“The Blue States That Make It Hardest to Vote”

…tury” for the impact it could have on Black citizens. But even once the GOP-passed measure takes effect, Georgia citizens will still have far more opportunities to vote before Election Day than their counterparts in the president’s home state, where one in three residents is Black or Latino. To Republicans, Biden’s criticism of the Georgia law smacks of hypocrisy. “They have a point,” says Dwayne Bensing, a voting-rights advocate with Delaware’s A…

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“Being online isn’t enough; CISA works to get election website to move to .GOV domain”

…Trust in Government Act of 2020, the agency is looking to support election offices and understand where it can ease their transition and get more sites migrated to the .GOV domain. Because only US-based government organization can obtain a .GOV domain, using one shows you’re official. Anyone, malicious actors included, can get a .COM, .NET, .ORG, or .US domain….

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“The future of political advertising is connected TV”

…ple based on their interests, purchasing behavior, etc. — just as they are online. Another big shift will be the way these ads are purchased. Unlike traditional TV ads, which are typically purchased ahead of time for a set price, Centro says more than 60% of CTV ads are purchased via programmatic real-time bidding on the ad inventory, which complicates transparency measures. “Providing information on advertiser spend isn’t a simple matter when tra…

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“Pro-Yang PACs take shape as New York mayor’s race enters prime time”

It’s well-known that one of the issues to keep in mind about public-financing of elections in the United States — whether traditional forms of public financing or small-donor matching funds approaches to public financing — that there is still likely to be significant amounts spent by outside groups, including SuperPacs. Public financing does not and could not eliminate that, given that Buckley v. Valeo protects the right of independent spending….

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“Disability Rights Advocates Press Senate for Internet Voting Option in Voting Reforms”

…lity rights organizations are urging the Senate to revise the massive House-passed election reform bill to allow an internet-based voting option for their constituents, who represent one-sixth of the national electorate, and to recognize online voting as a federally sanctioned and regulated voting technology. Their concerns and online voting remedy have come into focus in recent months as upwards of 20 organizations representing voters with hearin…

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8th CA County Top Election Officer Resigns Since November, Sign of a National Problem

…cepted a job with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, contracted COVID-19 just after the primary last March and had to finish tallying votes while sick at home. While she said the decision to leave was about more than just the challenges of running elections in California, other registrars and voting advocates said the exodus of so many skilled leaders should serve as a warning. “We have all lived through the pandemic, of course, but folks ad…

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“CEOs Plan New Push on Voting Legislation”

…ugh. Many CEOs now feel a duty, or pressure, to make their views explicitly known to employees and others, executive advisers said. Plenty of companies remain wary of wading into politically charged areas. One executive from a Fortune 100 consumer-products company said board members, employees and vendors are pressing leaders to speak out, but doing so could put a bull’s-eye on the company. “It’s really a no-win situation from a corporate standpoi…

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Marjorie Taylor Greene and Small Donors

…s also still a fan favorite in Trumpworld: she met with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week and they posed for a video together. “Over 100,000 individual donations says it all. The People are with Marjorie Taylor Greene and her America First agenda. It’s clear she’s the heir to President Trump,” said the source close to her campaign. “While politicians inside the Beltway attack her daily, Americans are rushing to stand beside the Notorious MTG as…

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“There’s a surprising ending to all the 2020 election conflicts over absentee ballot deadlines”

…Justice Elena Kagan invoked the district court’s prediction that as many as 100,000 voters would lose their right to vote, through no fault of their own, as a result of the majority’s ruling that the normal state-law deadline had to be followed. Commentators called this a “disastrous ruling” that “would likely disenfranchise tens of thousands” of voters in this key state. The post-election audit now provides perspective on this controversy that sh…

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“Mississippi Elections Chief Warns Biden May Register ‘Uninformed,’ ‘Woke’ College Voters”

…points of public access” on “how to register to vote, how to request a vote-by-mail ballot, and how to cast a ballot in upcoming elections.” The order also directs the agency heads to find “ways to facilitate seamless transition from agencies’ websites directly to State online voter registration systems.” The heads must submit “a strategic plan outlining the ways identified under this review that the agency can promote voter registration and voter…

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“Protecting American Democracy Is No Crime; New Laws Could Make Election Officials Legal Targets”

…als’ work, including a catchall “failure to perform duties.” The law was enacted just days after threats to local election officials in her state had escalated beyond name-calling and online abuse: in early March, a live pipe bomb was found in a polling place open for a local election….

