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Voting & Elections 05.13.2024

NPR Morning Edition/WUWM (Audio): Wisconsin Supreme Court hears whether to allow absentee ballot drop boxes in the state again

Common Cause-Wisconsin has joined the case on the side of the plaintiffs. Executive Director Jay Heck explains: “There should be ways for voters to return their absentee ballots so they have some assurance that they’ll be counted. The U.S. Mail is not always reliable in getting them back to the clerks in time. So, this is just something that benefits every voter regardless of how they vote," Heck says. Heck also says people with disabilities would be able to return their ballot more efficiently. The Associated Press says 29 states allow some form of absentee drop box, but Heck says Wisconsin is the only purple or swing state that does not.

Voting & Elections 05.10.2024

ProPublica: Georgia Promised to Fix How Voter Challenges Are Handled. A New Law Could Make the Problem Worse.

“My worry is” that the bill “will cause a higher success rate for the challenges,” said Anne Gray Herring, a policy analyst for nonprofit watchdog group Common Cause Georgia.

Source New Mexico: The blind spot in the state’s most expensive election so far this year

Dede Feldman, a former state lawmaker and spokesperson for Common Cause New Mexico, said voters deserve to know who signs candidates’ paychecks and where potential conflicts of interest lie. That’s also true for district attorney candidates, she said. “It's not a good look when candidates do not disclose their finances,” she said. Feldman said more candidates need to file disclosures, but that won’t go nearly far enough. They also need to take them more seriously. “The chief duty of elected officials is to act in the public interest, and not their private interests. But when no one knows what their private interests are, there's no way to really enforce conflict of interest,” she said.

Salon/Yahoo! News: "Imbalance of power": Expert says Stormy Daniels' damning testimony may be "very damaging" to Trump

Watchdog group Common Cause filed a complaint claiming the payment was an “in-kind contribution” to Trump’s campaign, but the FEC failed to support their general counsel’s recommendation to investigate amid partisan deadlock. Cohen ultimately pleaded guilty to election finance violations, and said the Trump Organization reimbursed him.

Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Michigan Redistricting Shows What States Can Achieve with People, Not Politicians

But it’s not just blue California. Michigan, four other states and 82 jurisdictions throughout the country have moved to independent redistricting. Why? Because voters should have the power to choose their leaders, not the other way around. And because voters should be able to participate in decisions that will affect the future for themselves and their families for the next decade. In state after state, people are deciding whether they want to allow elected leaders to put their power and partisanship above the people’s interest or give people the power to put our communities first.

Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed): Is the Los Angeles City Council serious about ethics reform or wasting an opportunity?

The barrage of scandals at L.A. City Hall has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean up Los Angeles government. It should not be squandered with half-fixes. The reform package the City Council approves, which will have to be passed by voters in November, should give the Ethics Commission the independence it needs to hold officials accountable to the people they represent. To meet the moment, the City Council must cede power for the greater good.

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