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The Guardian: ‘A core threat to our democracy’: threat of political violence growing across US

Stephen Spaulding, senior counsel at the government watchdog group Common Cause, described such violent tactics as “a core threat to our democracy”. “The threat of violence is really to intimidate people from doing their jobs and upholding their oath of office,” Spaulding said. “When you start having these violent episodes enter the system, it is totally counter to the way that we are supposed to engage in open and fair debate about policy issues in this country.”

11.24.2021

HuffPost: More States Expanded Voting Rights In 2021 Than Restricted Them

“Specifically with the mail-in voting bills, that was a direct reaction [to the pandemic],” Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, a nonprofit backing voting rights legislation, said. Previous attempts to pass legislation in Maryland simply to create a study of mail voting failed due to opposition in the state House of Delegates. But this year, both chambers adopted legislation to allow mail-in voting and approve the mailing of ballot applications to all registered voters. “It was interesting to see, because of the pandemic, the willingness,” Antoine said. “It was almost as though everyone had a change of heart and they realized that this can work.”

New York Times: As Gerrymanders Get Worse, Legal Options to Overturn Them Dwindle

The racial impact of the maps is sweeping. The government accountability watchdog group Common Cause said a quarter of the 36 state legislative seats held by African Americans, all Democrats, would be likely to flip Republican. The district containing the seat that a Black congressman, Representative G.K. Butterfield, has occupied since 1992 also lost much of its Black constituency, and he chose to retire at the end of this term.

Voting & Elections 11.20.2021

CNN: More than a year after Donald Trump's loss, Wisconsin Republicans wage relentless attacks on the state's election commission

Johnson's calls for a legislative takeover of the elections system demonstrate "the firm grasp that the (Donald) Trump wing of the Republican Party has not only everywhere, but particularly here in Wisconsin," said Jay Heck, who runs the state branch of Common Cause. "It's a lot of political bluster, but it has to be taken seriously in these times," he added.

Voting & Elections 11.19.2021

Houston Chronicle: Gov. Abbott uses emergency power to fund $4 million audit of 2020 Texas election results

"How much taxpayer money is it going to take, to convince former President Trump that he lost the 2020 election?" said Stephanie Gómez, associate director of the Common Cause Texas advocacy group. "Wisconsin taxpayers are spending almost $700,000. Arizona taxpayers are on the hook for millions. Now, using emergency powers, Governor Abbott has got Texas taxpayers on the hook for $4 million more."

Politico Playbook Deep Dive (AUDIO): Kiss your swing districts goodbye

“This is a bit of my reformer hat on, but if we have to go another decade with maps that are ultimately found to be unconstitutional two or three cycles later on, it's dreadful. It just completely sinks a lot of us who are doing the work's morale and hopefulness. And I think increasingly in North Carolina, because we are the most litigated state in the country, I believe, over gerrymandered maps. A lot of the big U.S. Supreme Court cases have come out of North Carolina over the years. And sure, there are a lot of people here who don't know anything about what we were talking about or they may have a vague understanding about it. I wish more did. … But I think a lot of people, it contributes to this feeling of, ‘This stinks and democracy doesn't work,’ and, ‘What do you mean the lines that get drawn are rigged?’ or, you know, when they see that literally the legislative or congressional seats are preordained. … So this is another moment, and I don't know whether I am hopeful or not, because it's an uphill struggle as litigation always is. But you know what we saw last decade in North Carolina? I don't know if we're the only state in America that can say this, and I don't say it with pride. But every single legislative and congressional election in the aughts was ultimately run under districts and maps that were found to be unconstitutional. Every single one of them. From 2012 to 2020. And you know, you just can't sustain that.” — Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina

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