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Media & Democracy 09.27.2023

The Messenger: Elon Musk’s X Cuts Half of Election Integrity Team

Ishan Mehta, director for media and democracy at Common Cause, another watchdog organization, said X has largely severed communications with groups like his and that the layoffs were "dangerous and irresponsible for a platform that has many millions of users."

Ohio Capital Journal: Ohio Redistricting Commission adopts sixth version of Statehouse maps with bipartisan support

“This corrupt, undemocratic process has resulted in rigged maps that help politicians and their friends get re-elected at the expense of Ohio families and communities,” said Catherine Turcer, Executive Director of Common Cause Ohio, speaking on behalf of Fair Districts. “We are working together on an amendment to ban politicians from map drawing so that Ohio voters get the impartial districts they fundamentally deserve, and lawmakers will be responsive to the people rather than mega-donors and lobbyists.”

Voting & Elections 09.27.2023

CT Insider: CT's absentee ballot boxes are under fire amid Bridgeport investigation. Here's what to know

Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Connecticut's chapter of Common Cause, an advocacy group focused on accountable government, says the investigation in Bridgeport isn't a reason to restrict or remove absentee ballot drop boxes. "This does not demonstrate a problem with the boxes," Quickmire said. "It demonstrates a problem with the local officials in Bridgeport." In Quickmire's view, the boxes "absolutely are successful at giving voters an alternative way to submit their ballot." Quickmire said there is "absolutely not" evidence of widespread voter fraud in Connecticut, involving drop boxes or otherwise. "People can be assured that casting their ballots is safe and secure," she said. "There are very few examples of where this is a problem."

Politico: DeSantis top aide grilled over map that dismantled seat held by Black Democrat

Kathay Feng, Common Cause vice president for programs who was on hand for the trial, contended that Kelly’s testimony showed that the DeSantis administration was struggling to explain their actions. “There’s a lot of twisting and turning, there’s a lot of fabrication, there’s a lot of denial of history,” Feng said.

Voting & Elections 09.25.2023

New York Times: In North Carolina, Republicans Seek More Control Over Elections

The legislation “will leave us with county and state boards that can gridlock,” said Ann Webb, the policy director for Common Cause North Carolina, which opposes the measures. “And in this political environment of hyperpartisanship, we fully expect that they will gridlock.” Ms. Webb and other critics say their concerns might have been allayed had the legislature added language to the House bill that laid out instructions to break deadlocks. But “those suggestions have been rejected,” she said. Ms. Webb said critics’ concerns go beyond squabbles over polling places to the very basics of the election process, especially in presidential politics. Already she said, some local election officials in the state initially refused to certify the results of the 2022 midterm elections because they mistrusted election procedures. It fell to local boards to address the issue. If that becomes a partisan question in 2024, she said, “we’re going to see what will feel very much to voters like chaos, and very well could be that.”

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