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Santa Fe New Mexican: New Mexico Supreme Court hands Democrats a victory in redistricting case

Mason Graham, policy director of Common Cause New Mexico, said in a news release Monday he applauds the state Supreme Court’s decision. “The redistricting process was more accessible and transparent this time, due to the involvement of the Citizen Redistricting Committee, but we can make it better,” Graham said.

Voting & Elections 11.27.2023

New York Public Radio/WXXI: Hochul urged to sign bill that would shift some local elections to even-numbered years

Skoufis on Monday held a news conference attended by government reform advocates, including Susan Lerner of Common Cause. Lerner said the state holds so many elections on various dates throughout the year — including village elections in March, school budgets in May, and primaries in June — that voters can become confused and weary. “New York state, there's a concept called voter fatigue,” Lerner said. “And unfortunately, we are fatiguing our voters.”

Money & Influence 11.27.2023

Yahoo! News/NorthJersey.com: Dark money disclosures in NJ elections are a 'work in progress.' Will they work?

It's unclear why these groups — the very ones that have come to dominate campaigns in recent years — were exempted from pre-Election Day disclosures. But to some campaign finance watchdogs, like Philip Hensley-Robin, a former analyst for the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, the loophole — when coupled with other key shortcomings of the bill — belied its much-ballyhooed “transparency” title. “Overall, I think you could pick out, you know, a clause here or there that was good, but overall, it's a net negative for transparency,” said Hensley-Robin, who is now executive director of Common Cause in Pennsylvania.

Voting & Elections 11.26.2023

Washington Post: A renewed push to change how vacancies are filled in Md. legislature

Nearly half of the state lawmakers from Maryland’s largest county and about 1 in 4 statewide were not originally elected to their seats. Instead, they were appointed, sent to Annapolis by a handful of local party officials, according to a recent analysis from Common Cause Maryland, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for fair elections. “The General Assembly can’t continue to allow a handful of individuals to speak on behalf of thousands of voters,” Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, said of the process. Common Cause Maryland and Maryland PIRG say there should be special elections called to fill legislative vacancies, which is what happens in Maryland if there is an unexpected vacancy in the office of the comptroller, the attorney general or the U.S. Senate.

Money & Influence 11.24.2023

Daily Beast: The Secret Megadonor Behind the MAGA Movement’s ‘Nerve Center’

Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a watchdog group with decades of experience and a longstanding national operation, told The Daily Beast that Rydin was not on his organization’s radar. Scherb even inquired with Common Cause’s state-level team in Rydin’s home of Texas. “They said that oddly they had never heard this guy’s name before,” Scherb said. “After the awful Citizens United decision, more than 13 years ago now, the ultra-wealthy and elites have had a golden megaphone that drowns out the voices of everyday Americans,” said Scherb, of Common Cause. “This is example number one-thousand for why we need reforms like the Freedom to Vote Act and the Disclose Act, to help restore balance and inform more Americans about the money that influences our politics.”

Voting & Elections 11.24.2023

Yahoo! News/Erie Times-News: Erie federal judge's ruling on mail-in ballots could shape outcome of 2024 election

"This is a tremendous victory for mail-in voters in Pennsylvania," Philip Hensley-Robin, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement. "We are relieved that minor clerical errors will no longer prevent Pennsylvanians from having their votes counted. We look forward to seeing the impact that this ruling will have on future elections, particularly for communities of color and elderly Pennsylvanians."

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