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Voting & Elections 09.27.2023

CT Insider: CT's absentee ballot boxes are under fire amid Bridgeport investigation. Here's what to know

Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Connecticut's chapter of Common Cause, an advocacy group focused on accountable government, says the investigation in Bridgeport isn't a reason to restrict or remove absentee ballot drop boxes. "This does not demonstrate a problem with the boxes," Quickmire said. "It demonstrates a problem with the local officials in Bridgeport." In Quickmire's view, the boxes "absolutely are successful at giving voters an alternative way to submit their ballot." Quickmire said there is "absolutely not" evidence of widespread voter fraud in Connecticut, involving drop boxes or otherwise. "People can be assured that casting their ballots is safe and secure," she said. "There are very few examples of where this is a problem."

Voting & Elections 09.25.2023

New York Times: In North Carolina, Republicans Seek More Control Over Elections

The legislation “will leave us with county and state boards that can gridlock,” said Ann Webb, the policy director for Common Cause North Carolina, which opposes the measures. “And in this political environment of hyperpartisanship, we fully expect that they will gridlock.” Ms. Webb and other critics say their concerns might have been allayed had the legislature added language to the House bill that laid out instructions to break deadlocks. But “those suggestions have been rejected,” she said. Ms. Webb said critics’ concerns go beyond squabbles over polling places to the very basics of the election process, especially in presidential politics. Already she said, some local election officials in the state initially refused to certify the results of the 2022 midterm elections because they mistrusted election procedures. It fell to local boards to address the issue. If that becomes a partisan question in 2024, she said, “we’re going to see what will feel very much to voters like chaos, and very well could be that.”

Voting & Elections 09.19.2023

PolitiFact: Vivek Ramaswamy has called for ‘paper ballots.’ Most Americans vote that way already

"There was a big movement on the left and right to move to paper and it was backed by computer scientists," as well as voting rights advocates and lawyers with expertise in elections, said Susannah Goodman, director of the Election Security Program at Common Cause.

Voting & Elections 09.19.2023

Public News Service: Some Maryland Communities Lowering Voting Age to 16

Alyssa Canty, director of youth programs for Common Cause, said young people are often beginning to see the effects of civic policy. "When they're 16- or 17-year-olds, they are starting their first part-time jobs," Canty pointed out. "So they now have income, so they're purchasing things, so they are paying sales tax, but they have no say in what happens to those tax dollars." Canty sees late high school as a good time to engage young people. "Usually around 16, 17 years old, that junior, senior year of high school, that's also when you take your really in-depth civics class, and you learn about how the government works," Canty explained. "It's almost like experimental learning where you get to actually go and cast a ballot." Canty noted as campaigns have spread across the country, they often see young people taking the lead on the issue. "We have seen where young people are energized by this issue," Canty pointed out. "In many places, they're the ones that are on the forefront leading this work because they see themselves as being really impacted by local elections, by their school boards, by their city councils."

Axios: Ohio redistricting fight resumes this week

What they're saying: Catherine Turcer, executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause Ohio, says the reforms of 2015 and 2018 were not enough to keep partisan officials from being "drunk on power." "What we've learned is it's not enough to have good rules in the Ohio Constitution," she tells Axios. "We need independent mapmakers who aren't influenced by loyalty to party."

Fresno Bee (Op-Ed): Fresno officials gerrymandered their districts. Time to take our voting rights back

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right that makes possible all other civil liberties and policy decisions. But a threat to that right now comes before the ballot box: Redistricting, which can make or break a community’s ability to participate in our democracy. It determines who does — and does not — have fair representation.

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