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Voting & Elections 09.7.2022

Boston Globe: R.I. Board of Elections calls for new protocols after ballot problems

John M. Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, attended Wednesday’s meeting and tweeted, “Big takeaway for me is that there was no process in place that could have caught these mistakes. It’s a new technology implementation, which is hard, but there is a lot we could have learned from other states that have had them for years.” Marion and Steven Brown, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, noted that the printed ballots voters received after using the touchscreen are in English, even if the voter opted to vote in Spanish. “Not only does this obviously undercut the point of having a bilingual voting process in the first place, it is in clear violation of the federal law that requires this Spanish language option in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Woonsocket,” they wrote.

Voting & Elections 02.8.2022

Inside Sources/Tribune News Service (Op-Ed): The Fight for Voting Rights Goes On

The fight for voting rights goes on, even though every Senate Republican, joined by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), tried to shut it down on January 19. They refused to adjust a Senate rule best known for obstructing civil rights legislation. The filibuster rule – requiring 60 votes to advance most legislation if any senator objects – has been modified or waived more than 160 times in recent decades. Just in December, an exception was granted for legislation dealing with the debt ceiling, with the support of Manchin and Sinema and some Republicans. Yet somehow they decided voting rights were not important enough to warrant any adjustments to the rule.

Voting & Elections 12.1.2021

The Hill: The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2021

Not all of those honored on this list are registered lobbyists. But they are all key players who the nation’s biggest companies, advocacy groups, labor unions and trade associations turn to when they want their voices heard in the nation’s capital. The ranks of policy experts, influencers and advocates run deep in Washington, but these are the people who stand out for delivering results for their clients in the halls of Congress and the administration. ... GRASSROOTS: Karen Hobert Flynn and Aaron Scherb, Common Cause 

Voting & Elections 03.25.2021

The Fulcrum (Op-Ed): Two smart ways to deter foreign money and dirt-digging from our elections

American democracy is resilient. Last November's election "was the most secure in American history," according to the Department of Homeland Security. In the face of immense challenges — threats of foreign interference, rampant disinformation, risks posed by the pandemic — election administrators, organizers, attorneys and advocates worked together to protect the vote. Americans voted in record numbers, casting their ballots safely by mail, drop box and in person. But the work to secure our elections is not over. Recent investigations have revealed vulnerabilities from foreign actors to political campaigns themselves. Email accounts and cell phones of congressional and campaign staff, for example, can be hacked by foreign actors, who have now grown in number and expanded well beyond those from Russia. Other threats are detailed in the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee findings of last year, the final report from special counsel Robert Mueller and a 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment.

Voting & Elections 03.22.2021

The Guardian: 'Everything is on the table': Senate prepares for showdown over filibuster

Despite those warnings, Stephen Spaulding, senior counsel for public policy and government affairs at Common Cause, a government watchdog group, said that Democrats needed to keep every option on the table. “Senate Democrats have the majority and they need to have the ability to govern,” he said. “This idea that it can be costless to filibuster, that you can essentially raise your hands behind closed doors and grind everything to a halt, is unacceptable.”

Voting & Elections 03.16.2021

NBC Peacock – The Mehdi Hasan Show (VIDEO): The Fight Over the Massive Bill to Reform Voting Rights

Voter suppression efforts are escalating in 43 states, as are Republican efforts to block passage of H.R. 1, the massive voting rights bill just passed by House Dems. The Bulwark's Charlie Sykes and Stephen Spaulding of Common Cause help Mehdi understand what's in the bill and what's at stake.

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