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Media Contact: David Vance, National Media Strategist, 240-605-8600 or dvance@commoncause.org

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Media & Democracy 09.23.2020

Facebook Ad Ban on Premature Election Victory Ads is Yet Another Hollow Gesture   

Today, Facebook announced it would reject political ads that claim victory for a political candidate in the 2020 election before the results are finalized. The pledge follows the social media giant’s pattern of making incremental concessions when its existing policies cause controversies and public outcry.   

Media & Democracy 07.16.2020

Twitter Hack Reveals Again Social Media Vulnerabilities and Dire Need for Oversight

‘Just trust us’ is no longer a viable or safe option for Twitter and other social media companies. Americans expect and deserve safeguards that protect their personal data and ensure companies take meaningful steps to mitigate harms when experiencing data breaches, particularly ones that pose a serious threat to public safety and the integrity of our elections.  The large-scale hack of high profile Twitter accounts reveals how security vulnerabilities on social media platforms can have serious threats  to our society. Yesterday’s Bitcoin scam had many victims, but it also raised the terrifying specter of the damage that might be done by a similar hack aimed at stirring social upheaval, insurrection, or upending the 2020 election. The episode again laid bare the insufficient defenses and oversight of the social media companies that can hold such sway in the public square. It also revealed the startling lack of transparency from the social media giants. No clear explanation of the hack or even its scope has been offered. And many of us who have been hacked have yet to be notified by Twitter.

Voting & Elections 05.6.2020

Ann McBride, former Common Cause President, Passes Away at 75

I am very sorry to announce that Ann McBride, who served in many capacities at Common Cause, including President, passed away on May 5. She was 75 and had been in declining health. Ann is an important part of Common Cause’s history and was a cherished mentor and role-model to me. Ann’s message was clear. Our victories were, she would often say, a message of hope for citizens – a reminder that working together, we all could make a difference in our government and our world.

Voting & Elections 03.25.2020

Congressional Coronavirus Response Makes Down Payment to Safeguard Elections as Well as the Economy

Congress’s revised Coronavirus emergency response package provides critical funds to address our public health crisis, offers a lifeline to struggling Americans, and makes a significant down payment toward safeguarding our democracy. Every American expects and deserves to have their vote counted and their voice heard in our democracy, and the $400 million in election funding for states and localities is a step in the right direction. That total is nearly triple what Senate Republicans proposed in their initial bill. However, given the recent health crisis, states and localities immediately need significantly more resources to make critical investments to ensure that all voters can participate in free, fair, orderly, and safe elections this year, or else millions of voters could be disenfranchised. These resources need to be made available as soon as possible to prepare for the health and safety concerns around upcoming primaries and general elections while offering all feasible methods of voting to give voters the chance to participate in the election.

During COVID-19 State of Emergency, Transparency and Public Access to Government Proceedings Must Be Maintained

As public officials at every level of government wrestle with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including implementation of social distancing measures that impact the public’s ability to attend government meetings and other proceedings, Common Cause encourages public officials to adopt emergency measures to protect public health while maximizing transparency and remote public participation and limiting government business to priority functions necessary under the current emergency conditions.

Voting & Elections 03.6.2020

A Year After Sweeping Pro-Democracy Reforms Passed House, it is Past Time for the Senate to Act

Democracy reform, driven by the people, is on the march in states and municipalities across the nation where scores of pro-democracy reforms have been enacted. But democracy reform remains stalled in the U.S. Senate where the Republican majority ignores the will of the people. Sunday will mark one year since the U.S. House of Representatives passed its sweeping and transformative package of pro-democracy reforms in the For the People Act, or H.R. 1.

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