“Inside the private pressure campaign to force hand-counting of Arizona ballots”

Votebeat:

Republican lawmakers in Arizona privately pressured county leaders across the state to count ballots by hand instead of using machines, according to previously unreported text messages.

The messages, obtained by Votebeat through public record requests, are a window into how state lawmakers are trying to leverage relationships with Republican county supervisors — who decide how to count ballots in their counties — to promote a practice that state officials have repeatedly said would be illegal.

And it highlights how lawmakers have turned to counties to try to change how ballots are counted, after failing to change state laws.

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ProPublica Report on Judicial Recusal

Released today:

A ProPublica analysis found a lack of transparency regarding conflicts plagues federal and state courts where loose rules, inconsistent enforcement and creative interpretations of guidelines routinely allow judges to withhold potential conflicts from the parties before them.

In an examination of more than 1,200 federal judges and state supreme court justices, ProPublica, in partnership with student journalists at Boston University, found dozens of judges, including both Republican and Democratic appointees, who chose not to recuse when facing potential appearances of impropriety involving familial financial connections. Ethics experts say that the judges’ interpretation of the rules may often lie within the letter of the law, but at the expense of its spirit.

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“Kennedy and West third-party ballot drives are pushed by secretive groups and Republican donors”

AP reports: “With early voting for the November presidential election set to begin in late September in some states, there are signs across the country that groups are trying to affect the outcome by using deceptive means — and in most cases in ways that would benefit Republican Donald Trump. Their aim is to to whittle away President Joe Biden’s standing with the Democratic Party’s base by offering left-leaning, third-party alternatives who could siphon off a few thousand protest votes in close swing state contests.”

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