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Voting & Elections 06.1.2020

The Fulcrum (Op-Ed): In time for the second Super Tuesday, lessons from the first vote-by-mail state

This presidential election year, Americans need solutions so they don't have to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote. On Tuesday morning polls will open for primaries in eight states and Washington, D.C., and election officials are making final preparations to keep voters and election workers safe. Contests in four of those states were postponed during the coronavirus pandemic, which is why the day is being labeled as another Super Tuesday. And so this is an important moment for a closer look at states that already vote by mail. My home state of Oregon is ranked first: 99 percent of us voted from home in the 2018 midterm election, more than any other state.

Voting & Elections 05.29.2020

PennLive/The Patriot News: An Election Day like never before: Mail-in balloting, new voting machines, multi-day counts for Pa.'s primary

“We know that there are going to be issues on June 2nd,” said Suzanne Almeida, interim executive director of Common Cause PA, citing instances in which county offices have sent out duplicate mail-in ballots, or even the wrong political party’s primary ballot; the massive consolidation of polling places in places like Philadelphia; and the use of new machines in many places. “The way that we’re looking at this is really that we we will have a lot of clarity after June 2nd about what needs to be fixed for November," Almeida said. "And we’re hoping we can come up with some really clear, practical solutions... to make sure that no voter is disenfranchised in November.”

Voting & Elections 05.26.2020

Washington Post: Mail-in ballot delays in Maryland threaten statewide primary, activists say

Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said the state was doing its best to accommodate Baltimore in an unprecedented situation. “It’s just unfortunate that it’s always these areas that are hit the most,” she said.

Voting & Elections 05.26.2020

ABC News: Election officials gear up for single biggest day of voting during coronavirus, as Trump rails against vote by mail

Suzanne Almeida, the interim executive director for Common Cause Pennsylvania, a voting rights organization, told ABC that for officials in Pennsylvania, "this was never going to be an easy election." "Pennsylvania in 2020 was always going to be crazy. It's a swing state in the presidential election year. And then on top of that, in 2019 we passed historic voting reform that gave us vote-by-mail for the first time, and changed the voter registration deadline closer to election day," Almeida said.

Voting & Elections 05.22.2020

Charlotte Observer/McClatchy: Expand vote-by-mail for 2020, says a bipartisan group of NC lawmakers

Bob Phillips, executive director of the group Common Cause NC, said in a news release Friday that the bill is “a positive step” but could still use some additional provisions. “We applaud members on both sides of the aisle for this bipartisan effort,” he said. “As the bill makes its way through each legislative chamber, we urge lawmakers to be responsive to suggestions from election experts and the public.”

Voting & Elections 05.12.2020

U.S. News & World Report: Access Denied? Coronavirus Complicates Voter Access

"Every vote is going to matter here, as it's excruciatingly close here, as it always is," says Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, one of the most critical of battleground states this fall. If presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins every electoral vote Hillary Clinton did in 2016 – and picks up Pennsylvania and Michigan – he'd still lose by two electoral votes without also capturing Wisconsin. Heck contends that Republicans are trying to suppress the vote to keep battleground Wisconsin in the GOP column this fall. "This is a dog-eat-dog state. The Republicans in this state have shown they will do anything and everything – they will manipulate (the process) and do whatever they need to do to help Trump," Heck says. Democrats believe their voters are more affected, since young, low-income and minority voters tend to move more often, making them more likely to have their residency questioned.

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