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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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Money & Influence 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.

Money & Influence 05.21.2019

George Washington to Citizens United: A History of Campaign Finance Reform

First in a series of articles looking at the past, present, and future of campaign finance reform, originally posted at The Well News.

Voting & Elections 11.1.2018

Preserving Voting Rights after the Husted Case

The result of purging voter roles is many inactive voters, who had not moved, being removed from voter rolls. This approach is not an efficient way to update voter rolls because it results in a large number of eligible voters being purged from the voter rolls. Fortunately, the federal appeals court later ruled that the Ohio boards of elections must count provisional ballots in the 2018 midterm elections for certain individuals who were previously purged from the voter rolls.

WSJ’s Seib Partially Diagnoses What Ails Democracy

In his recent Wall Street Journal column, Gerry Seib gives only a partial diagnosis for what ails our democracy and points toward a partial remedy. He's right about one thing though, the dis-ease many Americans feel is dangerous to the future of self-governance, so we best get this right.

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