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Voting & Elections 09.6.2021

Washington Post: New Texas voting bill deepens growing disparities in how Americans can cast their ballots

“We’ve had a very functional system of election administration,” said Common Cause Ohio Executive Director Catherine Turcer, adding, “It is genuinely surprising that after a successful election where more Ohio voters participated than ever before, that any legislator would think about making it harder to vote.” ... Turcer, of Common Cause Ohio, said voters’ confidence would grow if they understood the election rules already in place. “The distrust of election officials and election administration has run really deep, and we need to do a good job of educating people about how elections work and what kind of security measures we have,” she said. “We shouldn’t assume that wrong things are being done. We should all go into it asking good questions but waiting to understand how it actually works.”

Voting & Elections 09.4.2021

Salon: Georgia GOP called "shameless" for trying to use new voting law to oust local election officials

"It appears that they would like to take over the county board of elections," Aunna Dennis, the executive director of Common Cause Georgia, said in an interview with Salon, calling the move part of a "coordinated strategy" that represents Republican "opposition to, basically, democracy." Dennis also warned that "whatever happens in Fulton is going to domino across the state" and that if this approach is successful for Republicans, other states with GOP-majority legislatures could soon follow. "This would become a domino effect across many states," she said. "If it happens in Georgia, people should definitely be looking out to see if major counties, and definitely progressive counties or cities who have large voting populations, will be targets as well."

Money & Influence 09.3.2021

Washington Post: Trump Tower’s key tenants have fallen behind on rent and moved out. But Trump has one reliable customer: His own PAC.

“He’s running a con,” said Paul S. Ryan, a campaign-finance expert at the watchdog group Common Cause. “Talking about political expenses — but, in reality, raising money for self-enrichment.”

Voting & Elections 09.2.2021

Associated Press: After voters embraced mail ballots, GOP states tighten rules

“It’s going to be harder for people to vote,” said Sylvia Albert, voting and elections director for Common Cause, which advocates for expanded voter access. “It means that states have to put more money and time and energy into educating the voting population in how to go about being able to vote in spite of these burdens.”

Voting & Elections 08.31.2021

Roll Call: 5 things to know about the voting rights bill named for John Lewis

“When you go back and read the Shelby County decision, it didn’t actually strike down the concept of preclearance itself,” said Stephen Spaulding, senior counsel for public policy and government affairs at Common Cause, which supports the legislation. Instead, it struck down the formula to determine which states had to get preclearance, he added. The court said the previous system was outdated. The bill would also subject certain proposed laws to preclearance, even potentially in jurisdictions that would not otherwise fall under the 25-year lookback criteria.  The bill’s Section 6 would set out several practices, including changes to voter identification needed to vote and maintenance of voter rolls, that could be subject to preclearance. “All those that have been shown to be discriminatory would need to be precleared,” Spaulding said.

Cincinnati Enquirer/Gannett: Ohio Redistricting Commission, set to miss first deadline, can't agree on who draws maps

Deadlines aren't as important as transparency and public input, said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, which pushed for redistricting reform via two constitutional amendments.   "It is not the end of the world if they miss the deadline," Turcer said. "It is a problem if they don’t lay out a plan and address public concerns about a secretive process."

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