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Voting & Elections 10.23.2020

Associated Press: Census takers fall short of target goal in areas of US

Rhode Island is one of about 10 states projected to lose a congressional seat, based on anticipated state population figures in the 2020 census. It could take as few as 30,000 overlooked people for the nation’s physically smallest state to revert back to having a single House district, said John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, a nonprofit watchdog.  The early conclusion of the census “is really going to stymie our efforts, not only to maintain that second district but also to have fair representation in our state legislature,” Marion said.

Associated Press: Scramble to get people counted as 2020 census winds down

“Everybody is leaning in hard to try to make sure they can reach as many people as possible,” said Kathay Feng, an official with Common Cause, the good-government advocacy group.

ABC News: Election experts implore Congress to extend ‘arbitrary’ vote-tallying deadlines

Despite a consensus among experts that extending the safe harbor deadlines would help states avoid a constitutional crisis, Aaron Scherb, the legislative director at the nonpartisan ethics group Common Cause, said any change could hold “unintended consequences.” “We think, given the president’s previous remarks … it could be misconstrued by the president as Democrats trying to ‘rig’ the election,” he said. Scherb argued Congress could wait until after the election and then consider extending the deadlines.

Associated Press: Judge says ending 2020 census on Oct. 5 may violate order

The Trump administration attorneys said the lawsuit was premature since it’s impossible to know who will be affected by the exclusion order before the head count is finished and whether the Census Bureau will come up with a method for figuring out who is a citizen. But Gregory Diskant, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, Common Cause, said waiting to challenge the president’s memo until after the apportionment numbers are turned in would create even greater problems. 

Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Americans Deserve an Impartial Supreme Court

Americans deserve an impartial Supreme Court that puts judicial integrity, the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law above partisan interests. But, unfortunately, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have a different view of justice. The two are rushing to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a champion for all Americans’ constitutional rights and liberties — in the middle of a national election and a pandemic that has led to the deaths of over 200,000 Americans, millions losing their jobs and many people struggling to make ends meet as a result of Trump and McConnell’s failure of leadership.

Voting & Elections 09.24.2020

The Guardian: Two decades after the 'Brooks Brothers riot', experts fear graver election threats

Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, an elections watchdog group, said she believes disruption of the voting process is unlikely, but she shared the concerns of others that the counting process could be at risk. “There are strong laws on voter intimidation,” said Albert. “Counting comes into regular laws around disturbing the police or being in a group; there’s nothing specific on that issue. That’s not to say laws don’t cover it, they do – various laws cover being a nuisance but how that’s interpreted in the situation is going to vary by location.” Albert stressed that she did not believe it was probable there would be altercations at vote-counting sites, but she said: “I’m fearful of violence in a way that I was not in 2000.” “We have seen that the rhetoric on the right, both from the president and Republican lawmakers, has encouraged people to take up arms. And whether directly or indirectly, encouraged violence. And that was not happening from George Bush.”

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