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Media & Democracy 01.17.2024

NPR Morning Edition (AUDIO): The GOP needs more of its voters to cast ballots early. What's the problem?

Despite endorsing Bank Your Vote, on the trail, Trump has continued to cast doubt on the legitimacy and security of mail voting in particular. Aaron Scherb with Common Cause says this is a huge hurdle for the RNC. He says Republicans across the country have been maligning mail voting since 2020. He says it's going to be hard for them to convince their voters to get over a distrust they created. AARON SCHERB: So getting voters to, like, unlearn or unhear those messages is tough to undo that damage. And so I think that's what this Bank the Vote program is trying to essentially do. It's somewhat analogous to getting a jury to unhear extremely damaging information that's presented against a defendant.

Voting & Elections 01.15.2024

New York Times: Candidates Lay Groundwork For Fraud Cries Before Caucuses

“This follows the general playbook, the election denier playbook of just pre-emptively laying the groundwork for claims of fraud in the event of a loss,” said Emma Steiner, the Information Accountability Project Manager at Common Cause. “It’s sort of future-proofing.”

Media & Democracy 01.10.2024

KQED/NPR - Political Breakdown (Audio): Can Election Law Keep Up With AI and Deep Fakes?

The 2024 election will be the first where artificial intelligence, or AI, could play a big role — and not necessarily a good one. Today in Sacramento, the head of California Common Cause announced proposals to address the potential problems from things like deepfakes intended to confuse voters. Scott Shafer is joined by Jonathan Mehta Stein, head of Common Cause, to discuss threats posed by technology for this election.

Yahoo! News/The Hill: Lobbying World

Virginia Kase Solomón will be the next president and CEO of Common Cause. Currently CEO of the League of Women Voters, she will start her new role in February and will be the first Hispanic person to lead the democratic watchdog. She succeeds Karen Hobert Flynn, who died this spring after three decades with the organization.

Voting & Elections 12.10.2023

Daily Beast: ‘Absurd’: As 2024 Looms, Counties Won’t Update Voting Tech

Emma Steiner, Information Accountability Project manager at the watchdog group Common Cause, said the Albert plays a role in a broader far-right conspiracy theory about “the role of connection to the internet at polling places.” “It’s all part of this broader narrative that election workers are conspiring against voters, and that voting machines cannot be trusted,” Steiner noted. In actuality, the sensors are passive devices that listen for known intrusions on a county’s internet network, said Susannah Goodman, director of election security at Common Cause. “Elections weren’t declared critical infrastructure until 2017. To us, Albert sensors were a step in the right direction. They won’t stop an attack from happening, but they’ll tell you that bad actors are circling,” Goodman said, likening the sensor to an alarm system. “I thought it was too passive when I first heard about it.” While watchdogs like Goodman describe the Albert as a useful tool for monitoring and sharing threats, conspiracy theories caught the ear of Republicans in Ferry County, where the GOP chair authored a memo casting suspicion on the devices, the CIS, and a CIS co-founder’s work for Democratic presidential administrations.

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