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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.”

Bloomberg: Roberts Will Struggle to Hold Center as Court’s Makeup Shifts

Roberts’ institutional concerns were on display during the 2019 term, Common Cause attorney Sylvia Albert said. He was the justice most often in the majority, landing there in 96% of the court’s decided cases and in all but one of the 5-4 or equivalent decisions, a Bloomberg Law analysis shows. “Roberts really tried to thread the needle between the conservative and liberal sides of the bench,” Albert said.

Washington Post: Trump asks Supreme Court to overturn lower-court ruling that blocked effort to exclude undocumented from apportionment

Other legal challenges to the memo include one by the government watchdog organization Common Cause, and several cities, groups and individuals that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, for which a hearing is scheduled next Tuesday. Dan Vicuña, national redistricting manager for Common Cause, called the administration’s legal arguments “preposterous.” “This is a nakedly partisan attempt to break the law by rigging the census, and we fully expect the same outcome in this case” as was decided in the lower court, he said. A Supreme Court ruling on this case could set precedent that would affect the lower court’s decision in the Common Cause case.

Voting & Elections 09.22.2020

Reuters: U.S. Supreme Court faces major challenges when it returns without Ginsburg

Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for Common Cause, a voting rights group, said Roberts would likely seek a compromise in such a situation because he is “concerned with his legacy and trying to find a middle ground.”

Voting & Elections 09.20.2020

New York Times: Trump Supporters Disrupt Early Voting in Virginia

“In Virginia, the safe zone around the polling location is only 40 feet, but that safe zone is for campaigning and trying to change a person’s vote,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, a voting rights group. “Outside of that, in general, there are laws against intimidation. So I would say that even if they have a right to campaign, which they absolutely do, they do not have a right to interfere with someone’s right to vote or to intimidate them.” “To me, this went beyond campaigning and they should have been removed.” ... Ms. Albert added that the demonstration underscored the need for counties and municipalities to develop contingency voting plans for all situations. “Contingency plans aren’t only if there is a hurricane or a pandemic,” she said. “It’s also if something is making my polling location inaccessible to voters. That could be power going down, that could be people protesting and blocking the door.”

Voting & Elections 09.20.2020

Reuters: If U.S. election winds up in Supreme Court, Ginsburg's death will loom large

“I think just like everybody else in the country, Justice Roberts is really, really hoping the election isn’t close,” said Sylvia Albert, the director of voting and elections at the good government nonprofit Common Cause. “He does not want to touch this with a 10-foot pole.”

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