“The Blue States That Make It Hardest to Vote”

…esident counts as “public service” under state law. Most Delaware residents, however, won’t have such a convenient excuse. Few states have more limited voting options than Delaware, a Democratic bastion that allowed little mail balloting before the pandemic hit. Biden has assailed Georgia’s new voting law as an atrocity akin to “Jim Crow in the 21st century” for the impact it could have on Black citizens. But even once the GOP-passed measure takes…

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“Armed ‘quick reaction force’ was waiting for order to storm Capitol, Justice Dept. says”

…e. “This is not pure conjecture,” Nestler said. In a court filing this week, he noted, prosecutors obtained cellphone and video evidence from the day before the riot showing that Harrelson asked someone about the quick reaction force. He then went to a Comfort Inn in the Ballston area of Arlington for about an hour before driving into D.C., prosecutors said. The day after the riot, surveillance video from the hotel shows him moving “what appears t…

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

…wing that the .gov means it belongs to an official government organization in the United States,” Robertson said. With the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) taking over responsibility for the TLD program under the DOTGOV Online 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-base…

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“How to Fix H.R. 1”

…ampaigns by providing a sixfold federal-government match to donations of $200 or less. Congressional candidates who opt in to this program would be forced to accept a maximum donation level of $1,000, which is significantly lower than the current maximum of $2,900. The stated objective of the program is to dampen the influence of wealthy donors by reducing the size of the largest donations and multiplying the impact of small ones, making small-don…

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“The future of political advertising is connected TV”

…other than age and gender. As more political ads are bought on connected TVs, more messages will be targeted much more narrowly to people 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…

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“Hundreds of Companies Unite to Oppose Voting Limits, but Others Abstain”

NYT: Amazon, BlackRock, Google, Warren Buffett and hundreds of other companies and executives signed on to a new statement released on Wednesday opposing “any discriminatory legislation” that would make it harder for people to vote. It was the biggest show of solidarity so far by the business community as companies around the country try to navigate the partisan uproar over Republican efforts to enact new election rules in almost every state. Se…

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Please Take This Survey to Help Plan the Future of the Election Law Blog (Survey Closes April 18)

…worked on the ALI Torts: Remedies project, and undertook my courses with 200 students this semester. I am now considering the future of the blog, and whether and how I can continue to support and sustain it. To that end, it would be very helpful to me to learn about how people use ELB, what they want to see more of and less of, and how things can improve. Survey responses are anonymous. The survey is here, and it will remain open through April 18…

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“CEOs Plan New Push on Voting Legislation”

…. 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 standpoint,…

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“In 5-2 ruling, the Wisconsin Supreme Court keeps thousands of voters on the rolls”

…l not force tens of thousands of people off the rolls near a major election, such as the 2022 contest for governor and U.S. Senate. From the outset, the case has been fraught with politics. Conservatives who brought the lawsuit said they wanted to make sure the state’s voter lists are accurate, while Democrats and election officials warned a change in state policy could result in some voters being bumped off the rolls when they shouldn’t be. The s…

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“Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill admits affair, won’t run for U.S. Senate: ‘There’s no excuse’”

…want resignation McPherson provided Al.com with a recording of an October 2020 conversation between her and Merrill, who is a Republican. In the 17-minute recording, Merrill and McPherson discuss various sexual acts they performed during dozens of romantic encounters that McPherson says took place between November 2017 and November 2020. During the conversation, Merrill seems to try to end his relationship with McPherson, who was reluctant to brea…

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BPC Releases Election Policy Recommendations

…ican election ecosystem. Entitled Improving the Voting Experience After 2020, these 12 recommendations highlight the tangible steps states and local jurisdictions must take to provide the accessible and secure election ecosystem that Americans expect. The pandemic ushered in a burst of election administration transformation borne of necessity. Long-term, sustainable election rules only work when they incorporate the unique perspectives and experti…

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“Firebrands Get Path to Campaign Cash in Democratic Election Bill”

…just 9.5% of their re-election funds from contributors giving less than $200…. “If you think members of Congress were running scared of compromising, this’ll amp that up,” said Ray La Raja, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Candidates like Gottheimer, who raised $7.7 million with just 2.4% of that amount coming from small-dollar donors, would have to worry about better-financed opponents from the extreme right o…

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“If It’s Not Jim Crow, What Is It?”

