Tag Archives: 2022 Election Cycle

“Gerrymandering Isn’t Giving Republicans the Advantage You Might Expect”

Nate Cohn for The Upshot offers an intricate analysis of the 2022 congressional maps in historical perspective. Lots of interesting graphs to get to his basic take:

“In reality, Republicans do have a structural edge in the House, but it isn’t anything near insurmountable for the Democrats. By some measures, this is the fairest House map of the last 40 years.”

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What impact did policy changes, the political environment, and voter outreach have on mail ballot rejection rates in 2020?

In a concise new paper published by Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Tova Wang and Jose Altamirano analyze trends in mail ballot rejection rates in 2020. Were mail ballots rejected at a higher rate in 2020 compared to previous years? What impact did policy changes, the political environment, and voter outreach have on mail ballot rejection rates in such an extraordinary election year?

Key findings include:

• Mail ballot rejection rates decreased in most states in 2020 compared to 2018, and a number of states saw a consistent drop from 2016 through 2020.

• Certain states that adapted their voting laws to make mail voting more accessible in 2020, particularly in the South, saw especially pronounced changes in rejection rates.

• States that implemented mail ballot policies, including ballot curing, increased ease of access when returning mail ballots at Boards of Elections, early voting sites, drop boxes, and ballot tracking, saw lower rejection rates than those that didn’t.

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“Meadows texts reveal direct White House communications with pro-Trump operative behind plans to seize voting machines”

CNN reporting on new text messages between White House and those dubiously seeking access to voting machines in Arizona and Georgia in order to overturn election results in 2020:

“The messages, which have not been previously reported, shed new light on how Waldron’s reach extended into the highest levels of the White House and the extent to which Meadows was kept abreast of plans for accessing voting machines, a topic sources tell CNN, and court documents suggest, is of particular interest to state and federal prosecutors probing efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The messages also provide an early window into how an effort to gain access to voting machines through the courts and state legislatures morphed into a more clandestine endeavor that is now the subject of multiple criminal investigations. Despite attempts to distance himself from the more dubious attempts to keep Trump in office, the messages underscore how Meadows was an active participant, engaging with someone who former White House officials have described as a fringe outsider peddling outlandish ideas.”

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Breaking—Supreme Court Issues Administrative Stay of Third Circuit Order.

The Supreme Court issued an administrative stay in Ritter v. Migliori, the recent Third Circuit decision that determined that mail-in ballots that arrived without the necessary date should be counted. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the Court to make its final decision on the emergency application and what impact it will have on the recount in the Pennsylvania Republican primary.

The Third Circuit was “asked to determine if a date on the outside of a mail-in ballot, required under state law, is material to the voter’s qualifications and eligibility to vote” for purposes of the Materiality Provision of the Civil Rights Act. That provision “prohibits any ‘person acting under color of law [from] deny[ing] the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission … if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such voter is qualified … to vote in such election.’” In a decision written by Judge McKee, the Third Circuit held the date was not material.

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States’ Concerted Efforts to Curb Election Misinformation

Cecilia Kang, N.Y. Times, reports on efforts in several states to combat election misinformation in advance of November. The focus will be on unfounded rumors and lies about voting and election fraud. Connecticut “plans to spend nearly $2 million on marketing to share factual information about voting, and to create its first-ever position for an expert in combating misinformation” whose job will be to “to comb fringe sites like 4chan, far-right social networks like Gettr and Rumble and mainstream social media sites to root out early misinformation narratives about voting before they go viral, and then urge the companies to remove or flag the posts that contain false information.” Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon are working on similar initiatives.

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“Printing error affects mailed ballots in Lancaster County”

Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a printing error has caused problems with the processing of a not insignificant number of mail-in ballots in Lancaster County. Too bad, however, that this is being used as an excuse to oppose the 2019 expansion of no-excuse absentee voting in PA–rather than to reconsider the printing companies that are being used.

“An error by a company that prints ballots for several Pennsylvania counties caused thousands of mail-in ballots to be unreadable Tuesday as voters were deciding hotly contested primaries for governor and U.S. Senate in one of the nation’s most important battleground states.

Officials in Lancaster County, the state’s sixth most populous, said the problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly. The glitch will force election workers to redo ballots that can’t be read by the machine, a laborious process expected to take several days. Officials in the GOP-controlled county pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually.”

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Coordinating Publicly to Get Around Campaign Finance Laws–2022 cycle

Shane Goldmacher at N.Y. Times reports on the “Little Red Boxes” appearing on many Democratic primary candidates’ websites to direct their Super PACs’ messaging strategies. The basic principle is not new, but the details are interesting. Republicans this cycle apparently are focused on different end-runs around these campaign finance restrictions.

“Democratic candidates nationwide are using . . . red boxes to pioneer new frontiers in soliciting and directing money from friendly super PACs[,] . . .

[A] New York Times survey of candidate websites found at least 19 Democrats deploying some version of a red box in four of the states holding contested congressional primaries on Tuesday.

The practice is both brazen and breathtakingly simple. To work around the prohibition on directly coordinating with super PACs, candidates are posting their instructions to them inside the red boxes on public pages that super PACs continuously monitor.

The boxes highlight the aspects of candidates’ biographies that they want amplified . . . Then, they add instructions that can be extremely detailed: Steering advertising spending to particular cities or counties, asking for different types of advertising and even slicing who should be targeted by age, gender and ethnicity.

‘Liberals, voters under 50 and women — across only San Antonio, Guadalupe and Atascosa counties,’ reads the targeting guidance from Jessica Cisneros, a Democratic challenger in South Texas.

‘Black voters ages 45+ in Durham and white women ages 45+ in Orange’ was the recent directive from Valerie Foushee, a Democratic House candidate in North Carolina locked in a competitive primary for an open seat.”

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