FEC Unanimously Voted (Back in July 2022, But Just Now Made Public) that Schwarzenegger and His USC Institute Did Not Violate Federal Campaign Finance Law in Giving Election Administration Grants During Covid

Sensible result (vote totals). Not clear why this took so long to make public.

The claim was that these grants were meant to help Biden win, but there was no evidence of that. (Similar claims have been made about money from the Zuckerberg-Chan Foundation, also without evidence, and it has led many red states to ban private funding to help with election administration.)

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“Scoop: YouTube reverses misinformation policy to allow U.S. election denialism”


In a reversal of its election integrity policy, YouTube will leave up content that says fraud, errors or glitches occurred in the 2020 presidential election and other U.S. elections, the company confirmed to Axios Friday.

Why it matters: YouTube established the policy in December 2020, after enough states had certified the 2020 election results. Now, the company said in a statement, leaving the policy in place may have the effect of “curtailing political speech without meaningfully reducing the risk of violence or other real-world harm.”

  • “Two years, tens of thousands of video removals, and one election cycle later, we recognized it was time to reevaluate the effects of this policy in today’s changed landscape,” YouTube said in a statement.
  • “With that in mind, and with 2024 campaigns well underway, we will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past US Presidential elections.”

Yes, but: Asked how YouTube was specifically able to make that determination, a spokesperson pointed Axios to their statement.

  • YouTube said that it “carefully deliberated this change,” but didn’t provide further examples of what factors or instances it considered when weighing its decision.
  • The platform said it will provide more details about its approach to the 2024 election in the months to come.
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“Harris County elections face state intervention under new Texas voting laws”

The Texas Tribune:

Texas Republicans have muscled through legislation allowing unprecedented state interventions into elections in Harris County, the most populous county in Texas, threatening to drastically overhaul elections in the Democratic stronghold.

The bills targeting Harris, which would eliminate its chief elections official and allow state officials to intervene and supervise the county’s elections in response to administrative complaints, are headed to the governor’s desk.

Lawmakers say they’re responding to repeated election issues in Harris County, which includes the city of Houston. The county, for its part, has signaled it will challenge the bid to remove its elections administrator and is portraying the bills as a partisan power grab and the latest in a series of legislative moves by Texas Republicans to tighten access to the ballot in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.

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“Twitter’s Top Content Moderation and Safety Executive Leaves”

From the WSJ:

Twitter’s top official for monitoring safety and content moderation said she resigned Thursday, the second time an executive with that role has departed since Elon Musk bought the social-media company in October.

Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, declined to comment on the reason for her departure in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. She said she felt she had always been honest in her work. Irwin, who joined Twitter about a year ago, had publicly defended the company’s actions since Musk took over as she navigated a high-profile and often-scrutinized role handling content-moderation decisions.

Also on Thursday, Musk said Twitter employees had erred in how they handled the posting of a documentary called “What is a Woman?” that, according to promotional materials, “questions the logic behind a gender ideology movement that has taken aim at women and children.” Jeremy Boreing, the co-founder and co-CEO of the media company The Daily Wire, said in a series of tweets that Twitter had tried to suppress the movie by saying the content violated Twitter’s policy against misgendering.

“This was a mistake by many people at Twitter,” Musk tweeted in response to Boreing’s complaints. “Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws.” He added that he personally uses someone’s preferred pronouns.

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New Iowa law adds two tweaks to presidential caucus process

The Des Moines Register covers a new law signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, HF 716, that tweaks a few aspects of elections in Iowa. The bill was revised substantially from the time it was first introduced and solved major associational problems. Of note are two changes to the caucus process. Some media coverage about them is overblown (Josh Putnam at FHQ has very good details), but I’ll highlight those two changes.

The caucuses are a private party-run process, but state law still has some provisions about them. For instance, “Delegates to county conventions of political parties and party committee members shall be elected at precinct caucuses held not later than the fourth Monday in February of each even-numbered year. The date shall be at least eight days earlier than the scheduled date for any meeting, caucus, or primary which constitutes the first determining stage of the presidential nominating process in any other state, territory, or any other group which has the authority to select delegates in the presidential nomination.” There are statutory guarantees that Iowa goes first.

Last December, I highlighted the messiness of the DNC changing its calendar so it is no longer in sync with the RNC calendar. The DNC gave the first five spots to states that were not Iowa. It gave the first spot to South Carolina. (These rules can still change in the months ahead.)

New Hampshire law requires a primary before everyone else. Democrats in New Hampshire plan on abiding by their law and ignoring the DNC rules. That means its primary will be held in late January, before everyone else. The primary is for both Democrats and Republicans. So that puts Republicans in Iowa in a place where they have to move even earlier. Meanwhile, Iowa Democrats proposed a system that would include mail-in balloting. That system, however, would likely make New Hampshire move its primary even earlier–depending on when Iowa Democrats decided to run that process, and when the DNC told them they could.

The first change. Iowa law is amended to add, “If the state central committee of a political party chooses to select its delegates as a part of the presidential nominating process at political party precinct caucuses on the date provided in subsection 1, the precinct caucuses shall take place in person among the participants physically present at the location of each precinct caucus.”

The in-person requirement is to ensure that New Hampshire does not jump Iowa. It also applies only to the selection of delegates. It does not apply to the allocation of delegates, e.g., whether delegates are allocated to particular candidates.

So Iowa Republicans can continue an in-person caucus before everyone else, which includes an allocation process; Iowa Democrats can select delegates that night as a part of their process, but allocate later on a mail-in system; and New Hampshire can breathe easy that the caucuses will not look like a primary.

There’s still much to happen both on the DNC calendar front and the Iowa Democratic Party’s choice of process, but the change is designed to help ease everyone. We’ll see if that holds.

The second change. Iowa has same-day voter registration, and consistent with that, caucuses permitted same-day registrants to participate in the caucuses. The rules now add, “the state central committee of each political party may set rules for participate in or voting at a precinct caucus, including but not limited to voter registration requirements.”

Earlier drafts of this text had a 110-day window or a 70-day window. This instead gives the parties the flexibility to define the contours of participants. The objective is twofold. First, if the DNC and RNC allocation processes take place on different days, pre-registration requirements can diminish the risk of double-voting. Second, if there is a concern of “party raiding,” the party can institute rules to prevent that. In an election where there is no serious Democratic contest but a serious Republican contest, for instance, one can imagine Republicans wanting to require some earlier registration requirement. (More cynically, some have pointed out that a more limited caucus may help some candidates over others, a matter to be fought out inside the party, I’m sure.)

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New Hein Online Resource on Voting Rights and Election Law

This looks like it will be a very valuable resource! (Institutional subscription required)


Here’s the list of the top 10 most cited authors (to be updated annually):

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