A Year of Challenges and Triumphs
Your action and your support are absolutely critical to everything Common Cause is able to do for our democracy.
And the single greatest reason that we’re hopeful for the new year is the advocacy, generosity, and dedication of Common Cause Members like you.
Here’s an overview of what we were able to accomplish with your help in 2022.
Voting & Elections
- Managed the largest national election protection program for the 2022 midterm election. The program expanded the number of states in the program and provided support to all voters, especially those in states with new voter suppression laws.
- Filed lawsuits and amicus briefs to protect the freedom to vote in Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
- Exposed the money fueling the organizations trying to call a Constitutional Convention and throw our democracy into chaos.
- Created resources for how to create a ballot counting observation program, deployed the program in multiple Common Cause-staffed states, and trained more than 50 partner organizations on how to launch programs in their states.
- Developed and disseminated resources on political violence and response to partners on the round. The resources included training on bystander intervention/conflict resolution, best practices for building a state response plan, communicating about political violence, managing crisis, and connections to national political violence prevention and response experts.
- Hosted 65 campus fellows who worked to increased civic engagement on college campuses and the surrounding communities in California, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.
- Wrote and placed five opinion editorials on the importance of protecting the right to vote in national and in-state online and print publications.
- Released a scorecard tracking every member of Congress’ support for democracy reform legislation, including campaign finance, ethics and transparency, and voting rights legislation.
- Developed a report documenting the bills introduced in Congress that would nationalize voter suppression and have the potential to advance in the House of Representatives this coming year.
- Created a survey distributed to all major party candidates running for Congress and selected state offices about their positions on pro-democracy issues.
Redistricting & Representation
- Brought successful lawsuits to strike down gerrymandered maps in North Carolina and Baltimore County, Maryland. One of those cases, Moore v Harper, was accepted for review before the US Supreme Court and argued on December 7th.
- Continued litigation against gerrymandered maps in Georgia, Florida, and Texas.
- Led the CHARGE coalition of national organizations responsible for training more than 2,000 people to participate in the redistricting process. The coalition developed educational materials in 13 different languages.
- Supported 30 state redistricting campaigns, providing policy expertise, technical support, and communications and media help.
- Wrote and placed four opinion editorials on the importance of an accurate Census count and fair maps in state online and print outlets.
- Organized a massive communications effort in support of reform legislation around Moore v. Harper. In this U.S. Supreme Court case, we our defending our courtroom victory striking down a racial and partisan gerrymander in North Carolina. Our communications efforts included organizing national and state-level press briefings, placing state-specific op-eds, and culminated with a rally and briefing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
- We brought successful lawsuits to strike down unlawful gerrymanders in North Carolina and Baltimore County, Maryland. We are currently litigating to strike down racial gerrymanders in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
- In 25 states, Common Cause advocated for a more open, transparent, and fair redistricting process.
Money in Politics & Ethics
- Developed a report tracing the money spent in campaigns for sheriff across the country, showing how it leads to the proliferation of mass incarceration. The report identified more than $6 million that create potential conflicts of interest.
- In New Mexico, Common Cause filed a successful amicus that led to a landmark victory—for the first time in 150 years, a court disqualified a public official from holding office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment when Judge Francis Matthews removed insurrectionist Couy Griffin from his position as an Otero County Commissioner.
- In Ohio, Common Cause created the Judge the Ads campaign, a project that helped educate voters on the campaign spending in judicial races, on the importance of the judiciary, and how to make informed choices.
- Nationwide, Common cause led a grassroots campaign urging Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, a comprehensive package to get big money out of politics and strengthen the right to vote, generating tens of thousands of calls and emails to congressional offices, hundreds of letters to the editor in local papers, and at least 10 opinion editorials.
Media & Democracy
- Pressured DirectTV and Verizon to drop One America News Network (OANN) news channel. OANN is a cable program that amplifies harmful election disinformation.
- Led more than 120 civil rights, democracy, and public interest organizations in calling for major social media platforms to take a series of actions to combat election disinformation.
- Wrote op-eds and educated the media on Media and Democracy issues including mis and disinformation and media consolidation.
- Testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration about the growing threat of disinformation’s negative impact on democracy.
