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Voting & Elections 06.1.2019

Delivering on Automatic Voter Registration’s Promise: Implementation Lessons from the States

Research and Reports

Automatic voter registration, as a policy, has captured the attention of U.S. lawmakers and democracy advocates. Building on the legacy of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, AVR has revitalized the ideal that voting in America should be a right — one that our government guarantees and facilitates, while ensuring a safeguarded system that we can all have faith in.

Money & Influence 04.30.2019

Common Cause et al. v. Trump (Trump Tower Meeting Solicitation)

Legal Filings

On July 10, 2017, Common Cause filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Donald Trump Jr., in his role with the Trump campaign, illegally solicited a political contribution from a foreign national—in the form of opposition research information he believed would be damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Trump Jr. admitted to The New York Times that on June 9, 2016, he met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who had promised him “damaging information about Hillary Clinton.” By that time his father had already secured the Republican nomination for President and Trump campaign chairman Paul J. Manfort also attended the meeting at Trump Tower as did Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Trump Jr. issued the statement to say that he had not in fact obtained the promised information but instead had been misled and lobbied on specific U.S.-Russian foreign policy issues. Nonetheless Trump Jr.’s meeting constitutes an illegal solicitation of a foreign national “contribution” by him and the Trump campaign. Federal campaign finance law defines “contribution” to include anything of value given for the purpose of influencing a federal election. And federal law prohibits any person from soliciting or receiving a contribution from a foreign national. On July 13, 2017, together with the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 amended and expanded its July 10 complaint, adding more facts and alleged violations. On April 30, 2019, Common Cause, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed a supplement to its 2017 complaint with the FEC, to include new facts and legal analysis from Special Counsel Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller's report underscores the validity of the allegations made in 2017 by Common Cause, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21.

The For The People Act In The States

Passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) through the U.S. House of Representatives was a historic victory for the people-led movement to create an American democracy where every voice is heard and every vote is counted. While work continues to move it through the Senate, many of the common-sense policies in the For the People Act are already in place and working in states across the country. This document shows where ten key reforms in the For the People Act have been passed and implemented at the state and local level.

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