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Balance of Power
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"Although Kansans have cast millions of ballots over the last decade, there remains no evidence of significant voter fraud," said Gov. Laura Kelly.

GOP crusade to curb voting runs into blockade in ruby red Kansas

The sprawling Republican effort to make voting more difficult has been derailed for the first time by a Democratic governor.

Laura Kelly of Kansas has vetoed two bills, one curbing the number of ballots third parties may collect and deliver and the other giving the Legislature total control over election rules. Both were drafted in response to developments in other states last year — decisions by courts and governors to ease access to the ballot during the pandemic, and Donald Trump's baseless claims that widespread fraud had robbed him of a second presidential term.

The measures now return to the capital, where both have more than enough support for a veto override in the Senate but appear to be a handful of votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority in the House. Kansas' 2021 legislative session lasts three more weeks.

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Balance of Power
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The 8 states where the pandemic has shifted the balance of power

Over the past year, states have issued hundreds of rule changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, covering issues from public health and safety to business protocols to election procedures.

But one consequence of some of these emergency orders has been a shift in the balance of power at the state level. Ballotpedia reported Thursday that eight states have seen the governor's authority weakened by Covid-related legislation.

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Balance of Power
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Republican Tom Cole (left) and Democrat Jim McGovern have a shared interest in congressional war powers.

Why this could, and should, be the year to recalibrate shared war making authority

Marcum is a fellow at the R Street Institute, a center-right think tank. Deaton is on the communications staff of Protect Democracy, a nonprofit working "to prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government."

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Donald Trump was only the most recent president to abuse emergency powers, writes Goitein.

Deciding what's a national emergency needs to be the work of two branches

Goitein is a director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice,, a progressive think tank at New York University Law School, and a fellow at the University of Chicago's Center for Effective Government.

This is part of a series advocating for parts of legislation soon to be proposed in the House, dubbed the Protecting Our Democracy Act, designed to improve democracy's checks and balances by curbing presidential power.

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