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Voting & Elections 05.29.2020

PennLive/The Patriot News: An Election Day like never before: Mail-in balloting, new voting machines, multi-day counts for Pa.'s primary

“We know that there are going to be issues on June 2nd,” said Suzanne Almeida, interim executive director of Common Cause PA, citing instances in which county offices have sent out duplicate mail-in ballots, or even the wrong political party’s primary ballot; the massive consolidation of polling places in places like Philadelphia; and the use of new machines in many places. “The way that we’re looking at this is really that we we will have a lot of clarity after June 2nd about what needs to be fixed for November," Almeida said. "And we’re hoping we can come up with some really clear, practical solutions... to make sure that no voter is disenfranchised in November.”

Voting & Elections 05.26.2020

Washington Post: Mail-in ballot delays in Maryland threaten statewide primary, activists say

Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said the state was doing its best to accommodate Baltimore in an unprecedented situation. “It’s just unfortunate that it’s always these areas that are hit the most,” she said.

Voting & Elections 05.26.2020

ABC News: Election officials gear up for single biggest day of voting during coronavirus, as Trump rails against vote by mail

Suzanne Almeida, the interim executive director for Common Cause Pennsylvania, a voting rights organization, told ABC that for officials in Pennsylvania, "this was never going to be an easy election." "Pennsylvania in 2020 was always going to be crazy. It's a swing state in the presidential election year. And then on top of that, in 2019 we passed historic voting reform that gave us vote-by-mail for the first time, and changed the voter registration deadline closer to election day," Almeida said.

Voting & Elections 05.22.2020

Charlotte Observer/McClatchy: Expand vote-by-mail for 2020, says a bipartisan group of NC lawmakers

Bob Phillips, executive director of the group Common Cause NC, said in a news release Friday that the bill is “a positive step” but could still use some additional provisions. “We applaud members on both sides of the aisle for this bipartisan effort,” he said. “As the bill makes its way through each legislative chamber, we urge lawmakers to be responsive to suggestions from election experts and the public.”

Money & Influence 05.22.2020

Associated Press: Nebraska sees increase in lobbyists, spending on lobbyists

Lobbyists in Nebraska raked in more cash than ever last year and more people joined their ranks to try to influence public officials, according to a new report. Lobbyists collected $19.4 million in gross earnings in 2019, according to Common Cause Nebraska. The government watchdog group said the total is a record, up from $17.8 million in 2018. Jack Gould, the group’s issues chairman, said lobbyists are getting more involved in campaign

Money & Influence 05.20.2020

HuffPost: Digital Ad Makers Making Millions Off Of Trump’s Reelection Campaign

The Trump campaign is obfuscating its spending thanks to a loophole that the FEC has failed to close. Unlike payments to credit card companies, which must be itemized by individual vendor, payments to consultants who then outsource the work do not have to be broken out, said Paul Ryan, a campaign finance lawyer with Common Cause. “The lack of transparency to the public is a problem,” he said.

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