Officials don't have confidence that more money will be coming. They don’t feel free to use it in a way that could expand access,” Albert said, praising Biden's call for sustained funding. “That would really allow election officials to create programs that really maximize access ... without worrying that they are spending money to expand a program but then next year have to roll it all back.” Expanding vote-by-mail programs in underserved areas could help people who live in rural areas and on Native lands vote more easily, Albert added.  The proposal could also solidify a Postal Service policy to deliver ballots regardless of whether they have postage on them. Currently, enforcement of that policy varies across the country, she said. “Adding something like this to law would ensure that that policy is actually followed,” she said.

Voting & Elections 03.24.2022

Salon: “Throwback to Jim Crow”: New Texas voting law means Black voters' ballots get tossed

"Texas was already the hardest state to vote in before Republicans passed these laws that made it even harder," said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, in a statement to Salon. "What we're seeing today is a small preview of what we can expect to see at a far wider scale in November unless the federal government finally takes real action to intervene." Gutierrez said the Texas secretary of state's office was repeatedly told about the potential for these problems when the voting-restriction bill was going through committee. He suggested that state officials had "ample opportunity" to address these issues but "instead chose to focus on playing politics [as] implementation was left to local officials who received little to no guidance or communication from our state's chief election officer." He predicted "far bigger problems in November when we have exponentially more people showing up to the polls."

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