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Voting & Elections 01.22.2019

The New Yorker: How Voting-Machine Lobbyists Undermine the Democratic Process

Something similar happened last fall in Delaware, where the Voting Equipment Selection Task Force also voted to replace its aging touch-screen machines with a variant of the ExpressVote system. When Jennifer Hill, at Common Cause Delaware, a government-accountability group, obtained all the bids from a public-records request, she found that “the Department of Elections had pretty much tailored the request for proposal in a way that eliminated venders whose primary business was to sell paper-ballot systems.” Hill also noted that a lobbyist for E.S. & S., who was “well-connected in the state,” helped “to shepherd this whole thing through.” 

Voting & Elections 01.16.2019

New York Times: Democrats in Albany Let the Good Times Roll

These heady times at the Capitol have some of New York’s liberals pinching themselves. Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a reform group, said she was recovering from shock after watching Democrats in the first hours of the new legislative session enact voting reforms that had been stymied for years. “It’s whiplash,” Ms. Lerner said. “Is there more to do? Yes. But today, we’re celebrating.”

Voting & Elections 01.16.2019

Newsweek: Diversity in Congress: Ambitious Agenda Calls for Great Expectations

House watchers suggest that the 116th Congress might also have a chance at denting public corruption. House Resolution 1, the first bill introduced this year, is a sweeping proposal aimed at money in politics, voting reforms and ethics. Those issues have broad bipartisan support in many states and localities, according to Aaron Scherb, legislative affairs director at government watchdog Common Cause. “I think a lot of the reforms at the national level will help advance the ball for when there is a more favorable political climate after 2020,” he says. 

Voting & Elections 01.15.2019

USA Today (Op-Ed): Voting problems are predictable and avoidable. Here's how to fix them before 2020.

The 2018 elections saw record turnout, with millions of Americans casting ballots to make their voices heard. Yet many faced problems in the voting process before, on and after Election Day — avoidable problems that states and Congress should fix. I saw this firsthand during my time at the Election Protection command center in Washington, D.C., where nonpartisan attorneys and trained volunteers took tens of thousands of calls from citizens across the country. Many of the problems reported were things we could — and did — predict were going to happen. Indeed, most of the problems voters reported can be solved with simple, commonsense reforms.  

Voting & Elections 01.15.2019

CNBC: Voting-rights groups expect Trump's attorney general nominee William Barr to purge voter rolls and limit protections ahead of 2020 elections

"You can imagine that with this next election rolling around that if Trump engages in these same kind of games, he is not going to have Barr serve as a voice of reason for him," said Allegra Chapman, the director of voting and elections at the nonpartisan good government group Common Cause. "He has no appreciation for what voting rights are, and Trump is going to be unhinged when it comes to voting rights issues."

Medium (Op-Ed): Today’s Ruling on the Census Citizenship Question Still Leaves Room for Worry

The Trump Administration is playing politics with Census 2020. That is the exact reason why a federal judge in New York has now delivered a major blow to Trump’s war on immigrants. In the first of seven pending challenges to the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census form, Judge Jesse Furman today ruled to stop the administration’s plans to add a citizenship question in their tracts. Immigration advocates and even scientists within the Census Bureau say that the question would cause more immigrants — both legal and illegal — to refuse to take part in the census. The fear among these communities is that immigration and customs enforcement agents would use the responses to track people down, leading to increased family separations and deportations.

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