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“In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void”

…d extremism. But The News Alerts of Beaver County isn’t home base for a gun-wielding militia, and it isn’t a QAnon fever swamp. In fact, the group’s focus on timely and relevant information for a small real-world community is probably the kind that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg envisioned when he pivoted his company toward communities in 2017. And yet, the kind of misinformation that’s traded in The News Alerts of Beaver County and thousands of…

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“Inside a stealth ‘persuasion machine’ promising Republican victories in 2022”

…t other politically pivotal states are part of a novel strategy by a little-known, Republican-aligned group to make today’s GOP more palatable to moderate voters ahead of the 2022 midterms by reshaping the “cultural narrative” on hot-button issues.ADADVERTISING That goal, laid out in a private fundraising appeal sent last month to a Republican donor and reviewed by The Washington Post, relies on building new online communities that can be tapped a…

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“How Trump Steered Supporters Into Unwitting Donations”

online and chipped in everything he could: $500. It was a big sum for a 63-year-old battling cancer and living in Kansas City on less than $1,000 per month. But that single contribution — federal records show it was his first ever — quickly multiplied. Another $500 was withdrawn the next day, then $500 the next week and every week through mid-October, without his knowledge — until Mr. Blatt’s bank account had been depleted and frozen. When his ut…

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“Republicans seek DOJ briefing on claims of ‘suspicious’ pre-Jan. 6 Capitol tours”

…ying the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. More than 100 police officers were injured, including one who died hours after the attack, and more than 300 participants in the attack have been arrested. Although the Capitol Police have declined repeatedly to discuss the probe publicly, the agency has acknowledged providing tens of thousands of hours of footage of the insurrection to lawmakers. A source familiar with the House’s…

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“Sweeping changes to Georgia elections signed into law”

…d along party lines in both chambers, with votes of 34-20 in the Senate and 100-75 in the House. Protesters outside the Capitol said the bill will disenfranchise voters, calling it “Jim Crow 2.0.” State Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, was arrested by state troopers after knocking on Kemp’s office door to try to witness the bill signing. The governor briefly interrupted his prepared remarks as Cannon was forcibly removed from the building by officers….

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“Republicans set to quiz tech CEOs on election misinformation tweeted #StopTheSteal themselves”

…chaotic aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Stop the Steal was an online movement that researchers studying disinformation say led to the violence that overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Graham Brookie, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, said the online Stop the Steal movement was “the coordinating function” for the Capitol riots. He said the lawmakers’ involvement in amplifying it undermined the commi…

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“Joe Manchin Faces Home State Pressure to Oppose Fellow Democrats’ Voting Bill”

…state voter-identification requirements, expand mail-in voting and mandate online and same-day voter registration as well as early voting, among other steps. The top West Virginia election official, Republican Mac Warner, is headed to Washington to testify before the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday about the legislation, and at least one member of Mr. Manchin’s staff was on a call with state and county officials Monday. Mr. Manchin’s office di…

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“Voting rights becomes a new battleground for US companies”

…rights activists in Georgia are piling pressure on companies including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot and UPS to come out against Republican-led efforts to restrict early and mail-in voting in the southern state. The campaign, which has included newspaper, billboard and online advertisements, as well as protests outside company headquarters, marks the latest test for corporate America after a year in which business leaders took high-profil…

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“MAGA voters discovered a new home online. But it isn’t what it seems.”

