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Voting & Elections 12.5.2022

Austin American-Statesman: Texas' top elections official, Secretary of State John Scott, to step down

"Confirmation hearings are how we’re supposed to have some assurance that the person in charge of elections in Texas is qualified to do that job," said Katya Ehresman, program manager for Common Cause Texas Voting Rights. "We should all be deeply alarmed by the fact that this is the third person to serve as secretary of state without having ever been confirmed by the Texas Senate. An office of this caliber should not continue to be filled by an unconfirmed and unelected official."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Tribune News Service: Schmitt’s office did not keep travel records after 2020, raising transparency concerns

“When an elected official runs for another public office, it doesn’t, in any way, absolve them from complying with freedom of information requests or public information requests,” said Aaron Scherb, the legislative affairs director for Common Cause, a national nonpartisan group that advocates for government transparency. “Public officials work on the taxpayers’ dime. And it’s important that citizens can get the transparency and accountability that they deserve from their elected officials at all times.”

Voting & Elections 10.12.2022

Associated Press: EXPLAINER: Trying to get politics out of election certifying

Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections with Common Cause, said voter advocacy groups are prepared to intervene should partisan actors interfere with certification without justification or if a secretary of state refuses to seek a court order compelling a local board to act. “That is why we are here, and there will be lot of advocates and lawyers willing and able to step in and file if the secretary is not interested in using their authority or their position to ensure that the votes of their constituents are counted,” Albert said.

ProPublica/Miami Herald: DeSantis broke Florida precedent and maybe the law, too, in making congressional map

The court’s decision in Rucho v. Common Cause barred federal court challenges to partisan gerrymanders. Writing for the 5-4 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said it was not an issue for the federal judiciary to decide, but emphasized the ruling did not “condemn complaints about districting to echo into a void.” In fact, the issue was being actively addressed at the state level, Roberts wrote. He cited Florida’s amendment and one of Pariente’s opinions. Responding to liberal justices who wanted to reject Rucho’s map as an unconstitutional gerrymander, Roberts wrote they could not because “there is no ‘Fair Districts Amendment’ to the Federal Constitution.”

Miami Herald/McClatchy: Republicans block probe of contributions by Chinese elites to Trump PAC through spa operator

Complaints against Li “Cindy” Yang, who raised campaign cash and parlayed persistence to gain access to Republican circles in Florida and get pictures taken with the then-president, were filed by Common Cause, a Washington-based watchdog group, and the Campaign Legal Center. The dismissal of those complaints came three years after the Miami Herald first revealed Yang’s activities in a series of articles titled Trump Tourism.

Voting & Elections 09.21.2022

PolitiFact: How could U.S. voting be affected if election deniers win?

Elections expert Sylvia Albert of Common Cause predicted the scenario is inevitable: "We will see somebody who denies the 2020 election win office. We will."

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