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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.

Voting & Elections 03.5.2021

CBS News: Activists want to save voting rights bill by killing the filibuster

"Those who won the election, who have the majority are going to be faced with a choice: do they protect voting rights or do they protect the filibuster rule?" said Stephen Spaulding, senior counsel for public policy & senior adviser at Common Cause. "I don't think saying, 'Oh, but the filibuster,' is going to cut it." As for what Mr. Biden can do, the Brennan Center for Justice wrote in October 2020 that the president could improve cybersecurity and direct more federal agencies to offer voter registration. Spaulding said that the president could also provide more resources for the Justice Department to enforce the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and other voting rights legislation. He applauded the White House for supporting the bill and said the administration needs to "really use the bully pulpit" to help pass legislation.

Voting & Elections 03.2.2021

Roll Call (Op-Ed): Why Congress must pass HR 1 and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Ac

In the 2020 election, we used our vote, whether it was cast early, by mail or on Election Day, to determine the future for our family, community and country. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice and the confusion and sudden changes to the voting process thrown at us, we showed up and decided the outcome of a free and fair election. Now, after showing our power as voters, some partisan politicians in state legislatures are pushing bills that would restrict our freedom to vote, while Congress is on the verge of passing laws to protect and strengthen it.

Voting & Elections 01.29.2021

The Fulcrum Q&A with Karen Hobert Flynn: Common Cause to push states, Congress to strengthen voting rights

As Democrats take power in Washington, if only tenuously, many democracy reform groups see a potential path toward making the American political system work better. In this installment, Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, answers our questions about 2020 accomplishments and plans for the year ahead. Her organization has long been on the front lines of advocating for democracy reform. Hobert Flynn's responses have been edited for clarity and length.

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