…6461d8ffd156461bda97aae0397dfb2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?v=1-0-38 According to a review of corporate records and online activity by POLITICO, SafeChat has close links to The Epoch Times, an English-language media outletaffiliated with Falun Gong, the Chinese spiritual movement known for its antagonism toward the Chinese Communist Party and described by critics as a “cult.” The Epoch Times saw its online

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“‘Dark money’ topped $1 billion in 2020, largely boosting Democrats”

…historically expensive cycle. That’s according to an estimate from OpenSecrets. The billion-dollar sum includes a whopping $660 million in donations from opaque political nonprofits and shell companies to outside groups. In 2020, dark money groups preferred to bankroll closely-tied super PACs rather than spend the money themselves — politically active nonprofits that do not disclose their donors reported roughly $88 million in direct election spen…

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“Coca-Cola, Home Depot come out in opposition to Georgia voting restrictions”

…ail ballots, and curtail early voting on Sundays. Representatives from Coca-Cola and Home Depot told The Washington Post that their companies are “aligned” with the Chamber’s comments. But the activists want the Chamber’s individual member companies to do more — and they say the state’s Black voters, who make up 30 percent of the state’s electorate and have billions in collective spending power, are watching. Update: https://twitter.com/srl/status…

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“Georgia voting rights activists pressure big corporations to oppose GOP-backed ballot restrictions”

…ct Action Fund and the Georgia NAACP on Friday launched the next phase of their campaign in local press and on social media asking supporters to directly contact CEOs, presidents and headquarters of major Georgia-based corporations. They’re urging them to speak out publicly against the proposed voting restrictions and to stop donating money to the Republican legislators sponsoring the bills….

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“The Recount Arizona Republicans Are Calling for Has Big Implications”

…n certified. Trump lost Arizona by 10,457 votes, a closer margin than in Georgia, where that GOP-led state conducted a manual hand count of all of its presidential election ballots, and then electronically recounted those same paper ballots. It twice confirmed Joe Biden’s victory over Trump before certifying the result. The investigation that is taking shape in Arizona could be as thorough as what was undertaken in Georgia, or it could descend int…

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Trump Continues to Lie About the 2020 Election Being Stolen in CPAC Speech

…t sacred institution, they don’t want to let you have it. There should be a 100 percent requirement to verify the citizenship of every person who votes and there must be a chain of custody protections for every ballot. Every ballot. And you saw what happened in Detroit and Philadelphia and many other places, swing states mostly. All over, but swing states mostly. You saw what happened. You saw what was going on. You saw that more people … you take…

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“Some local GOP leaders fire up base with conspiracies, lies”

…2020 presidential election be overturned, sometimes in deleted posts or now-removed online forums. “Sham-peachment,” they say, and warn that “corporate America helped rig the election.” They call former president Donald Trump a “savior” who was robbed of a second term — despite no evidence — and President Joe Biden, a “thief.” “Patriots want answers,” they declare. The bitter, combative rhetoric is helping the officials grow their constituencies o…

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“Trump repeats election claims in interviews, is unchallenged”

AP: In the first television interviews of his post-presidency, Donald Trump repeated his false claims that the election was stolen from him 10 times — each instance unprompted and unchallenged. Trump emerged this week for interviews with Fox News Channel, Newsmax and One America News Network tied to the death of Rush Limbaugh. Each network actively appeals to Trump’s base conservative audience. And the way the interviews were conducted illustrat…

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Trump Lawyers File Supplemental Brief in Supreme Court Urging Court to Hear Challenge to Wisconsin Election Case (Arguing Trump May Run for President Again So Case Falls in a Mootness Exception)

…ttps://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/17/paleologos-polltrump-era-just-getting-started/4196345001/; “It’s still Trump’s party,” Axios, January 14, 2020 (“57% of Republicans said Trump should be the 2024 GOP candidate . . .[t]hat’s a formidable base for Trump, who also controls the $150 million+ he has raised for his super PAC since the election”) available at: https://www.axios.com/trump-republicans-mpeachment-support-10c11b10-2149-4…