…ics: Suffrage Restriction and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1880-1910.” Between the Fifteenth Amendment, which prohibited overt discrimination on the basis of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” and the Fourteenth Amendment, which allowed Congress to slash the representation of states that disenfranchised adult males for any reason other than crime or rebellion, Southern lawmakers could not just write Black voters out of…

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“Inside Corporate America’s Frantic Response to the Georgia Voting Law”

…ng response to the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, Ken Frazier, the Black chief executive of Merck, resigned from a presidential advisory group, prompting dozens of other top executives to distance themselves from the president. Last year, after the killing of George Floyd, hundreds of companies expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But for corporations, the dispute over voting rights is different….

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“One Republican’s Lonely Fight Against a Flood of Disinformation”

…e is very likely to motivate some domestic extremists?” asked Mr. Riggleman, a former Air Force intelligence officer. “We should not be playing with fire.” Six months later, conspiracy theories like QAnon remain a threat that most Republicans would rather ignore than confront, and Mr. Riggleman is out of office. But he is ever more determined to try to expose disinformation from the far right that is swaying legions in the Republican base to belie…

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“Georgia’s Election Law, and Why Turnout Isn’t Easy to Turn Off”

…n administration. That provision has uncertain but potentially substantial effects, depending on what the Legislature might do in the future. And it’s possible the law is intended to do exactly what progressives fear: reshape the electorate to the advantage of Republicans, soon after an electoral defeat, by making it harder to vote. And yet the law’s voting provisions are unlikely to significantly affect turnout or Democratic chances. It could pla…

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“More than 170 Companies Call on Elected Officials to Protect Voting Access”

Release: Today, more than 170 Civic Alliance member companies issued a Joint Statement for Protecting Voting Access: “The Right to Vote is the Cornerstone of our Democracy. We believe every American should have a voice in our democracy and that voting should be safe and accessible to all voters. We stand in solidarity with voters 一 and with the Black executives and leaders at the helm of this movement 一 in our nonpartisan commitment to equality…

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“N.Y. School Board Owes NAACP $5 Million in Voting Case Fees”

…ees, and costs to a local branch of the NAACP and four voters who successfully sued it for diluting Black and Latino residents’ votes, a federal court in New York ruled. The fee decision by Judge Cathy Seibel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, docketed Wednesday, comes after an appellate ruling Jan. 6 affirming the win for the Spring Valley Branch of the NAACP and the voters. The district’s at-large election system k…

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“How We Voted in 2020: A look at the Survey of the Performance of American Elections”

…dividual states. It’s been conducted in every presidential election since 2008, giving us over a decade of data to draw from. In 2020, 18,200 registered voters responded to the survey. Two hundred respondents each were interviewed in 40 states plus the District of Columbia, and 1000 interviews were conducted in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. We’re grateful to many folks for mak…

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Doug Spencer: A Rare Purposive Reading of the Voting Rights Act

…e. In today’s opinion out of Virginia Beach, however, plaintiffs comprised Black, Hispanic, and Asian voters whose voting rights were found to have been collectively abridged by the city’s use of at-large elections. Judge Jackson is not the first judge to allow a coalitional claim, nor the first to find liability for a coalitional claim under Section 2. But the Circuits have split on this question. In 1986, a district court in Texas applied the ju…

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California Citizens Redistricting Commission Seeks Chief Counsel

…on is a 14-member body created by the passage of the Voters FIRST Act, in 2008.  It is charged with redrawing the California State Senate and Assembly, State Board of Equalization, and Congressional districts based on information gathered during the 2020 census. The Commission must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of reasonably equal population that will provide fair representation for al…

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“Democrats Splinter Over Strategy for Pushing Through Voting Rights Bill”

…ew Democrats are willing to publicly say so, the details of the more than 800-page bill — which would radically reshape the way elections are run and make far-reaching changes to campaign finance laws and redistricting — have become a point of simmering contention. Some proponents argue that Democrats should break off a narrower bill dealing strictly with protecting voting rights to prevent the legislation, known as the For the People Act, from co…

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“Georgia voter limits take root amid weakened Justice Department”

…on Voting Rights Act powers to review legislative proposals in more than 180 instances, according to a recent lawsuit filed against the latest Georgia law. But the DOJ’s authority to screen racially suspect voting laws under this so-called preclearance process was eliminated by a 2013 ruling by the Supreme Court. As a result, voting rights groups say the task has now fallen to minority voters themselves to test whether the laws in fact make it har…

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“California’s election rules could make a Newsom recall a wild ride”

…would likely have to file their paperwork — along with a fee of almost $4,200 or, in lieu of a fee, submit at least 7,000 voter signatures — no later than 59 days before election day. The final decision on ballot access requirements is left to Weber, who may have broad discretion on filing fees and the signature threshold under a California Supreme Court ruling from the 2003 gubernatorial recall. But here’s where things get interesting: The electi…

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“Why the Georgia G.O.P.’s Voting Rollbacks Will Hit Black People Hard”

