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Democracy Wire

Daily dispatches of news and commentary from the front lines of the democracy movement. We accept original and cross-posted essays, interviews, video, audio, cartoons and other images from people interested in strengthening democracy so it works for all of us. The views are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Common Cause. Please send submissions to Scott Blaine Swenson, Vice President for Communications, at sswenson@commoncause.org.

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Voting & Elections 06.19.2019

Juneteenth Celebration and Reflection

Juneteenth -- the celebration of Emancipation Day a.k.a. America's other Independence Day -- is a good time to reflect on the lingering systemic disenfranchisement that occurred after slavery ended. The prison industry has taken advantage of the “punishment exception” to the 13th Amendment. After the end of slavery, states passed discriminatory laws to arrest and imprison large numbers of freed black people. Incarcerated black people were then leased out or forced to provide free labor to private individuals and corporations. This still occurs today as states across the nation continue to lease out incarcerated people to private corporations.

Voting & Elections 06.26.2019

Is “one person, one vote” really controversial? The case for the National Popular Vote

The flaws in the Electoral College are increasingly clear—but the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact may hold a new answer to the outdated system. With 15 states and Washington DC signed onto the plan, that answer may be closer than ever.

Can the People End Gerrymandering if the Supreme Court Punts?

Voters are not waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw gerrymandering. People in seven states stripped the power to draw district maps away from politicians and gave it to independent redistricting commissions. Voters in another dozen states can take their fight to end gerrymandering directly to the ballot box and win -- even if it’s over the “dead bodies” of legislators.

DC Poised to Join Maine and Vermont: Your Right to Vote Cannot be Taken Away Once Eligible

Being a person that was formerly incarcerated myself, the only time I didn’t vote was during my incarceration. I know better than most the importance of being able to vote with a felony conviction. Growing up in a household that placed significant emphasis on the importance of voting, I have always understood the POWER in being able to vote and having your voice heard.

Atlanta Takes Steps to Curb Legacy of Corruption

Ending a feud over funding between the city council and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta will introduce a new office to tackle corruption and bolster transparency for the city.

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