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Voting & Elections 10.19.2020

MONEY: How to Support Voting Rights and Protect our Elections: A Guide for Where to Donate Money

Common Cause manages grassroots voter protection field programs for the Election Protection coalition mentioned above. It works with organizations in all 50 states to identify election reforms at all levels of government, including expanding vote-by-mail and ensuring safe in-person voting with strict public health and social distancing guidelines. The organization has recruited more than 35,000 volunteers during the 2020 election through its Protect the Vote program (four times more than they saw during the 2016 election), according to its national media strategist David Vance. Common Cause also has an online tool to help people quickly find their representatives, how to contact them, bills they’ve introduced, committees they’ve served on and political contributions they’ve received to ensure you have all the information needed to vote.

Voting & Elections 10.17.2020

Newsweek: Donald Trump's Call to Militia to 'Watch' Polling Places Raises Fears of Voter Intimidation

However, even in states with open carry laws and no restrictions on guns at locations that host polling, such as churches and schools, prohibitions on guns prevail, according to Suzanne Almeida, interim executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. "There are valid concerns now," Almeida added, "but we must let voters know about them without involuntarily discouraging them from coming to the polls." "We will have more than 1,000 volunteers at polling stations for questions, and to be eyes and ears on the ground and have voters' backs," Almeida said. "We make sure voters have a good experience."

Voting & Elections 10.2.2020

Associated Press: Voting Voting rights groups organize hotline to report interference

“This year presents unprecedented challenges for voters who want to exercise their right to vote and protect their health at the same time,” said Heather Ferguson, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico, in a statement. “New Mexicans should feel secure that they can cast their ballot in a number of different ways, and that it will be counted as cast and anyone who interferes or tampers with elections will be held accountable.” Common Cause New Mexico has been running an election protection program since 2008 with no party or campaign affiliation.

Voting & Elections 10.2.2020

Bloomberg: Democrats Gear Up to Watch Polls as Trump Mobilizes Supporters

There’s concern about the potential for clashes and problems at the polls, but it’s illegal to intimidate or harass voters, said Suzanne Almeida, interim executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. The group is helping lead a coalition with about 1,000 nonpartisan “poll monitors” who will be outside polling locations across the commonwealth to ensure voting goes smoothly. “We are doing a lot scenario planning,” Almeida said. “The best thing we can do is prepare in advance.”

Newsweek: Mitch McConnell's 'Legislative Graveyard' Helping Current Congress to Be the Least Productive in History, Report Says

"The House of Representatives passed nearly 10 democracy reform bills, often with bipartisan support, this session, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked debate and markups on all of these bills and refused to allow a vote," Common Cause's director of legislative affairs, Aaron Scherb, said. The 2020 Democracy Scorecard, one of the group's initiatives, provides data on every current member of the House of Representatives and Senate, including their votes and co-sponsorships of democracy reform bills. Scherb told Newsweek that McConnell has been instrumental in blocking the current Congress from enacting laws. "There have been hundreds that have been passed by the House at this point. There have only been 158 enacted laws by this 116th Congress to this point. Yet there are hundreds of bills that have passed the House but continue to sit in Senate Majority Leader McConnell's desk, or his 'legislative graveyard' as it's been called," he said.

Voting & Elections 09.14.2020

Salon: Russian state hackers are accused of trying to infiltrate Biden's campaign firm

"Over the past number of years, there's been significant evidence documented in the Senate Intelligence Committee's bipartisan report and numerous other places, including the 17 intelligence agencies, that Russia infiltrated our elections in the 2016 race and was continuing to do that throughout not only the 2018 elections, but also into the 2020 election," Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at the government watchdog group Common Cause, told Salon. "And so it's no surprise at all that this new evidence was revealed recently about their involvement in trying to hack the Biden campaign."

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