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Voting & Elections 05.24.2023

Times Union (Op-Ed): To boost voter participation, simplify wording on ballots

In 2024, voters will again be faced with a slew of statewide ballot proposals on important topics. If we don’t pass the plain language bill before then, we run the risk that voters will be confused and discouraged and opt out of the process. Voters of all languages and literacy levels deserve equal access at the ballot box. 

Voting & Elections 05.24.2023

Indianapolis Star: Voting rights advocates worry new Indiana law will disenfranchise vulnerable voters

It's likely the law will be challenged in court. Common Cause Indiana Executive Director Julia Vaughn said "it creates serious questions about violations of the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act." Several organizations including Common Cause say the legislation would disproportionately affect the elderly, minorities who already facing barriers to voting and voters who use alternate voting methods like travel boards or the military post card application. Voting rights groups are especially worried those who are eligible for assisted voting, such as people who are confined or blind and vote with an in-person board, won't have the proper or valid paperwork to apply to cast their ballot. "You can't put up administrative barriers at the ballot that could potentially disenfranchise people for no good reason," she said. "We don't think there's any good reason, any compelling evidence, that there's there's any good reason to do this."

Voting & Elections 05.23.2023

Mother Jones: Republicans Are Trying to Seize Control Over Voting In Texas’ Largest Democratic County

Harris County has become the epicenter for what Common Cause Texas calls the “Texas Edition of the Big Lie.”  “It’s a really intentional form of partisan takeovers of local election offices,” says Katya Ehresman, voting rights program manager for Common Cause Texas.

Voting & Elections 05.23.2023

Texas Tribune: Harris County must remove its elections chief under new legislation headed to Gov. Greg Abbott

“All of these changes together are forcing Harris County voters to live in a different set of circumstances than the rest of the state. This is creating a disparate scenario for those voters and barriers to well run elections,” said Katya Ehresman, voting rights program director at Common Cause Texas. “There’s a clear partisan element to that with Harris County growing in its Democratic stronghold. But there’s also definitely a disparate racial impact element to these bills continuing to pass as the county is home to the largest population of Black, brown, [Asian American and Pacific Islander] voters in the state.”

Voting & Elections 05.22.2023

Arizona Republic: After vowing to back LGBTQ Arizonans, Hobbs vetoes bill on transgender student names

"The Voter Privacy Violation Act was pushed under the false guise of transparency when in reality, it was based on conspiracies and would have only served to further facilitate the rampant spread of election misinformation," Common Cause Arizona Program Director Jenny Guzman said in a statement.

Voting & Elections 05.19.2023

PolitiFact: Fact-checking ‘Succession’: What happens if a fire destroys 100,000 absentee ballots in Milwaukee?

A similar case would go through the court system in Wisconsin and eventually find its way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, said Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin. Republicans may also appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Unfortunately, I think politics would play a role in both state Supreme Court and in the U.S. Supreme Court," Heck said, "which is why this hypothetical scenario I hope never happens, because it would be awful."

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