- Championed passage of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act out of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. The legislation establishes comprehensive privacy and data security protections.
- Sponsored and passed legislation that closes the pay-to-play loophole at the local level. The new law limits special interest donations to $250 to local lawmakers that those special interests have business before, such as contracts, licenses, and permits.
- Sponsored and passed legislation signed into law that increases the frequency of lobbying reporting at the end of legislative sessions and requires disclosure for issue ads designed to pressure lawmakers on votes to be placed directly on the ads.
- Led the passage of the Oakland Fair Elections Act via ballot measure that creates the nation’s second Democracy Dollars voucher program and other good government reforms.
- Passed the Vote Without Fear Act, legislation that bans the open carry of firearms within 100 feet of polling places, drop boxes, and central count facilities.
- Passed the Election Official Protection Act, legislation to increase protections for election workers and officials against harassment, threats, intimidation, and doxing.
- Championed the Colorado Election Security Act, legislation adding security measures and protocols for state and count election officials to help them protect the vote.
- Fought for the passage of the Constitutional Amendment to allow early-in-person voting. The effort included deploying more than 50 nonpartisan poll standers on Election Day, garnering 92 responses to the Our Democracy 2022 candidate questionnaire, a nonpartisan virtual candidate forum.
- Led more than 700 individuals and 75 organizations, groups, and unions to urge state leaders to ban foreign spending on state ballot reforms, to enact a Connecticut Voting Rights Act, and to create Ranked Choice Voting task force.
- Co-led a coalition to pass vote-by-mail and same-day registration and launched the first ever election protection program. While the legislative effort was successful, a state court subsequently overturned the new vote-by-mail and same-day registration laws.
- Led an election protection program with hundreds of volunteers, disinformation monitors, and audience-specific voter education across the state.
- Spearheaded the passage of legislation to establish Rank Choice Voting for special federal elections and vacant county council seats, legislation requiring vote by mail envelopes to include information on how to obtain language translation services in 6 languages, and legislation that requires approval of agenda items 48 hours prior to meetings.
- Rescinded the state’s call for an Article V Constitutional Convention.
- Blocked legislation that would require candidates for school board to declare a party affiliation, legislation that would add barriers to voting by mail.
- Founded the Indianapolis Citizens Redistricting Commission, which led a redistricting process, alternative to the state process, that created more competitive voting maps.
- Passed emergency legislation to allow election officials to check for any errors with a ballot that can be fixed by the voter and emergency legislation that allowed for the pre-processing of ballots during the 2022 election cycle to avoid delays to the election results.
- Provided support to local governments with public financing programs during the 2022 primary election. The campaign included nonpartisan trainings, ensuring funds were being disbursed to qualify candidates, and monitoring the newly modernized and funded Fair Campaign Financing Fund.
- Led the successful efforts to pass the VOTES Act, legislation that made permanent vote-by-mail, extended early voting, jail-based voting, and a reduced voter registration cutoff period.
- Co-led the state’s redistricting work, successfully advocating for a transparent and inclusive process that led to an increase in majority minority districts, from 20 up to 33 in the state house and from three to six in the state senate.
- Passed legislation aimed at keeping the influence of foreign money out of elections. Nebraska law now forbids foreign nationals from contributing to both candidate and ballot measure campaigns.
- Testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration Elections Subcommittee about ballot access in New Mexico.
- Passed New York’s John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act which strengthens and protects the freedom to vote.
- Created nonpartisan voter guides that reached 1 million voters.
- Led the grassroots campaign to fight for fair maps in a transparent and participatory process. Common Cause drove out more than 6,500 Ohioans to participate in the redistricting process through public hearings, webinars, and rallies at the statehouse.
- Passed pro-democracy reforms via legislation and ballot measures that protect election workers, increase election funding, improve online voter registration, remove racist and anti-immigrant language from state law, and introduce rank choice voting, multi-member districts, and an independent redistricting commission.
- Helped lead a robust coalition that successfully advocated for the Let RI Vote Act, legislation that expanded access to vote by mail and early voting.
- Led the legislative and advocacy fight against more than 40 voter suppression measures introduced at the state level, driving more than 20,000 communications to the Governor and state elected leaders.