…eated efforts to disenfranchise Black voters in the state. As recently as 2018, Georgians faced hourslong lines to vote in many predominantly Black neighborhoods, and thousands of Black voters were purged from the voting rolls before the election. Now Republicans have again changed the state’s voting laws ahead of critical Senate and governor’s races in 2022. Democrats, shut out of power in the Statehouse despite holding both United States Senate…

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“Sweeping changes to Georgia elections signed into law”

…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. S…

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“Judge dismisses push for faster U.S. Census results”

…Cleveland.com: A federal judge has dismissed Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s lawsuit that sought to force the U.S. Census Bureau to provide its results by a March 31 legal deadline, six months earlier than Census officials said was possible. Judge Thomas M. Rose cited legal precedent he said barred him from ordering someone to “jump higher, run faster, or lift more than she is physically capable.” The court’s ruling is here….

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“Trumpworld’s next target: Building a dark-money machine”

…to a recent estimate from OpenSecrets, liberal groups directed more than $500 million in dark money to benefit Democratic candidates in the 2020 election, compared to only $200 million from conservative groups. Conservatives point to the web of liberal nonprofits that played key roles in the 2020 elections, such as Fair Fight, an organization focused on voting rights. The Georgia-based group, which was founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, has been c…

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“G.O.P. and Allies Draft ‘Best Practices’ for Restricting Voting”

…xecutive director, are largely rooted in the work of Hans von Spakovsky, a lawyer who has worked on voting battles for decades, including a voter identification law in Georgia that was ruled discriminatory in 2005. He also helped to run the now-defunct voter-fraud commission that Mr. Trump created after the 2016 election. Other Heritage officials, such as John Malcolm, have helped craft the proposals….

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Joshua Spivak: California Recall’s Plurality Voting Conundrum: How unusual is that Newsom can lose his seat and gain more votes than his replacement?

…were 135 candidates on the replacement ballot, this did not occur in the 2003 gubernatorial recall, when Arnold Schwarzenegger received almost 200,000 more votes in the replacement race than Gray Davis/No on Recall received. However, over the last 10 years, there have been at least five instances where the elected official who was kicked out in the recall outdrew the winner of the replacement race, including one last year in Santa Ana, as well as…

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“Close GOP Win in Iowa Gets Second Look From House Democrats”

…mocratic candidate Rita Hart. She won by just six votes out of the nearly 400,000 total votes cast, following a recount of the entire district. Ms. Hart filed in late December to challenge the results under the Federal Contested Elections Act. It isn’t unusual for candidates to appeal to the House to review a race’s results, but such efforts rarely succeed. Earlier this month, the House Administration Committee voted along party lines to review th…

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“Voting rights becomes a new battleground for US companies”

…donors to the Republican State Leadership Committee, which funnelled $144,700 to candidates in Georgia in the last election. Contacted by the FT, Delta and Home Depot emphasised their support for broad voter participation and for “secure” elections. UPS said it was “working to ensure equitable access to the polls and the integrity of the election process across the state”, and was supporting legislation that furthered those goals. Coca-Cola did no…

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“Why the effects of Republican efforts to limit voting aren’t clear”

…after ways of voting that were popular for Black voters and Democrats in 2020 (e.g. mail voting). Democrats and Black advocacy groups are, of course, up in arms and trying to stop the GOP.We can’t know how these changes, if they come to pass, would affect future elections. But by looking at two of the most prominent moves Republicans are trying to make, we can see it’s not at all clear that Republicans will succeed in helping their electoral pros…

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

…. Capitol, SafeChat’s app has been downloaded more times than in all of 2020, quickly becoming a hotbed of conspiracy theories and disinformation that paints President Joe Biden’s new administration in the worst possible light. But the once-obscure social network, which touts its security protections and respect for free speech,is not just MAGA-friendly. It’s also a conduit that enables fringe groups attacking the Chinese Communist Party to speak…

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“In Restricting Early Voting, the Right Sees a New ‘Center of Gravity’”

…rictions on voting — in particular, tougher limits on early voting and vote-by-mail — is now at the heart of the right’s strategy to keep donors and voters engaged as Mr. Trump fades from public view and leaves a void in the Republican Party that no other figure or issue has filled. In recent weeks, many of the most prominent and well-organized groups that power the G.O.P.’s vast voter turnout efforts have directed their resources toward a campaig…

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“Most 2020 Nevada election integrity cases resolved without finding of fraud; recent Republican document drop under review”

…tory authority in the secretary of state’s office. Only 41 of the roughly 300 files submitted for the 2020 election have not been resolved, which includes 15 submitted by the Nevada Republican Party earlier this month (many entries in the log list out several thousand alleged examples of voter fraud). The GOP and the state had widely varied public descriptions of the scope of their submission, with the party saying it submitted 122,918 records, an…

