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Voting & Elections 11.18.2020

Palm Beach Post/Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Ballot initiatives strengthen our democracy

Democracy is not a state or frame of mind, it is an act guaranteed only by us — the voters. Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the deliberate barriers set to silence the voices of Black people, new Americans and people just struggling to make ends meet, voters turned out in record numbers. We showed up to pick new leaders and pass political reform ballot measures that will shift power to the people and away from politicians. In this act, we — the voters — showed what a democracy that is based on fairness, justice and equality could look like.

Voting & Elections 11.9.2020

Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Access to Democracy Must Be a Priority For All

As we emerge from the pandemic, access to democracy must remain a priority. Our lives, our families, and our community depend on it. This year’s record turnout shows the pent-up demand of the people for elections that work of all of us.

Voting & Elections 11.6.2020

USA Today: Fact check: Georgia ballot curing is not election fraud

“We’re all hands on deck right now to make sure that we can get folks who had to vote provisionally, that they’re able to cure their ballots,” said Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, the state’s chapter of the national nonpartisan watchdog group. Most counties are almost done counting their outstanding absentee ballots, she said.  Common Cause Georgia requests lists of provisional voters from individual counties, and then volunteers reach out to those voters via text banking, phone banking or door-to-door knocking to inform them how they can cure their ballots, Dennis explained. On Friday, the organization hopes to reach 3,000 voters who cast provisional ballots, she said. “It’s a big effort, but we want to make sure that every vote in Georgia counts,” Dennis said, adding, “We want to make sure that every voter has equitable access to the ballot and to the balloting process, and every vote is counted in Georgia.” Responding to claims that ballot curing is equivalent to election fraud, Dennis said, “the curing process has been accessible for public viewing, so we definitely want to debunk those claims. That’s just fodder, and there’s no basis to those claims.” 

Voting & Elections 11.5.2020

Associated Press: Poll watchers emerge as a flashpoint in battle over ballots

“There are specific rules in Pennsylvania about where poll watchers can stand and what they can do,” said Suzanne Almeida, interim director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. “It applies to both parties equally. Everyone has the exact same access. This is not about disadvantaging one party over another.”

Voting & Elections 11.4.2020

CNN: Voting in Pennsylvania was far from perfect but not a disaster, election protection coalition says

There were several voting issues reported to nonpartisan voting rights groups in Pennsylvania but people turned out and were able to cast their ballot, despite "significant obstacles" to do so, according to Suzanne Almeida, interim executive director for Common Cause Pennsylvania.  "An election is successful when every single eligible voter is able to cast their ballot and have equal access to a positive experience at the polling place. We did not see that yesterday, so that being said, we also did not see a disaster," Almeida said at a Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition news briefing.

Voting & Elections 11.3.2020

USA Today: Expect lawsuits if election results are close. Here's where they've been filed so far.

Pennsylvania's voting code allows but does not require the so-called ballot "curing" procedure used by the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said Suzanne Almeida, the interim director of the Pennsylvania branch of Common Cause, a government watchdog organization and democracy advocate. "This is another attempt to cast out perfectly valid votes,” Almeida said during an Election Day conference call with reporters.

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