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Voting & Elections 02.28.2021

The Guardian: Using photo ID in British elections will harm democracy, say US civil rights groups

Sylvia Albert, the director of voting and elections at Common Cause, a Washington DC-based civil rights group, said introducing voter ID when there was negligible evidence of a problem tended to have the paradoxical effect of making voters trust elections less. “They try to say that they want to protect the integrity of the election, but the reality that our elections have strong integrity,” she said. “By doing this you’re actually undermining their integrity. “Instituting aspects of voter suppression, including voter ID, is allowing the politicians to choose their voters, and that is not the strength of a democracy.”

Voting & Elections 02.27.2021

Salon: Republicans roll out “tidal wave of voter suppression”: 253 restrictive bills in 43 states

"These legislatures saw a free, fair and secure election with record turnout that represented the will of the people, and are responding by saying 'Actually, we didn't want some of you to vote,'" Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at the government watchdog group Common Cause, said in a statement to Salon. "So there are real victims of this GOP fever dream, people who are losing access to the ballot because of the barriers that legislatures are putting in place — barriers specifically aimed at silencing Black and brown voices. Instead of embracing policies to attract more voters, Republican legislators across the country are very deliberately trying to dictate who can vote and who can't for their own political advantage."

Voting & Elections 02.24.2021

Associated Press: Iowa Republicans approve fast-track dramatic election bill

Sylvia Albert, director of the voting and elections project at Common Cause, a nonpartisan organization that advocates to expand access to voting, said the GOP is moving to depress turnout following their losses in the last election cycle. “Instead of dealing with real issues these legislatures are revoking access to the ballot,” she said. “The motivation is not to secure an election, the motivation is to undermine access to the ballot.”

Voting & Elections 02.24.2021

Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Why We Need the “For the People Act”

We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass a new law, based on countless democracy reforms passed and successfully implemented in states across the country, the For the People Act. The bill, which will go to a vote of the full House the first week in March, includes provisions that will end secret, unaccountable money in politics, help ensure every voter, regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, or ZIP code, has equal access to the ballot box, end partisan gerrymandering, and strengthen conflict of interest and ethics laws for public officials. The For the People Act, designated as H.R. 1 and S. 1 in Congress, is the most comprehensive pro-democracy bill introduced in Congress since the Watergate era. It is the bold action that the American people want and deserve. 

Voting & Elections 02.22.2021

USA Today: Dissent by Justice Thomas in election case draws fire for revisiting baseless Trump fraud claims

Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, said the dissent appears to suggest that state supreme courts are not qualified to decide election issues in their state, which she described as a "direct violation" of the division of power between the states and federal government. "The state legislature does not have free reign to limit access to the ballot without judicial review," Albert said. "In this case, the court found that the laws as written in the current state of a global pandemic were unconstitutional infringements on the right to vote."

Voting & Elections 02.20.2021

Washington Post: State GOP lawmakers propose flurry of voting restrictions to placate Trump supporters, spurring fears of a backlash

Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, said she found one provision in the Fleming bill particularly loathsome: the ban on early voting on Sundays. Republicans said the measure is intended to level the playing field between wealthier counties that can afford to provide weekend voting hours and poorer rural counties that can’t. But Dennis, who is Black, said she sees a more nefarious purpose to the proposal, which would upend Souls to the Polls, a long-standing tradition in Black communities to vote right after church on the Sunday before election. “There is such pride in being able to dress up in your Sunday best and cast your ballot with your family and your community,” Dennis said. As a working single mother, Dennis said, she also believes that the proposal would eliminate options for voters juggling complicated schedules.

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