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“A quarter of Trump’s 6,081 Facebook posts last year featured misinformation or extreme rhetoric”

…ust seven posts by Trump and his campaign, four of which were for copyright-related issues. Trump and his campaign shared an account. Facebook spokesman Andy Stone pointed out that not all forms of misinformation related to the election or covid-19 were banned by the company, and that Facebook removed Trump’s posts in the handful of instances where executives found that they violated the social network’s policies. In instances when Trump and other…

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“Why So Few Absentee Ballots Were Rejected In 2020”

…bsentee ballots went uncounted during last spring and summer’s heavily vote-by-mail primary elections. But those fears did not come to pass. According to data collected by FiveThirtyEight from state election offices, not only did absentee-ballot rejection rates not rise, but rejected ballots were actually less of a problem than they were in 2016. From the 27 states, plus Washington, D.C., where we were able to obtain data, only 297,347 out of 47,9…

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“Democracy Is Weakening Right in Front of Us; Is technopessimism our new future?”

…termath of the Trump presidency, the consensus has shifted to anxiety that online behemoths like Twitter, Google, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook have created a crisis of knowledge — confounding what is true and what is untrue — eroding the foundations of democracy. These worries have intensified in response to the violence of Jan. 6, and the widespread acceptance among Republican voters of the conspicuously false claim that Democrats stole the el…

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“Study: How Online Propagandists Targeted The 2020 Election”

…n specific events,” said Matt Masterson, who helped lead the Department of Homeland Security’s election security team. “This is a lot of what we talked about with you at CISA [the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] in the lead-up [to Election Day], anticipating that were there were problems experienced, and then in the contested elections, those would be used to blow out of proportion or lie about what was actually taking place…

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“Are Douglass Mackey’s Memes Illegal?”

…ion constitutional? After all, people often lie in political campaigns. Candidates do it, activists do it, political operatives do it. Can election lies simply be outlawed? Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has never resolved the question. It hasn’t resolved the big-picture question: When can the government punish lies? It hasn’t resolved the medium-size question: Can the government punish lies in election campaigns? And it hasn’t resolved the parti…

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“Last-Minute Tweaks to Voting Machine Standards Raise Cyber Fears”

…and the security of our election systems.” “We cannot sanction the use of online networking capabilities when they carry the very real and increased risk of cyber-attacks, at scale, on our voting machines,” reads the letter…. Meanwhile, others are asking the EAC to explain why changes to a document 15 years in the making were made less than two weeks before the scheduled vote. “The issue here is the EAC made changes to some of the most commented-…

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“60% of President Donald Trump’s post-election tweets sought to undermine legitimacy of presidential race”

…free and fair elections in 2020, Issue One found that 60% of Trump’s 1,500-plus tweets between the day after Election Day and January 8, when Twitter permanently suspended his account, were messages that sought to challenge the results of the 2020 election — an average of about 14 tweets per day. “For months before the election and then weeks afterward, then-President Donald Trump systematically utilized his Twitter account to broadcast hundreds…

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“A Plan to Keep Extremists Out of the G.O.P.”

…vote shameful, and they vowed to primary her. Good luck with that. In a top-two primary system, Herrera Beutler will almost certainly make the runoff, even if another Republican gets more Republican-leaning votes in the primary. But in the general, she’ll pick up independents and many Democrats, as she did in the past. She won by 13 percentage points last November, in a district that Trump carried by four points. Removing the leverage to knock out…

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“Sen. Warner to unveil bill reining in Section 230, seeking to help users fight back against real-world harm”

…f life or other irreparable harm. “How can we continue to give this get-out-of-jail card to these platforms that constantly do nothing to address the foreseeable, obvious and repeated misuse of their products and services to cause harm? That was kind of our operating premise,” Warner said. Ultimately, it would be up to a judge to decide the merits of these claims; the bill mostly opens the door for web users to argue their cases without running as…

