“An appeals court dismisses charges against a Michigan election worker who downloaded a voter list”

AP reports:

“The court’s conclusion: James Holkeboer’s conduct was improper but not a crime.

He was charged with election fraud. But Holkeboer’s lawyers pointed out that the state law used by prosecutors only bars acts that change the election record.

“The prosecution had to demonstrate that Holkeboer fraudulently removed or secreted the election list of voters such that the information was no longer available or altered,” the court said in a 3-0 opinion Thursday.

“Here, no evidence was presented that election information was altered or made unavailable” to local election officials, the court said.”

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“As Meta flees politics, campaigns rely on new tricks to reach voters”


After years of pitching its suite of social media apps as the lifeblood of campaigns,Meta is breaking up with politics. The company has decreased the visibility of politics-focused posts and accounts on Facebook and Instagram as well as imposed new rules on political advertisers, kneecapping the targeting system long used by politicians to reach potential voters.

Waves of layoffs have eviscerated the team responsible for coordinating with politicians and campaigns,according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private personnel matters. This includes foreign-based workers and U.S. employees who promoted the company’s products to politicians and fielded questions from campaigns about their services.

An advertising sales team, which once embedded with the Trump team during the 2016 election campaign, is now responsible for many of their previous responsibilities, the people said.

Meta’s shift away from current events is forcing campaigns to upend their digital outreach in a move that could transform the 2024 election.Comparing March 2020 to March 2024, both the Biden and Trump campaigns saw 60 percent declinesin their average engagement per Facebook post, a Washington Post review found, with double-digit declines on Instagram.

The Trump team has cast Meta’s moves as an effort to tip the scales in favor of Biden. The Biden campaign, meanwhile, had already begun to shift its online focus, rolling out a cadre of influencers and volunteers to spread their messages across private spaces on social networks….

Meanwhile, political campaigns are adjusting to this new reality. Biden appears to be countering the trend by posting more frequently on social media accounts — including from official White House pages — to drive engagement. Biden-linked Facebook posts increased from about 300 in March 2020 to more than 600 in March 2024, while Trump’s posts dropped from more than 1,000 in March 2020 to about 200 in March 2024, the Post analysis found.

While Trump dramatically increased posts to his own social network, Truth Social, he has refrained from publishing frequently on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. Top Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita likened Meta’s push away from politics to a form of shadow banning, when tech companies allow users to post but secretly depress who sees the content.

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“Tony Evers weighs in on security threats facing Wisconsin elections chief Meagan Wolfe”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The focus of the story is “Trump’s decision to attack Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe.” Some details:

“Meagan Wolfe will try and steal another election,” Trump said in an interview earlier this month with conservative radio show host Joe Giganti on “The Regular Joe Show,” which aired on Green Bay-based WTAQ. “Robin Vos should terminate Meagan Wolfe and they should put somebody in who’s going to be fair, not for the Republicans — just fair. And if they do that, we’re going to win the election by a lot in Wisconsin.”

Trump’s attack is of course baseless and reprehensible. But as long as other Republicans stand by Trump, including so-called “grown ups” like Bill Barr and Chris Sununu, it will be difficult to protect Republican voters–and thus the public as a whole–from the pernicious consequences of Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric.

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“Supreme Court rejects Kari Lake, Mark Finchem in machine voting lawsuit, ending legal challenge”

Arizona Republic. No surprise: “Legal experts had predicted the court would not exercise its discretion to add the case to its docket, citing well-established legal precedent and the court’s low acceptance rate.” Moreover:

“U.S. District Judge John Tuchi dismissed their claims and what he called their “frivolous complaint” in Aug. 2022, saying they did not have standing — a legal precedent that requires an individual who files a case is directly impacted by the conduct they are suing over. Tuchi later ordered their legal team to pay six figures in sanctions to deter “similarly baseless suits in the future.” 

“The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October upheld Tuchi’s ruling and agreed the case rested on hypotheticals. The case was funded by Mike Lindell, founder of MyPillow and a fervent ally of Trump who promotes false claims that elections are rigged.”

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“Here’s how fusion voting helps to elevate diverse voices in Kansas”

Op-ed by the leaders of the new United Kansas party. For anyone who has been following the advocacy for fusion voting over the last couple of years, the arguments in the op-ed will be familiar. For example, the new party’s leaders assert: “we will be cross-nominating the major party candidates who best represent Kansas values, without regard to their major party affiliation, to begin to demonstrate that fusion voting can once again bring Kansas together, for progress and prosperity.”

One thing that’s not clear to me from the piece is how applicable Kansas law will treat the new party’s effort to co-nominate one of the major-party candidates. The piece says that the new party will be seeking “to qualify for the ballot in November,” but will state law permit the party to have a ballot line that designates the same candidate who is a nominee of a different party?

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