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Slimming Down Democracy Reform

…as they see fit. And when the House debated a new VRA coverage formula in 2019, just one Republican voted in favor. Mitch McConnell then consigned the bill to a quiet death, declining to take any Senate action on it. The implausibility of attracting significant Senate Republican support is nicely illustrated by National Review writer Dan McLaughlin’s response to Rick’s column. Requiring states to offer at least two weeks of early voting? Only if f…

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“Pelosi’s push for 9/11-style Capitol riot commission stalls in political quicksand”

…House committees, run by Democrats, to do their own probe of how a violent, pro-Trump mob managed to overwhelm police and terrorize legislators. What seemed like a no-brainer at the time — a 9/11-Commission-style review of the origins of the mob, the white nationalists who joined it and the security failures that allowed it to briefly occupy the Capitol — has instead become the latest theater for dysfunction on Capitol Hill as the two parties squ…

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Georgia Law Review Symposium March 25 on “150 Years of Voting In America”

…Partner, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP Panel 3: The Future of Voting Rights Introductory Speaker: The Honorable Representative Nikema Williams   Georgia 5th Congressional District, United States House of Representatives    Panelists: Joshua Douglas  Ashland, Inc.-Spears Distinguished Research Professor of Law, University of Kentucky School of Law    Joyce Gist Lewis  Partner, Krevolin & Horst, LLC Richard Pildes  Sudler Family Professor of Constit…

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

…the U.S. Capitol on the erroneous belief that widespread fraud handed the 2020 election to President Biden: Facing intractable opposition from lawmakers determined to restrict voting, voting-rights advocates are taking their case directly to Republican lawmakers’ allies in the business community. On Friday, the advocates scored a win when the Georgia Chamber of Commerce issued a statement expressing “concern and opposition” to the measures under c…

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

…or, worst case scenario, the governor to kill these bills,” Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told CNBC. Groups including Black Voters Matter, the New Georgia Project 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 pub…

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“The New Pro-Majoritarian Powers”

I just posted this short article, forthcoming in the California Law Review, on SSRN. It’s a response to Pam Karlan’s Jorde Lecture, “The New Countermajoritarian Difficulty,” whose theme is the array of forces — both judicial and otherwise — that often stifle the will of popular majorities. I largely agree with Karlan’s diagnosis. In the piece, I discuss a pair of non-legislative powers with significant potential to push American politics in a mo…

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“How GOP-Backed Voting Measures Could Create Hurdles for Tens of Millions of Voters”

…ary to shore up public confidence in the integrity of elections after the 2020 presidential contest, when then-President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud convinced millions of his supporters that the results were rigged against him. But in most cases, Republicans are proposing solutions in states where elections ran smoothly, including in many with results that Trump and his allies did not contest or allege to be tainted by…

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“As GOP makes it harder to vote, few Republicans dissent”

…ey can be easy to miss. “It’s appalling what’s happening,” said former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, who condemned the silence of the GOP’s elected officials. “There have been no provable, obvious, systemwide failures or fraud that would require the kind of ‘legislative remedies’ that Republican legislatures are embarking on. What the hell are you so afraid of? Black people voting?”…

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“Report: Florida Voters of Color, Young Voters and New Voters More Likely to Have Their Absentee Ballots Flagged for Rejection As Cure Rates Vary by County”

…released Casting, Rejecting, and Curing Vote-by-Mail Ballots in Florida’s 2020 General Election. Across Florida’s 67 counties, voters of color, new voters, and younger voters disproportionately cast absentee ballots that were flagged to be “rejected as illegal.” This report also highlights a glaring lack of consistency in both the standards used by election officials to initially reject absentee ballots and the ability of voters casting them to re…

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“From vote to virus, misinformation campaign targets Latinos”

…. Conspiracy theories were fanned, including that voting by mail was rigged, that the Black Lives Matter movement had ties to witchcraft and that Biden was beholden to a cabal of socialists. That flow of misinformation has only intensified since Election Day, researchers and political analysts say, stoking Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen and false narratives around the mob that overran the Capitol. More recently, it has morphe…

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“Georgia Senate votes to eliminate no-excuse absentee voting”

…er or other identification. The Senate approved the bill on a party-line 29-20 vote, a one-vote majority of the chamber’s 56 senators required by the Georgia Constitution for legislation to pass. Democrats unified against the voting limitations over three hours of passionate debate, saying the restrictions would especially harm Black voters after struggles for ballot access during the civil rights movement. Four Republican senators excused themsel…

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