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Voting & Elections 09.27.2022

NPR: In many states, there's a process to fix an error with your ballot

Voters make mistakes. Oftentimes ballots don't get returned by the deadline required by the state. But Sylvia Albert, the director of voting and elections at Common Cause, says many voters also get tripped by requirements on a mail ballot. Depending on where you live, your state might require you to provide a signature that matches one on file, voter ID information such as a driver's license, or a date. She says all these "little checks" are opportunities for human error. Plus, Albert says, voting at home means you are on your own, for the most part. "You don't have an election worker there who can answer any questions you have or direct you to anyone else who can help," she says. "You are just alone on your kitchen table." Sometimes, Albert says, voters completely miss the field to provide their ID information or their signature. Other times, election officials have a hard time checking ID numbers or signatures against what's in their system. ... Common Cause's Albert says it also depends what your state allows local officials to do when they are trying to contact voters. "Some of that is set in state law," Albert says, "and some legislatures are not really interested in providing more leeway to election officials to reach out to those voters."

Charlotte Observer: NC case at Supreme Court ‘should keep every American up at night,’ ex-AG Eric Holder says

Bob Phillips, director of Common Cause North Carolina, said court oversight is important. He noted that every election here in the last decade was held using Republican-drawn maps that were later ruled unconstitutional, for either racial or partisan gerrymandering. “We feel strongly that the state courts should not be taken out of the equation,” Phillips said in a media briefing this month. His briefing, as well as Holder’s, focused mostly on turning the national media’s attention toward the North Carolina case. Reporters for outlets like CNN, NBC, CBS and Politico attended. Kathay Feng, who leads Common Cause’s national redistricting efforts, said it’s not only Republican-led states that gerrymander their congressional maps. She pointed to New York and Maryland as examples of Democratic gerrymandering.

Star Tribune: 'Rigged' election defines GOP hopeful

"Where we take issue is when any candidate utilizes information they know is false, data they know is suspect at best, to try and move a particular policy agenda that they know is in no way, shape or form doing anything to improve access to the ballot," said Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota, a nonpartisan voting rights group that typically doesn't weigh in on specific races. In August, Common Cause Minnesota issued a statement rebuking Crockett for comments she made during a radio interview railing against proposed election law changes and telling listeners, "This is our 09/11." Crockett told the Star Tribune that she meant the proposed changes should be a "wake-up call" for Republicans and then claimed to be victim of a "hit piece."

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."

Voting & Elections 09.21.2022

Austin American-Statesman: Texas has less to spend on voter outreach as election approaches under new rules

Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of the nonpartisan voter education and advocacy organization Common Cause Texas, says the secretary of state's office needs to do more for voter education, especially with the changes SB 1 brought. "When they do voter education, whether it's for voter ID or what they did in the primary for mail-in ballots, this secretary of state traditionally does very little. Nowhere near what they would do if they're serious about actually educating every Texan on these messages," Gutierrez said.

Voting & Elections 09.20.2022

Salon: Far-right "constitutional sheriffs" now turn to hunting "fraud" in midterm elections

"By creating these new bureaucracies and this new red tape," said Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, lawmakers are "creating a cycle of voter intimidation." This is "a relic of the past", she went on, and too close to "what we saw in Jim Crow, with folks coming to people's doors with guns and pitchforks, trying to ask, 'Are you the registered voter here?'" Her group has developed an election protection program meant to help dispel any doubts voters have about the election process and to ensure they don't encounter barriers while casting their ballots. But Dennis says Georgia's new law, SB 441, which authorizes state police to launch a probe into any allegations of voter fraud, worries her. Such unfounded allegations, she says, can create a "domino effect," damaging voters "who are not in areas that are inundated with news and disempowering their voices at the ballot box," Dennis said. "I think in Georgia particularly, [there] is a coordinated effort to purposely do that."

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