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“Trump’s Sleight of Hand: Shouting Fraud, Pocketing Donors’ Cash for Future”

…political operation. Mr. Trump’s new PAC had $31 million in the bank at the end of 2020 and an estimated $40 million more sitting in a shared party account waiting to be transferred into it. Mr. Trump’s extraordinary success raising money came mostly from grass-roots and online contributors drawn to his lie that the election result would soon be somehow wiped away. Only about a dozen donors gave $25,000 or more to one of Mr. Trump’s committees aft…

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“Facebook Knew Calls for Violence Plagued ‘Groups,’ Now Plans Overhaul”

…ed its flagship product to center on what it called Groups, forums for like-minded users. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg called them the new “heart of the app.” Now the social-networking giant is clamping down on Groups. The effort began after Facebook’s own research found that American Facebook Groups became a vector for the rabid partisanship and even calls for violence that inflamed the country after the election. The changes, which Facebook e…

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“Amazon’s Cynical, Anti-Union Attack on Mail Voting”

…rector explained in Amazon’s case, citing “the undeniable presence of COVID-19 both inside and outside the Employer’s facility” and the “high and still-rising positivity rate” in Bessemer. “The most important factors,” the decision stated, “are the safety of all election participants and the enfranchisement of all voters.” Amazon appealed that decision last week to the N.L.R.B., which is still controlled by a Trump-appointed majority hostile to un…

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“Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign”: Defendant Alleged to Have Targeted African-American Voters Urging Them to Text Their Votes

…]” sign. The image included the following text: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text ‘[Candidate’s first name]’ to 59925[.] Vote for [the Candidate] and be a part of history.” The fine print at the bottom of the image stated: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by [Candidate] for President 2016.” The tweet inc…

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“Post-Election Litigation and the Paradox of Voting”

…on, at least until the “margin of litigation”—the number of votes that post-election litigation could plausibly overturn. In light of these observations, this Essay proffers two novel claims about the paradox of voting: First, we contend that, based on the mechanics of post-election litigation, it is possible that at least some votes should rationally be cast in expectation of having an electoral effect. Second, for closely related reasons, we arg…

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“Jeffrey Clark Was Considered Unassuming. Then He Plotted With Trump.”

…ht him to be. Some senior department leaders had considered him quiet, hard-working and detail-oriented. Others said they knew nothing about him, so low was his profile. He struck neither his fans in the department nor his detractors as being part of the Trumpist faction of the party, according to interviews. The department’s senior leaders were shocked when Mr. Clark’s machinations came to light. They have spent recent weeks debating how he came…

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“Chinese parts, hidden ownership, growing scrutiny: Inside America’s biggest maker of voting machines”

…e voting system. That has led to calls for ES&S and its competitors, Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems and Austin, Texas-based Hart Intercivic, to reveal details about their ownership and the origins of the parts, some of which come from China, that make up their machines. But ES&S still faces questions about the company’s supply chain and the identities of its investors, although it has said it is entirely owned by Americans. And the results o…

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“Trump leaves QAnon and the online MAGA world crushed and confused”

…h never came. In the days leading up to Trump’s departure from office, his online followers watched with horror as his pardons that were supposed to go to allies and supporters instead went to people who were inherently swampy: white-collar criminals convicted of tax fraud, family friends, Steve Bannon, even Democrat Kwame Kirkpatrick. “So just to recap: Trump will pardon Lil Wayne, Kodak Black, high profile Jewish fraudsters … No pardons for midd…

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“Steve Schwarzman, a Trump Adviser, Stays Loyal Till the End”

…e declared later. His comments didn’t sit well with some attendees. “It was 100 percent known in advance that this was exactly what would happen in a place like Pennsylvania,” replied Richard H. Pildes, a constitutional-law expert, according to the participant who had the transcript. Kenneth Frazier, the chief executive of Merck, added that Mr. Trump’s actions were undermining democracy and should be of great concern, recalled attendees. After Mr….

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