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Voting & Elections 07.2.2020

Houston Chronicle: Gov. Abbott leaves Texas polling places out of mask mandate

“Issuing the mandatory mask order and encouraging everyone to stay home is the right thing to do right now, considering the mess we’re in,” said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of the nonprofit Common Cause Texas. “But the right thing to do months ago to avoid this very easily foreseeable mess was to allow all Texans to vote by mail so that no one would now find themselves having to choose between voting and endangering their health.” Guiterrez added that it’s not too late for the governor to take actions to expand mail-in voting in November.

Voting & Elections 07.1.2020

WESA (NPR) "The Confluence" (AUDIO): Pennsylvania Legislature Considers Voting Reforms Before Next Election

Suzanne Almeida, the interim executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan organization working for good government, says she worries that some election lawsuits could make it harder for people to vote. “I am always concerned when I see legal filings or policies that are designed to make it more difficult for people to vote. We know that the June 2 primary was challenging for a lot of folks—for voters, for election administrators,” she says. “Ultimately, our goal at Common Cause is to make sure that every eligible voter can cast a ballot and not create an atmosphere that scares people away or makes it more difficult for them to get to the ballot box.” “We have time, we have political will” to make changes, Almeida says. “Ensuring that we have an election that works for everyone from election administrators to voters is something that I think both Republicans and Democrats in Pennsylvania have demonstrated that they want to get behind.”

Salon: House Democrats: “We may very well” impeach William Barr for "reigning terror on the rule of law"

Karen Hobert Flynn, the head of the advocacy group Common Cause, said "Congress cannot allow these abuses to stand." "Common Cause called for William Barr's impeachment in December 2019 and we renew that call today," she added. "Barr's attempted Friday night firing of Berman is yet another example of Barr's willingness to damage our nation's system of justice to protect President Trump and the Republican Party."

Voting & Elections 06.24.2020

Washington Post: Here's why all election officials should pay attention to Kentucky's primary

“Governor Beshear and Secretary of State Adams made a good faith effort to make the best of the difficult task of holding an election in the middle of a pandemic. But now they must take the lessons learned from the primary and get things right for the general election when we will likely see even higher turnout,” Richard Beliles, Kentucky Board Chair for the voting rights group Common Cause, said in a statement.

Media & Democracy 06.24.2020

Salon: Trump's 2020 election app harvests intimate user data, including location: report

Yosef Getachew, Media & Democracy Program Director at Common Cause, expressed a similar sentiment.  We have a "glaring lack of privacy protections [in] this country," Getachew told Salon, pointing out that there is "no federal framework for privacy." Regarding the Trump app specifically, Getachew noted that it is "pretty invasive, and one of the things that we would like to see in a federal framework is some sort of data minimization policy, where your company or service provider is only required to collect data necessary to run the surface."

Voting & Elections 06.24.2020

Associated Press: Kentucky incumbents win easily in rare unfinished primaries

Richard Beliles, Common Cause Kentucky board chairman, said the primary “went remarkably smoothly for most who made it to the polls but certainly not for all.” “We don’t know how many never made it to the polls in the first place in an election where many counties -– including those encompassing Louisville and Lexington — had only one polling location for voters,” he said.

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